It goes without saying that not all designer bags are created equal. If you’re lucky to own the ultra-luxurious and rare ones, chances are, they might fetch sky-high resale prices. Case in point: The highly sought-after Hermès Birkin So Black was sold for a record breaking US$208,000 in Hong Kong last year.
In fact, Chanel has raised their prices a whopping three times in 2021, with some of their signature handbags costing up to double their original retail prices before the pandemic in 2019. Getting 100% of your investment in just two short years? Talk about a worthy profit margin.
However, a bag’s potential resale value is not solely based on whether it has an exclusive design or not. The Luxury Handbag Report 2020 points out that the item’s condition will also determine its selling price in the resale market; in other words, you’ll want to make sure that your precious bags are well maintained and free of scuffs or damage.
To find out which designer bags have the best resale prices, we went online and looked at resellers’ platforms, as well as the Comprehensive Luxury Appraisal Index for Resale Report (CLAIRE) which was released by the US luxury bags and accessories resale store Rebag in October 2020.
From the data that they’ve collected, the company calculated the retained value ratio of luxury items by dividing the respective market values in the resale scene by the retail prices. “The higher the ratio, the higher the desirability of the item in the resale market,” explained CEO of Rebag, Charles Gora.
So, which bags have the potential of having the best resale values? Keep reading to find out.
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve seen the Hermès Evelyne Bag. First conceived in 1978, the bag was initially designed to transport equestrian goods. However, it made its return in the mid-2000s where it transformed into the next go-to capsule piece in many wardrobes — easily becoming an everyday staple beyond the stable. What many love about this bag is, of course, its size and functionality. Compact and convenient, it comes as no surprise that this piece proves to be a hot number amongst the masses.
This covetable and versatile bag will hold nearly everything you can stuff in it while looking simple and chic. It was first released in 2020 and has steadily grown in popularity due to its large accommodating size that’s perfect for when you’re looking to stuff all your essentials and whatnots. Due to its limited availability, the OnTheGo tote is hard to purchase at the retail store — making it highly in-demand and an excellent piece on the resale market.
It’s no surprise that this true classic has taken a spot on our list of top resale bags. The Chanel Classic Single Flap Bag Quilted Caviar Mini has seen many variations since its release in the 1980s and has still remained a well-loved piece in our luxury portfolio. Similar to the Chanel Classic Double Flap Bag, this piece comes with a single flap (hence the name), and has seen an increase of 53% in retail value on Rebag since 2019.
With an estimated 86% average value retention, The Pouch by Bottega Veneta is one worth investing in. Resembling an oversized vintage coin purse, this pouch comes with a modern flair that feels grown-up and classy. It’s minimalistic and simple in design, and more importantly, it goes well with everything. No wonder it’s quickly becoming this season’s hottest bag and keeps selling out.
For all bag lovers out there, this may not come as a surprise. Based on CLAIRE’s findings, Hermès bags usually trade at close to 85% of their retail prices, making the luxury label the top-ranking brand when it comes to resale values. The above is a rare piece from the Himalaya collection that was sold for a whopping US$241,800 at a Christie’s auction last year.
With a long waiting list, the famous and iconic Birkin is a hard to get bag. Which makes it even more covetable among all luxury fashion lovers. Because of its scarcity, the desire and demand to own a Birkin is huge. And depending on the leather and hardware used, the resale price of a Birkin can go a lot higher than your purchase price.
Chanel’s signature flap bags need no introduction. Their prices have climbed over the years, and earlier this year, the luxury house announced that it would increase the prices of some of its classic designs, including the above flap bag which saw a retail price hike of over 11%. The price jump led to a demand surge within the resale market, driving up the resale value, according to the CLAIRE report.
Here’s another design that was affected by the price adjustments at Chanel this year. Launched in 2011, Boy Chanel’s classic silhouette and versatility have won over the hearts of many celebrities from Beyonce to Blake Lively, making it one of the most iconic styles to date. Again, the bag’s resale value is spurred by its retail price surge.
Discontinued in 2014, the Louis Vuitton Eva Crossbody is a three-in-one design that allows wearers to carry it as a shoulder bag, crossbody or clutch depending on the occasion. And because it’s no longer produced, eager fans of this design have been driving up demand for it, causing an inflation in resale value of above US$1,400 on Rebag.
The Jodie was introduced by Bottega Veneta’s current Creative Director, Daniel Lee. The woven leather design and seamless structure have made it a design we’ll hold on to for years. Its value retention averages at 95% on Rebag.
This carryall was designed by Creative Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri in 2018. Since then, it’s been spotted on countless celebrities like Rihanna and social media stars like Chiara Ferragni, making it one of the most recognisable It bags in recent years. Its resale value is 98%, making it the second most sought after Dior bag on Rebag.
The revival of all things classic and the logomania trend have pushed up the demand for Dior’s saddle bag, said the CLAIRE report. Its current average value retention is, wait for it, 109%!
This timeless Louis Vuitton carryall was first released in 2007 but to date, it still looks as lovely as when we first saw it some 13 years ago. And based on online platform Designer Vintage, if yours is still in excellent condition, you could possibly have a resale value of about 80%. In other words, this oldie is definitely a goodie!
According to the CLAIRE report, Saint Laurent bags are among the top five luxury fashion labels that have a good resale value on the website. Thanks to its seasonless design, the Loulou bag above makes a great investment piece, and it’s perfect for carrying from day to night.
The Lady Dior was created in 1994 with the sole purpose of becoming a classic and it succeeded, thanks largely to Princess Diana. Originally named ‘chouchou’ (French for ‘favourite’), its current name was given as a tribute to her original name, Lady Diana Spencer, in 1996 after she fell in love with the bag. According to luxury preloved platform Sellier Knightsbridge, the older lambskin and patent leather models sell at around 50% of original retail and the newer D-lite resells for as much as 70-80% of original retail.’