When you think of luxury brands, there's one that immediately comes to mind as being the most prestigious of them all: Hermès. The legendary French fashion house epitomizes craftsmanship and heritage and remains one of the world's most sought-after brands.
You may have heard that the elusive Birkin bag is a better investment than the stock market, but just how smart of an investment are we talking? I reached out to our friends at The RealReal—one of the premier luxury consignment destinations—to find out all the industry secrets when it comes to Hermès bag resale value. I learned that French heritage brands top the list when it comes to the luxury brands that earned consignors the most of their original investment back, with Hermès leading the pack.
“We found that during the pandemic's economic uncertainty, shoppers were gravitating toward the safest bets in luxury: investment pieces, and handbags in particular. They're spending on high-value, timeless styles, like Hermès handbags, that have enduring resale value—knowing they can consign them in the future to recoup most of that investment or wear those classic pieces for decades to come," explains Sasha Skoda, head of women's at The RealReal.
"Hermès is the ultimate example of a brand with timeless styles that transcend trends and ultimately commands stronger resale value and demand, especially its Birkin and Kelly handbags. Hermès resale value is up 28% compared to last year, and Birkins lead the pack with an average selling price up over $4000 USD year over year. Kelly and Birkin styles from the '80s and '90s can fetch close to the original retail price and more."
So as you can see, not only are you likely to get your money back selling an Hermès bag, you're actually likely to make money doing so. According to The RealReal, one of the top handbags to consign from Hermès is the Birkin 25. In 2020, they sold Birkin 25s at an average of 210% of their original retail price! If you're now sold on the investment and looking to browse for vintage Hermès bags, make sure you're doing so at a trusted pre-owned luxury re-seller. Sites like The RealReal, What Goes Around Comes Around, Vestiaire Collective, and LePrix are great for finding authenticated gems. Below are a few more tips to keep in mind when considering an Hermès bag purchase to maximize the return on your investment.
1. Birkin and Kelly styles are the safest bets
"If you're looking for the largest payout when it comes time to resell, Birkin and Kelly are safe bets as they hold the highest resale value of all Hermès handbag styles. This year, we had a 2020 Birkin 30 sell for as high as 2.5 times the original retail price, and a 2019 Kelly Pochette sell for 2.4 times the original retail price," explains Kelly McSweeney, handbag merchandising manager at The RealReal.
2. Birkin and Kelly bags actually grow in value over time
"These styles are also true investment purchases that retain (and grow!) their value over time. Average selling prices of Birkins and Kellys are up +57% compared to what they were five years ago," Kelly explains.
3. Classic colors hold the highest resale value
"When buying an Hermès handbag, opting for classic colors is always the safest bet when thinking of resale value in the future. Noir, Gold, and Etoupe (or Black, Brown, and Grey) are consistently top sellers that will always be in demand. Customers also gravitate toward pops of color like Kiwi or Fuschia for a fun, emotional purchase. We tend to see these purchases with collectors," advises Kelly.
4. Picotin and Lindy are on the rise
"Other 'quieter' favorites among Hermès lovers are the Picotin and Lindy. Mini sizes are currently selling with the highest resale value out of all sizes, with Mini Lindy 20 selling for an average of 1.7 times over the original retail price and Picotin 18 at 1.3 times over retail price on average." So if you're looking to make an investment bag purchase, you can't go wrong with any of these classic Hermès options—you'll see a return on your investment, and then some.
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