When I started selling online, I was only selling second-hand bags. I was selling branded, non-branded, and, occasionally authentic designer bags. I still have a few bags in my inventory now but not as much as I used to have. Often when researching about the authenticity of the bags, I often come across online articles about why a bag is a good investment.
Over the years, designer bags have gained so much popularity in the Philippines especially among women. People are spending their hard-earned money on these bags for a variety of reasons. I am personally hoarding a few designer bags from my inventory thinking that the price might appreciate in value in the future and also as some sort of a mini-collection.
Lately, I have been asking myself if it is worth keeping the bags that I’m hoarding right now or if I should just sell them now and invest the money somewhere else.
What is an Investment?
Generally speaking, an investment is a process of putting money into something that will return something to the investor.
Most of the time, the return that we are expecting is monetary profit. However, the return, in this particular topic (buying designer handbags) may be about something else.
It can be saving money (cost per use) or non-monetary returns such as a boost in confidence, etc.
A lot of people are buying designer bags as a form of personal investment. Meaning, they’re not after the appreciation of value over time.
They’re more concerned about the cost per use which I mentioned above and they’re really going to use the bag to probably level up their wardrobe game.
Each of us belongs to varying income levels and for some people, perhaps, the cost of a designer bag/s will not even put a single dent in their wallets.
However, for most of the people I personally know, one designer bag will actually put a large gaping hole in their wallets and may not be a practical purchase, especially around this time.
I belong to this category technically because I buy and sell bags among other things that I sell online. I buy designer bags as a short-term or mid-term investment and I will discuss this further later.
Online resellers and online personal shoppers also belong to this category. Some sellers that I know of even travel to other countries to buy brand new and second-hand designer bags and then sell them for profit in the Philippines.
A lot of people are making a living out of selling authentic designer bags here in our country (and I’m guessing, in other countries too).
A few interviews and vlogs of local celebrities also mentioned that they’re keeping some designer bags as a form of investment because of the expected appreciation in value.
Are Designer Bags Good Investments?
If you’re going to ask me if designer bags are good investments, my answer is, it depends! It can be a good investment and it can be a not-so-good investment depending on a lot of factors. So, let’s discuss both sides of the coin.
Yes, Designer Bags are Good Investments
On one side of the ring, I will agree that designer bags are good investments for the following reasons:
- If You Bought it Really Cheap: If you bought the bags really cheap, and they’re really authentic then yes, they can be good investments because the return of investment can be outright. I have tons of examples of this because I do buy and sell bags.
My recent example would be a vintage Jean Paul Gaultier two-way embossed leather bag in pristine condition that I bought last month online. I bought it for less than $30 and the re-sell value is around $250. It still has its dust bag and other inclusions. Sure, it’s not as popular as other high-end bags but it still commands a good selling price due to its low supply in our country.
If I’m going to sell it now, I can sell it right away for at least twice or thrice the price I paid for it.
- If You Will Use it Frequently: If you’re going to use the bag frequently then you can maximize the cost per use especially if you didn’t pay for the retail price. If you’re not familiar with the cost per wear, it simply means dividing the cost of the item by the number of times you have used it.
For example, if you paid $1000 for a bag and used it literally daily for 1 year: $1000/365 = $2.74/Use.
- If It’s a High in Demand, Rare Bag in Limited Stocks: Just like anything else in this world, the price is commanded by the law of supply and demand. If your designer bag is high in demand, rare, and came in very limited stocks then the value is expected to appreciate over time. Although bear in mind that the target selling market is also a select few such as collectors, auction houses, and possibly museums.
- If You Can Maintain its Pristine Condition: Maintaining a bag’s pristine condition can be a difficult thing to do depending on the resources available to you. The condition of the bag affects its selling price. The poorer the condition, the lower the possible selling price, the better the condition, the higher the possible selling price of course.
- Brands Matter: Based on my observation, not all designer bags can hold their value. But, if you own and if you’re keeping authentic Chanel Flap Bags and Hermes Birkin bags, then chances are, you could still sell them for a good price in the short or mid-term. Unfortunately, it’s hard to say for the other brands and the type of bag as well because the prices fluctuate every now and then.
No, Designer Bags are Not Good Investments
On the other side of the ring are the reasons why I don’t think that they’re good investments:
- If You Bought it Expensively During the Hype Period: If you bought it expensively during the hype period, then chances are, it might be difficult to recoup your investment (if you’re after the monetary appreciation in value).
- Fashion Trends Come and Go: Fashion trends come and go and it greatly affects the prices especially of the trendy bags. However, there are some classic style bags such as the Chanel Flap and the Hermes Birkin that are consistently withstanding the changes in trends. However, we don’t know how long their popularity will last.
- If You Bought a Fake One: Because of the popularity of designer bags, it’s one of the most highly counterfeited items (add other superlatives to emphasize it further LOL!) in the whole world and sadly a lot of people are still victimized by these counterfeiters. If you bought a fake designer bag and paid for the price of the authentic one, then sadly there’s no way to recoup your investment anymore. I highly suggest that you do your own diligence before buying a designer bag to ensure its authenticity.
- If You Don’t Have the Means to Keep them Properly: The Philippines is a tropical country, which means, humidity is quite high almost all year round. And, the bad news is, humidity is like the enemy of leather goods regardless if it’s a designer bag or not. Humidity often causes bags to develop molds or some funky bag odor.
Upkeeping leather goods including designer bags will costs you money. Personally, since I’m an online seller of second-hand goods including clothes and leather bags, I do spend money on:
Upkeeping leather goods can get expensive and cleaning them eat up so much time (especially if you have a lot). My electric dehumidifiers run 24 hours a day ( I have two and they run alternately every 12 hours). I’m renting a bigger apartment so the bags and other leather goods can have their own room. I also clean them regularly using leather conditioners and leather cleaners. I also put them on shelves to avoid damaging their forms.
And despite all those efforts, I still have a few bags that deteriorates like having some molds or developing a funky smell. I lose money from those bags because I usually just give them away to friends and family or end up selling them very cheap, sometimes, way below the price I got them for.
- They Don’t Always Sell That Fast: I have been in the business of buy and sell for a few years now and not all designer bags sell that fast. Some do, but it all depends on a variety of factors. And the selling price is of course one of the major factors to consider. If you’re going to sell it way below the market price, then you will be able to sell it real fast. However, if you’re going to sell it close to the cost of the retail price (if you paid for the retail price), then, I’m not sure.
A lot of designer bags are indeed beautiful and very functional. But of course, they come with a hefty price. However, if you can buy authentic designer bags really cheap and if you can maintain them in great condition, then they can be great investments for the short or mid-term.
I don’t know if they will be great investments for the long term because with the advancement of technology, I don’t know if we will still be using bags 50 – 100 years from now. But that’s just me.
Personally, I’m still hoarding a few designer bags for my own mini-collection but, I don’t use them. I just stare at them when I’m bored LOL!
But seriously, I used them as a memento or as a visual reminder of the immense possibility of this online selling business of second-hand goods.
Sure, I will eventually sell them in the near future, or give them to friends and family which I always do, but for now, I’ll keep them.
How about you? Do you own any designer bags? Did you buy them as a sort of investment or just for personal use?