I have noticed a growing trend of owning a luxury designer in our country. As an online seller of secondhand goods, one of the best-selling items in my inventory is a designer bag. Personally, I own a few which I would probably just sell in the future. But for now, I’m just hoarding them in my stockroom. Since I’m keeping some designer bags for myself (for now), I’ll share with you some of the costs that I’m incurring in keeping and owning a designer bag.
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash
Acquisition Cost of the Bag
The first cost is of course the acquisition cost or how much you paid for the bag, shipping and duties, and taxes. If you buy in retail stores then this would definitely be a bit expensive compared to buying preloved.
However, I do understand that not all people want to buy preloved items except of course vintage or hard-to-find pieces.
This would probably be the most expensive price that you have to pay for owning a designer bag.
However, if you do your own due diligence, if you are patient, and if you don’t mind owning a preloved bag instead, then you could definitely lower this cost.
There are so many ways to acquire a luxury designer bag in very good condition for a fraction of the retail price if you just know what and where to look for.
Maintaining a bag might not be as uber-expensive as buying the bag itself, but it’s an ongoing cost, meaning, you will continue to shell out some money in order to maintain a luxury designer bag.
Some of the maintenance costs include (but are not limited to):
Having a Proper Storage
The best way to store a luxury designer bag is to put them on shelves in a dry room. You can use bookshelves or display shelves with glasses if you want.
Putting them on shelves ensures that they won’t be damaged or deformed by the other bags in your closet. Stacking them on top of each other should be avoided at all costs because it will deform the bags.
Aside from putting them on shelves, you should also put ‘bag stuffers’ in them to keep their shape. You can buy them in stores or you can make your own. Personally, I just use clean cotton shirts to stuff the bags with.
Aside from stuffing the bag, I also put reusable silica gels inside the bag and as well as in its pockets to keep the interior dry. This will prevent the interior of the bag from developing a bad odor and from getting moldy.
I also use an electric dehumidifier inside my stock room to absorb the moisture in the air. Moisture is the lethal enemy of leather bags and if you want to keep your bags in great shape and in good condition, then you should keep them in a dry room, away from direct sunlight.
If you live in a very humid place consider putting an electric dehumidifier in your stockroom/closet room.
Clean and Condition
Every now and then, I also clean and condition the bags using leather cleaners and leather conditioners.
Now, this can get a little tricky. Not all leather cleaners and leather conditioners are made from natural materials, some are made with chemicals of course. And also, different leather types have different reactions to leather cleaners and conditioners.
Having said that, I only clean and condition bags with a dark color or usually black. For light-colored bags and for exotic skins, I usually bring them to the bag spa.
Having a bag cleaned by a bag spa is not cheap especially if you live in Western countries. This is why prevention is always better than cure. Preventing the bag from getting moldy and from developing a bad odor will save you a lot of money and time.
After a few bag spa trips in the past, I stopped buying light-colored bags because I find them very hard and very costly to maintain.
The leather develops a patina as time goes by and it’s very evident in light-colored bags compared to let’s say black bags.
Space should also be one of your primary considerations as well before you start buying and collecting designer bags. It would be best if you can give your bag collection its own room so you can control the humidity level in that room.
Prior to moving to a two-bedroom apartment, I was living in a studio apartment together with all my merchandise. A bigger apartment usually means bigger rent if you live in the high-cost living areas.
In my case, I moved to a low-cost area so it’s cheaper than my previous apartment. And also, since I’m an online seller, paying for space is part of the business. It would be best to keep my merchandise in good condition to avoid losing money in the online selling business.
I find it a good decision for my online selling gig because it’s so hard to keep a studio apartment dry because there’s humidity coming from the bathroom and from the kitchen areas.
Even if you use a dehumidifier, there’s a constant source of moisture in the studio apartment, not to mention, the moisture coming from the outside.
This resulted in so much time wasted in cleaning the bags very often to control the spread and development of molds, especially during the rainy season.
Now, I don’t have that problem anymore since all my leather merchandise including the designer bags are kept in a room with two electric dehumidifiers that are running alternately 24/7.
And since, I’m running electric dehumidifiers 24/7, it’s an added cost to my electricity.
I have been selling preloved goods online as a hobby and professionally for a few years now and one thing that I have noticed is that prices of preloved designer bags fluctuate every now and then depending on popularity, scarcity, and demand.
A few years back, some preloved bags such as Authentic Vintage Celine Macadam bags, Authentic Vintage Bottega Veneta bags, etc can be bought for as low as P1000 – P3000 or $20 – $60 because they weren’t popular brands yet in my country and almost no one is paying attention to them.
Now, it’s impossible to get one in a very good condition for $100 and more for Bottega Veneta bags.
When the trend shifts to another brand then these prices will definitely fall, maybe not as low as when they were not popular yet because the demand now exists unlike before.
There are brands that will be uber popular for a long time though such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, and Hermes and their price will always be high because they hold their value really well I think in comparison with other luxury brands.
Having said that, if you have sold your bag at the peak of its popularity, then, you would have earned more money by doing so. But not all people will do that because people tend to gravitate to popular things, right? You’d rather own/use the bag during these times.
However, if you have sold your bag once its popularity declined, then it would definitely fetch a lower price because the demand has also declined together with its popularity.
Owning and maintaining a luxury designer bag in a good condition needs time and money. So, before you buy one, consider the costs that I have mentioned above.
By no means I’m discouraging you from buying a bag. I have a few as I have mentioned above. I just shared the costs of owning and maintaining a luxury designer bag so you’ll know what to prepare for in case you buy one.
If you have the money for it and if you don’t mind paying for those maintenance expenses, then, by all means, go and buy the bag that you have been dreaming of.
By the way, the links of the products above are from Amazon, I’m an Amazon affiliate and that means that if you buy anything from those links then I’ll earn a small commission from it. I also used the Amazon links so my readers from various countries can use them to gauge the online price of those products.
If you’re from the Philippines, you can check Shopee or Lazada instead.
Do you have additional tips to share? Feel free to comment down below for your tips, suggestions, and recommendations about the topic. Thanks!
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