Quite some years ago I purchased a Mullberry Bayswater. This was my first expensive bag and I dearly treasured it. I also used it every day, rain or shine, and it frequently held a laptop and files. What I am saying is I used it as a bag. Imagine my surprise some years later when I discovered I could sell my battered but much loved Bayswater on eBay for more than I had paid for it. Why was this? It made no sense.
It turned out that I had, entirely accidentally, purchased the bag in a popular leather which was then discontinued by Mulberry, making it a collectors item. My bag now had greater value than when originally purchased. Despite being somewhat battered. Could I have known this when buying, I don’t think so, but who knows. Google ‘handbag as an investment’ and there are scores of sites and blogs with guidance on what is the current IT item and which bags are known to hold their value. The Birkin is one that instantly springs to mind, frequently stated to be an investment. Arguably, given the price, it would need to be.
I think there are investment opportunities out there, but who wants to keep a Chanel 2.55 wrapped in its original dust bag only to sell it at a later date?
I did a quick check on eBay for a few items I own, and a few I would like to. My Mulberry Bayswater, nearly 8 years old and pretty tired is now worth about 60% of what I paid for it. I don’t think that is too bad given the use I have had out of It. Were it in better (almost new) condition I could nearly get all my money back. Personally I’m glad I have used it. My Alexander McQueen small tan bag is worth 70% of what I paid for it. But I did buy it in the sale. It has been of value to me (this one is 6 years old) but not an investment. This one though is in excellent condition and I have visions of handing it down to future children/nieces.
Thinking short term, what did people really think when H&M released one of its collaborations (I’m thinking Stella McCartney) and the stores sold out but you could buy it all for double or more on eBay. Did we think the early bulk purchasers were savvy investors or just opportunists to be avoided as much as ticket touts?
For me, a purchase, particularly a handbag, is something to love. If later it gets sold for a reasonable amount, great. But I assess the value of an item in its use, not just its cost. So I think I’ll stop pretending I am investing for my financial future and just enjoy investing in my (and my nieces) fashion future.
Happy shopping, and remember: the value of your investments can go up as well as down 😉