I, too, have considered purchasing a new purse, but for more practical reasons. It's fall in New York, which means I've been thinking about starting a new capsule wardrobe in preparation for the cold—but I can't persuade myself that the $1,000 price tag on the latest one to catch my eye is worth it.
It turns out that I might be able to make a case for spending a lot of money on bags. With the market in upheaval and the danger of a recession, an increasing number of purchasers perceive luxury items as a safe place to put their money—and increase it.
Sotheby's organised simultaneous auctions of whiskey, jewels, and handbags in Hong Kong this summer, assuming that purchasers for one could be interested in all. (They were correct.) Handbags and watches were on sale alongside Ferraris during Monterey Car Week in Pebble Beach.
A Hermès handbag sold for a record price of €352,800 at a Sotheby's auction last month. It sold for over three times its pre-sale estimate, demonstrating that affluent buyers are ready to pay top dollar for rare luxury items that are gaining attention as store of value.
According to a July Business of Fashion report, 40% of US shoppers had purchased or planned to purchase a designer handbag, helping to boost the industry from a $72 billion worldwide market this year to an anticipated $100 billion in 2026. In June, Credit Suisse Group AG singled out the whole luxury bag category for its risk-reward proposition: Chanel bags increased in value by 24.5% year on year, compared to typical yearly stock market returns of roughly 10%.
Even Goodwill is getting into the designer game, launching GoodwillFinds, its first major online venture. The curated marketplace for donated products aims to compete with Poshmark Inc. and RealReal Inc., secondhand sites where reselling has become a sport for customers looking to flip expensive brands for profit.
The profit may not be sufficient to compete with a 401(k), but it is something. So, while I'm not sure I have the courage to spend $1,000+ on a purse I'd carry on the train, I'm beginning to believe having a handbag in storage is a smart idea—and here's a nice place to start.