According to style and shopping site racked.com the price of Chanel handbags has skyrocketed over the last decade so that they go up on average by 15% every year.
We all love a fashion classic like a Chanel handbag but the truth is that they were a better investment in the past than now. It all comes down to pricing and simple economics. The more you pay, then the less likely they will go up enough over time to even match your original outlay.
A vintage Chanel handbag (i.e. one that is 20 or more years old) will hold its value more than a new one will now if you keep it for 20 years. For example, a Chanel grey padded wool handbag that was about £600 when new in the 1990s will now sell for about £1400. But I doubt a £3000 new Chanel handbag in 2014 will be worth £7000 by 2034.
At lovelysvintageemporium.com we often sell vintage Chanel handbags on behalf of their owners who then see profits of over 200% on Chanel bags they purchased in the 1970s and 1980s. But more recent Chanel purchases are worth less now than they paid for them.
Resale pricing does also of course depend on wear and tear. If you can afford to buy a few Chanel handbags, and keep them in pristine condition, then they may well turn out to be an investment. But if you can only afford one Chanel handbag and you use it every day for the next ten years then it is purely a good cost-per-wear investment and not a sell-on investment.
Racked.com also investigated the pricing of the classic Chanel flap bag in black lambskin in a medium size and found that it was £995 to buy new in 2005 and is now £2,950 to buy new. Some of this price increase is due to the cost of raw materials and labour, both of which have increased over the last decade. But it is also to do with maintaining the status of Chanel as the ultimate luxury brand.
Luxury never did mean cheap…
A quote by a Chanel spokesperson on racked.com would not confirm pricing tactics but they did say: “Like all major luxury brands, we regularly adjust our prices in line with changes to our models, production costs, the price of raw materials and exchange rate fluctuations.”
Plus, as Thomai Serdari, associate professor at New York University says on racked.com: “In order to maintain exclusivity and to keep increasing profit, they must increase the price of bags.”