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.”
By Lynnette age 46, and owner of lovelysvintageemporium.com (winner of the UK’s Best Online Vintage Fashion Shop)
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.
Wasting £3000 on a Chanel bag is a massive waste of money, not an investment! Raising prices is just a tactic to be perceived as the highest luxury brand. That’s what the company did in the 80’s and regularly does. It’s no secret. I have worked in this sector and I can tell you that there is nothing luxurious about Chanel bags, some of which are manufactured by Chinese immigrants on the outskirts of Florence for a mere €15 a piece. There have been investigations on this and were even broadcast on tv. Anyone who had £600 in 1990 was better off investing in state bonds or other and would now have heaps of cash and a lot more than the mere £1,400 that a bag would be worth. “But you can’t wear state bonds!” I hear you say. True, but the ROI would have allowed you to afford quality items that don’t feed illegal immigration and work, because there is nothing fashionable in this. I’ve worked for a big brand for years and would never buy this stuff!. At the end of the day, the really smart girl is the one with the cash and a roof over her head, not the fashionista with a bank overdraft and a herd of flatmates!