A HANDBAG is just a handbag, right?
Well, if you’re talking high fashion, a second-hand bag can actually be a little more valuable than simply something you dump your wallet, keys, phone and make-up into.
In fact, there are luxury brands selling used designer handbags for more money than some houses.
Last year, someone coughed up almost half a million dollars for a rare 2014 Himalaya Birkin handbag by Hermes.
The bag, which sold at a Christie’s auction to a private Asian collector, was crafted from Nilo crocodile hide and finished with 18-carat white gold and diamond detail.
The value came from the skin used to craft the handbag, which was an almost albino crocodile specifically bred for Hermes.
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For the same price — $496,000 — you could buy a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment in the centre of Brisbane.
So why is there so much commotion — and coin — going into these bags
Originally, according to The Sun, the Birkin was manufactured for the actor Jane Birkin after she complained to Jean-Louis Dumas that it was difficult to find a leather weekend bag she liked.
The conversation took place on a 1981 flight to London, but it was from that exchange that the Birkin bag was born.
Since this serendipitous meeting, different variations of the Birkin bag have come out.
Subsequently, the prices vary too — ranging from $14,900 to $495,000.
And while most of us could never afford to cough up that kind of cash, the bags have plenty of celeb fans including the Kardashians, Victoria Beckham and Mariah Carey.
These high-end bags have certainly come a long way from when Grace Kelly — then Princess Grace — used a Hermes Sac to hide her growing baby bump from the press.
Subsequently, this other must-have from Hermes is now known as the Kelly bag.
For many of us, the idea of spending such a ridiculous sum on a second-hand bag seems silly.
But, if you’ve got the riches, it’s certainly worth the splurge.
Interest in second-hand Hermes bags has grown rapidly over the years, and not simply for the nostalgia.
Investment bank Jefferies told the BBC that some bags can generate returns of about 30 per cent a year.
Plus, if you’re after a new one there’s a waiting list.
Those in pursuit of a Birkin can wait up to seven years for a chance to get hold of one.
If it’s a rare version, like the Himalaya Birkin, there’s a chance you won’t even get on the list at all as they are reserved for special clientele.
So maybe it’s best to leave the overpriced bags for the likes of the Kardashians. Save your money and buy a house instead, folks.