Investing in your first designer handbag is no small task. Finding the right one, especially if it's vintage, is a feat in and of itself — and that's before you even think about the price. Different from most cases of vintage shopping, buying a secondhand designer bag can cost more than double the price you'd pay if you bought it new à la Barneys. Why? There are a few reasons: first, if a certain style has come and gone, the only way you can purchase it is secondhand. Rarity, after all, doesn't come cheap. Then there's the case of the rising secondhand market. As vintage Birkins rise in value, they often overtake their modern counterparts. The reason that clothing and shoes rarely move with the same upward mobility is that, well, you wear them. Soles scuff, coffee stains your dress, or the worst: Aiden's dog eats your Manolo's. Bags, however, stay perfectly wrapped in a dust bag at the top of your closet (right where they belong).
Luckily, online resale shops like Vestiaire Collective, Heroine and TheRealReal are taking the work out of vintage shopping. Instead of scouring every antique shop, vintage warehouse and overpriced curated boutique in town for a mint condition Dior Saddle bag that won't break the bank, you can browse thousands of thoroughly-vetted designer handbags online. But therein lies the million dollar question: Which luxury handbag are you going to buy?
We're all for making a split-second shopping decision on Zara sundresses and trendy trinkets from Amazon, but when the item you're ordering costs more than your rent, we suggest getting some background. Fortunately, the research team at Vestiaire Collective dug up everything there is to know about which bags are trending, which are worth the most right now and which will never go out of style (or decrease in value). In other words, they're doing the work for us.
First up are the new kids on the block, a.k.a. the specific handbags styles that have made the most noise over the last six months. For those of you who spend a majority of your day scrolling through Instagram, the top spot probably won't surprise you. Dior's iconic Saddle bag has seen its value on the secondhand market increase by 191% year-over-year (YOY). To give you a real life example of what that means, I bought this exact handbag for less than $250 12 months ago, and now look at the price. That'll teach you not to wait on a deal. Fendi's 90s classic shoulder bag, the Baguette, comes in a close second, with its average selling price seeing an increase of 178% YOY. You can thank Carrie Bradshaw for that one. Gucci's Marmont bag is selling out right and left, with a 66% increase in new submissions on VestiaireCollective.com YOY thanks to every influencer and her assistant carrying one during Fashion Month.
For bags that are sure to maintain their value for years to come, Vestiaire says to go with Dior (again), Balenciaga or Louis Vuitton. More specifically, the Lady Dior bag has completely maintained its average selling price YOY and Balenciaga's City style has seen a steady 18% sales increase YOY. Louis Vuitton's Noé bucket bag on the other hand, is the one you'll find most on the site, with new submissions increasing by 148% YOY. That might sound like a bad thing, but in reality, an increase in Noé bags for sale means that their previous owners see an opportunity to finally make a profit off their old buys.
Lastly, there are the forever bags, the Birkins and (old) Célines of the bunch. Data suggests just what you'd expect, that these iconic styles will continue to be favorites among shoppers. After all, Birkins are said to be a better investment than gold. With a 71% increase YOY in new submissions, it's safe to say that fashion's most sought-after handbag is one splurge you won't regret. Following the Hermès classic are Céline bags, which have seen a steady increase of 12% YOY, and the Mulberry Bayswater bag, which has steadily increased by 11% YOY.
If my Saddle bag story, or all this highly-researched data for that matter, has taught you anything, sitting on this information is not recommended. So before old Céline bags increase in price even more than they already have (sorry, Hedi), take what you've learned and invest in a bag worth splurging on.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?