If you're a fashionista, you're no stranger to Hermès Birkin bags. These bags are known for their excellent handmade craftsmanship and exclusivity. In fact, the Hermès Birkin is the most Instagrammed bag of all time, with over 5.9 million posts! So, what makes these the most desired designer purses, and why are Birkin bags so expensive?
Well, when you combine the luxury brand of Hermés with the internationally known British actress Jane Birkin, it results in the most expensive Hermés bags in the world.
History of Hermes and the Birkin bag
The Hermés Brand is a family-owned French business that was first established in 1837. It may surprise you that Thierry Hermès started this company making bridles, harnesses, and other accessories for horses! However, it wasn't until 1922 when the first leather handbags made their debut for people.
Fast forward to 1983 on a flight from Paris to London. This was when Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas sat next to Jane Birkin where the idea for the most expensive Birkin bags in the world would transpire.
The actresses had just put her bag in the overhead compartment when all her things spilled to the floor. This was when she complained to Jean-Louis Dumas about not being able to find a leather bag that was stylish and useful. Thus, the idea for the Hermés Birkin bag was born.
Talk about being in the right place at the right time! The Hermés Brand has been in business for six generations and is now run by CEO Alex Dumas.
How much for a Birkin bag?
So, how much for a Birkin bag? As with most items, it depends on many factors. The style, type of leather, size, and of course, demand. The traditional leathers cost around $10,000 to $15,000 in-store. For instance, the Hermés 25 Birkin "Ombre Lizard" starts at about $12,000.
However, the most expensive Hermés bags are made with exotic leather and can run $25,000 and up. The most expensive Birkin bag is over six figures.
Birkin bag why so expensive?
So, the story behind the bag answers part of "why are Birkin bags so expensive?" but there are more factors why these are the most expensive Hermès bags in the world.
Due to exclusivity
One of the main reasons why Birkin bags are so expensive is due to the exclusivity of these purses. You can not just walk into a store and buy one; you need to build a spending history and relationship with a sales associate.
Even then, more than likely, you still may not be able to score one. In fact, in the past, there's been a Hermès Birkin bag waiting list! Part of the reason is they are shipped sporadically in limited quantities.
Another reason why these are the most expensive Hermés bags is that they are known as the "Celebrity It bag." Kate Moss, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, and many more celebrities sport these designer purses.
Therefore, this bag is a wealth status symbol. Another reason is that these bags are not mass-produced, which basically makes all of these bags a limited edition.
When it comes to the Hermès Birkin bags, it's quality over quantity. Again these are not mass-produced like many purses; these are handmade in France by trained artisans. They use the company's saddle stitching that was developed back in the 1800s. Each bag can take days to make, and there are no other makers in the world.
The most expensive Hermès bags are made with exotic leathers such as crocodile, ostrich, lizard, and goat skin. The hardware, such as the buckles, keys, and locks, has gold or palladium plating, which are precious metals.
You can even have one custom-made and accented with diamonds. This is why the value of these bags is so high. This really helps answer "why are Birkin bags so expensive."
Resellers drive up cost in the preowned market
Since it's so hard to attain a Birkin bag at a boutique, it has driven up the price in the preowned market. Due to demand and exclusivity, resellers can command two to four times the cost of the bag from the store!
In fact, resellers "flourished" during the COVID-19 lockdown. Luxury fashion shoppers' inability to shop in person turned them to the preowned market to find their dream bags. However, these bags will still likely command a high price tag due to the limited amount available.
The most expensive Birkin bag
The most expensive Birkin bag is the Himalayan Birkin bag that is priced at a whopping $432,000! This really makes some ask, "why are Birkin bags so expensive?" This bag is the rarest handbag in the world. It is made with Nilo crocodile skin dyed with coloration meant to induce images of the Himalayan mountains. This is a difficult process that takes hours to complete.
It is adorned with 18-karat white gold that is accented with white diamonds. The Cadena lock is 18-karat white gold, weighs over 68 grams, and has 1.64 carats worth of glittering diamonds on it. The other features of the bag are studded with over 200 diamonds that total up to 8.2 carats.
The original retail price of this bag was in the multi-six figures, but when you combine precious metals, diamonds, a rarity, it creates a sky-rocket in value.
Sites to learn all about Birkin bags
Before we get into where to buy a Birkin, check out sites so you can learn more about them. These sites are like a designer purse 101 for fashion lovers! They have information and discussions on luxury handbags by brands like Hermés, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and more.
Where to buy a Birkin
Now that you know why Birkin bags are so expensive, you may decide it's worth the investment. Although you may not be buying the Himalayan Birkin bag, you may have your sites set on another. But before we cover where to buy a Birkin, we want to stress the importance of purchasing designer handbags from reputable sellers.
There are so many luxury product scams, and you don't want to waste your money on a knock-off Hermès Birkin bag! So, do as much research as possible and only purchase from sellers that guarantee authenticity. Otherwise, you may wind up with a costly fake purse.
Buy a Birkin directly from a store
This is a harder way to buy a Birkin bag, but it is possible. The key is to stick to one store, build a relationship with a sales associate you connect with and express your dream of owning a Hermès bag without being pushy.
Buy a Hermés bag from reputable resellers
The easier way to buy a Birkin bag is from reputable resellers and tapping into the preowned market. Sites such as Fashionphile.com, therealreal.com, annsfabulousfinds.com, and vestiairecollective.com are the best places to buy authentic designer purses.
These sites guarantee the authenticity of their products, which prevents you from purchasing counterfeit items. Keep in mind though, you will be paying a premium for this convenience.
Authenticate your reseller purchase
You can take things a step further by having your bag authenticated. Having your bag certified that it is authentic can help you if you ever decide to resell it. The most popular authenticator is Bababebi Authentication Services. Another inexpensive way to authentic your purse is via the Purse Forum "Hermés authentication threads."
It's good to ensure you purchased a genuine Birkin bag! So, now you know where to buy a Birkin so let's get into how you can save for one!
How to save for a Birkin if it's on your ultimate dream list
Yes, the most expensive Hermés bags can indeed reach into the six-figures, such as the Himalayan Birkin bag, but there are many other styles of Birkin bags that may be on your dream list you could save for. The most important thing to remember is to save for your dream bag and NOT charge it and rack up credit card debt. High interest will make that purse cost so much more than it should.
So, to save for your desired Birkin bag, you need to know how much the bag you want costs. For instance, let's say the bag you want costs around $15,000, and you want to buy one in two years. So, you would take $15,000 and divide it into 24 months. So, $15,000 divided by 24 equals $625 a month.
To purchase your dream bag, you need to save roughly $157 a week. When you break it down into smaller goals it makes it easier to achieve! Now you know the exact amount of money you need to save each month to buy a Birkin bag. There are a few different ways you can accomplish this.
1. Start a side-hustle
One of the easiest ways to save more money is to earn more money! Starting a side-hustle is the perfect way to help you save up to buy a Birkin! You can actually make a lucrative income depending on which side-hustle you choose. Virtual assistants, Freelance Writers, and Financial Coaches easily make over $20 an hour! You could work about 8 hours a week and make your savings goal.
2. Start a money-savings challenge
It's much easier to stick to something like saving money when you make it fun. Money-savings challenges and money-savings charts are great ways to motivate you to save money! For instance, the save $10,000 in a year challenge can make you reach your goal even faster. Having a visual tracker helps you stay focused on your goal much easier too.
3. Cut expenses
Another simple way to save more money for your Birkin bag is to cut your budget. This is when you cut expenses such as cable or other unnecessary things from your budget. In fact, the average cable bill costs $85 a month. So check out cable alternatives to save that money for what you truly want. You can also find other crazy ways to save money to bulk up your account faster!
4. Automate your savings
One of the easiest ways to save to buy a Birkin is to automate your savings. This is when you set up automatic transfers into your savings account. So, you would set up to transfer $157 a week from your checking to your savings. This keeps you from spending the money you are trying so hard to save for your new bag.
5. Open a dedicated account for your expensive Birkin bag
The best way to save for something specific such as a Birkin bag is to open a dedicated account for it! My favorite way to do this is to open a Christmas Club Account. My reasoning behind this is because you can't withdraw from a Christmas Club Account without a penalty, so it helps prevent tapping into that money. A regular savings account is too accessible. A Christmas Club Account makes you think twice before dipping into it!
Demand and Exclusivity are why Birkin bags are so expensive
So, now you have the answer to "why are Birkin bags so expensive?" It's basically the demand and exclusivity that drive up the cost. But, of course, the excellent craftsmanship, along with being adorned with precious metals, plays a big part too!
So, although they are costly, saving for one is possible if you truly desire to own one. However, before you start saving for a Birkin, be sure you have a decent emergency fund built up and are debt-free. Prioritizing your finances should always come before luxury purchases.
Also, don't fall into thinking that designer bags are good financial investments. Most bags lose value unless they are in pristine condition and even then can not bring in as much money as you hope. Instead, learn how to invest your money wisely with our completely FREE investment courses!