How Can Us Young People Get Rich in 2022? Designer Handbags, Apparently

Instagram / @thepurseaffair

All we’re hearing is “inflation, inflation, inflation” and, as a relatively young person at the cusp of her career with not a huge amount of savings, I am feeling stressed.

Creating significant wealth as a millennial (and the generations below) in 2022 seems near impossible. Property prices are insanely expensive, as are other assets that used to be the starting point for growing wealth in our parents’ youth.

Really, it feels like our only option is to either hustle hustle hustle and put a penny away at a time — AKA play the long game — or work towards becoming a super successful influencer.

Now, if you’re a creative like me, and neither of those options sounds appealing or realistic to you — we might have the answer for you.

Turns out, second-hand designer handbags are actually a super valuable source of investment.

According to Angela Leung, founder of The Purse Affair, Australia’s largest retailer of pre-loved luxury designer handbags, some bags are going up by 20% per annum; year on year. In other words, your bag could be worth double its value in just under six years.

“For Australia, the luxury consignment industry has just started booming,” Leung tells POPSUGAR Australia.

“If you look at some of the graphs showing the historical values of the most classic handbags such as Hermes Birkins, Chanel Classic Flaps and the Lady Dior, the trend throughout the last three decades has always shown an increase in value. Much like a Rolex watch, designer handbags will see an annual price rise. Eventually, these price rises flow through to secondary markets. 

While Leung says she never doubted that designer handbag prices would continue to appreciate, she admits no one could’ve predicted the crunch during the pandemic. “The perfect storm of constrained supply and isolating home shoppers really took the prices of handbags, cars, watches and many other things through the stratosphere.

“Over the past two years, many bags have gone up by 50-100% in value. For example, the Chanel Diana has doubled in price from $4,000 to $8,000 today.”

Okay, so long story short — some designer bags are now even more valuable than they were before. Some of the classics are worth more than what I have in my savings account right now. Suddenly, Kanye gifting Julia Fox and all her friends Birkin bags is having a whole new meaning.

We can’t deny that some of the classic designer bags are worth more than ever before. But how does that work in our favour? Leung says that it’s not instant money, but will work as an incredible future investment.

“The intention should not be to make instant money but rather, to have an alternative asset more resistant to inflation. You can’t expect to buy a designer handbag and immediately ‘flip’ it. But then, if you held onto it for even just 2-3 years, you’d stand to gain 10-20% back.

“Luxury is also generally known to fare better than other sectors during economic downturns, normally due to the exposure to its higher income consumers. Therefore, handbag prices will remain resilient during any economic downturns.”

So, where our parents may have bought an investment property, we should start collecting designer handbags. Honestly? Sounds like a bit of a win for our generation.

Not only are handbags arguably more fun to buy (and wear), but they’re also a more trusted source of investment, given that the luxury sector is much less risky than other areas of the economy.

It does, however, matter what kind of designer bag you invest in.

“It’s important to pick bags that are easy to sell. My advice is to save up and invest in classic styles, like a Louis Vuitton canvas bags, Chanel Classic flaps or even a Hermes Birkin.

Leung suggests choosing a popular-sized bag in a neutral colour and maintaining the condition to the best of your ability. This not only means that you keep the bag itself in the best condition possible, but that you keep all it’s inclusions like it’s original box, dustbag and identification card.

“Whether it’s the Louis Vuitton Neverfull or the Chanel Classic Flap, these bags will continue to increase in price with yearly price adjustments in the boutique. Every time the boutique raises its price on the identical bag you own, you will benefit from the price increase…

“But most importantly; don’t do it for the money. If you love a specific designer, know that your purchase is an investment and will only increase in value.”

So, whether you just feel like treating yourself, are a designer bag fanatic, or are looking to start up a long-term side business — there seem to be no bad reasons to buy into the designer bag market.

You could follow in Leung’s footsteps, selling through social media and growing a wildly successful secondhand boutique, or simply shop for yourself and quietly grow your own collection.

All we’re here to tell you is that there are designer handbags that always increase in value and therefore, are not just a fun and indulgent but a very adult, “rainy day” purchase.

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