PARIS, June 24 ― Are second-hand shopping platforms about to replace auction houses? Perhaps not yet, but the sales records posted by some pre-owned goods specialists make you wonder. For example, a Birkin Faubourg bag by Hermès recently sold for €158,000 (RM732,459) on Vestiaire Collective ― much higher than the average price of the luxury label's legendary model.

Why invest in cryptocurrency, when you can step into the Parisian flagship of Hermès, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and buy yourself a Birkin bag? Better yet, you can skip the waiting lists by snapping up one up on the many luxury goods resales platforms that are growing at pace on the web. A real investment ― better than gold, according to some specialists ― bags from the French brand Hermès have always been coveted, but in recent months, they have reached record prices, even on the second-hand market.

The Vestiaire Collective platform hosted one such sale in May, when a Birkin Faubourg model went for €158,000, shattering the previous record set six months earlier by another bag... a Hermès Birkin bag, nonetheless. The latter sold for €112,000 ― already a staggering sum. A favorite bag of celebrities, and now of reality TV stars ― who show them off on social networks ― the Birkin sees its price rise from year to year, representing not only a symbol of wealth but also a real investment for fans and collectors.

A safe bet, a safe investment

The coveted accessory, which will celebrate its 40th birthday in 2024, is now being snapped up at a premium, and not only in auction rooms, where it can fetch six-figure sums. Vestiaire Collective explains that the average price of a Hermès bag is up 15 per cent in 2022 compared to last year. And this is by no means stopping customers from reaching deeper into their pockets. According to the second-hand platform, searches for Birkin bags have increased by an average of 20 per cent compared to last year, and sales peaked in January 2022 with a 40 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

“Timeless or classic handbags are a safe investment because they never go out of style and never lose their value,” explains Sophie Hersan, head of fashion and co-founder of the platform. “This is not the first time that Vestiaire Collective has sold an extremely rare Hermès, which is a testament to the trust of customers and the quality of the authentication service offered by the platform.”

Rarity is indeed one of the reasons why the second-hand market is the ideal solution for those who dream of a unique (or almost) model, and for the authentication services that guarantee you don't end up with a counterfeit. While a classic Birkin is priced under €10,000 in boutiques, prices climb to tens of thousands of euros for specific models on luxury second-hand platforms such as Collector Square and Vestiaire Collective, reflecting a growing craze for the iconic bag, which has gone from being a rare and precious accessory to a genuine financial investment in the space of just a few years. ― ETX Studio