Luxury handbags get big return on their investment

Your next great investment could be hanging right over your shoulder.

Designer handbags carry big value on the resale market, as more e-commerce sites give fashionistas an incentive to sell their used purses on the second-hand market.

Rebag, the New York City-based luxury handbag resale site, launched a new tool to help users see exactly how much their Gucci, Fendi, Prada or just about any designer handbag is worth.

The Dior Saddle Bag.

Its new Comprehensive Luxury Appraisal Index for Resale tells users exactly how much money they can get back from selling used or like-new designer bags. Users simply upload details about the bag they’re trying to sell including the designer, style, size, color, model and rate its condition on a scale from A, B, C or D. Then, Rebag’s Clair tool will reveal the price the company will pay to buy it.

“We call Hermes the unicorn, it projects over 80% of the resale value,” Charles Gorra, the founder of Rebag, told FOX Business of the French fashion house that has a high return on investment. He says other designers like Chanel, Louie Vuitton and Gucci retain a value that’s between 60 and 70%.

Louis Vuitton is one of the most popular brands on the resale market. 

The tool is also meant for users to use before they invest in buying a new handbag, so they can see how much they’ll get if they try to resell it.  Gorra compares the tool to Kelley Blue Book, the company that reports the market value price for new and used cars and other vehicles like motorcycles and snowmobiles.

“You would never buy a car without checking Kelley Bluebook first. It’s the idea of the net price. It's what you’re paying today, minus the value you’re going to capture," Gorra said.

A number of celebrities have invested in their handbag collections over the years. The leading ladies on "Sex & The City" toted around many of the handbag styles that have had a lucrative resurgence in recent months, like Carrie's famous Fendi Baguette bag, now worth more than $1,000 on the resale market, and the coveted red Birkin bag Samantha's character faked celebrity status to get.

Kylie Jenner, one of the world's youngest billionaires, has a closet dedicated to over a reported 400 handbags from designers like Chanel, Dior and limited edition Hermès Birkins. She called them "a great investment."

Kylie Jenner called her handbag collection of more than 400 designers, including Chanel and Hermès, a "great investment." (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Indeed, the U.S. resale market has grown 21 times faster in the U.S. compared to any other retail sector in the fashion industry in the past there years, according to GlobalData as reported by the Financial Times, which estimates the resale market is worth $24 billion and will increase to $51 billion by 2023.

And more consignment websites have been capturing a piece of the market. The RealReal, gives buyers up to 90% off luxury brands. And Poshmark, a marketplace for used clothing, shoes and accessories, sells used designer handbags like the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag up for sale for $500 (the current cost is $1,070). Ebay, meanwhile, has one of the largest resale reaches in the world.

Here’s how to maximize the return on your handbag investment:

Treat your handbag like a baby – take care of it.

Condition is everything when it comes to maximizing the value of your purchase to make it attractive to the resale market, Gorra says. So try to avoid wear-and-tear as much as you can.

“The more the bag is damaged, the less you’re going to recapture,” Gorra said.

Package it like it’s brand new.

Do your best to save the dust bag your purse came in along with the receipt, and tags you might have to show that the bag is authentic.

“I recommend keeping as much as you can -- the box [it came in], anything that makes it as close to looking like the new item,” Gorra said.


Take photos and be transparent.

Prospective buyers want to know exactly what they’re paying for and photos are crucial to driving the sale.

Take photos of the handbag to get close up shots of the inside label, and capture every angle of the bag to show off the quality and condition.

“Be as accurate and transparent as possible. There is no upside in trying to select the wrong bag, overstate the condition or not show certain ware. Ultimately, once we receive the items we will make our final offer based on what we actually receive; you can’t really game the system,” Gorra said.