If you were lucky to acquire a highly collectable investment item, it needs a lot of TLC, says Christie’s handbag specialist, Rachel Koffsky.
If you ask any auctioneer of upmarket goods what’s in short supply, the answer is likely to be handbags. Designer bags by the likes of Birkin, Chanel, Vuitton, Prada and Dior seldom come under the hammer because owners are reluctant to part with them and they are often handed down through generations.
But supposing you were lucky to acquire such a highly collectable investment item, it needs a lot of TLC, says Christie’s handbag specialist, Rachel Koffsky. Here she provides tips about maximising the value:
1 Keep a paper trail: Keep all purchase documentation readily available. Exotic handbags require permits for international shipping, and authenticity cards and certificates can be required for the repair of certain brands. Insurance appraisals may require invoices.
2 Put the bag in storage: Proper storage is crucial to maintaining resale value. Condition is key on the secondary market – and this means appropriate packing.
3 Exotic handbags and rain don’t mix: Although exotics may appear durable, they are susceptible to water damage. When a precious Porosus crocodile-skin bag ends up rain-speckled, the damage will be permanent.
4 Pens and lipstick are your bag’s sworn enemies: When it comes to valuation, the condition of a handbag’s interior is also important. Even light pen or lipstick marks can reduce resale value.
5 Moisturise: With regular visits to a handbag “spa”, a piece’s lifespan and resale value can be ensured. Moisturising leather will protect against cracks and permanent damage.
6 Operate a rotation system: Using each bag in your collection as on a rotational basis will ensure a longer life for all – a utilitarian tote for the office, for example, and a delicate clutch for evening.
7 Buy from trusted outlets: Be wary of too-good-to-be-true bargains, and don’t be afraid to consult an expert if you think a deal is suspiciously good.
8 Resale value: It is critical to think about a bag’s resale value, even if you never mean to sell.
If your handbag is valuable on the secondary market, it is also more likely to be valuable to your heirs.
Fundamental to resale value is the quality of a bag’s craftsmanship and design.
9 Think “quality” when collecting: Handmade always rules – assembly-line construction cannot match the quality of an item made in an atelier.
10 Be sure to show it off: Your handbag should reflect your style and personality. So, providing your walks of life are safe, do some boastful strutting with your heavenly handbag.