Chanel Resale Prices Have Skyrocketed: An Investigative Report

It’s no secret that over the last few years there’s been a shift in Chanel prices. In fact, more than two years ago, Chanel announced a plan to harmonize prices worldwide. As a result, the cost to purchase a Chanel handbag in Paris is virtually the same as in Asia and the United States (and elsewhere). Many locations saw price increases, and Asia experienced a 20% decrease. But it worked: retail prices worldwide are now more closely aligned.

Enter the global pandemic. As it boomed around the world in late 2019 and early 2020, locations experienced long lockdowns to tackle the virus, many of which continue to date. In this environment, the last thing we expected were multiple luxury price hikes. And yet, it happened with many brands, including and perhaps especially Chanel.

chanel resale price

Photo Credit: @pinkybearbags

Chanel significantly raised prices on most of its iconic bags over a 15 month period. On October 31, 2019 prices generally increased 2% to 4%, on May 21, 2020 prices increased 8% to 12%, and finally in January, 2021 prices increased 4% to 7%. Naturally there were exceptions, like the WOC which experienced a huge 24% increase! Although the stated reason was the ongoing global price harmonization, at the time, we suspected something else, beyond the alleged rising costs of raw materials. Surely, the lack of potential sales during the pandemic and the need to buoy the bottomline contributed to the pricing strategy.

Read:
Here’s How Much Chanel Prices are Rising (October 24, 2019);
Alert: Chanel to Increase Prices in the United States (May 11, 2020);
Chanel Admits to Price Increase (May 13, 2020);
USA Chanel Price Increase 2020: Here are the New Prices for 2020 (May 19, 2020);
Brace Yourselves: Chanel Prices to Increase in the US…Again! (January 21, 2021)

Chanel resale prices

Photo Credit: @ctuongg

To recap, the current retail prices (as of January, 2021) in the U.S. of the most popular Chanel bags are as follows:

Chanel Mini Classic Flap Styles & WOCOld Prices (USD)New Prices Jan ’21 (USD)Increase (%)
Mini Classic Flap (Square)$3,600$3,8005.5%
Mini Classic Flap (Rectangular)$3,800$4,0005.2%
WOC$2,500$3,10024%
Chanel Mini Classic Flap Styles & WOCOld Prices (USD)New Prices Jan ’21 (USD)Increase (%)
Mini Classic Flap (Square)$3,600$3,8005.5%
Mini Classic Flap (Rectangular)$3,800$4,0005.2%
WOC$2,500$3,10024%
Chanel Classic Flap StylesOld Prices (USD)New Prices Jan ’21 (USD)Increase (%)
Classic Small Flap$5,800$6,2006.9%
Classic Medium Flap$6,500$6,8004.6%
Classic Jumbo Flap$7,100$7,4004.2%
Classic Maxi Flap$7,700$8,0003.9%
Chanel Classic Flap StylesOld Prices (USD)New Prices Jan ’21 (USD)Increase (%)
Classic Small Flap$5,800$6,2006.9%
Classic Medium Flap$6,500$6,8004.6%
Classic Jumbo Flap$7,100$7,4004.2%
Classic Maxi Flap$7,700$8,0003.9%
Chanel Reissue Bag StylesOld Prices (USD)New Prices Jan ’21 (USD)Increase (%)
Reissue 224 Bag$5,800$6,2006.9%
Reissue 225 Bag$6,500$6,8004.6%
Reissue 226 Bag$7,100$7,4004.2%
Reissue 227 Bag$7,700$8,0003.9%
Chanel Reissue Bag StylesOld Prices (USD)New Prices Jan ’21 (USD)Increase (%)
Reissue 224 Bag$5,800$6,2006.9%
Reissue 225 Bag$6,500$6,8004.6%
Reissue 226 Bag$7,100$7,4004.2%
Reissue 227 Bag$7,700$8,0003.9%
Chanel 19 Bag StylesOld Prices (USD)New Prices Jan ’21 (USD)Increase (%)
Chanel19 Medium Bag$4,800$5,1006.2%
Chanel19 Large Bag$5,300$5,6005.6%
Chanel19 Maxi Bag$5,800$6,2006.9%
Chanel 19 Bag StylesOld Prices (USD)New Prices Jan ’21 (USD)Increase (%)
Chanel19 Medium Bag$4,800$5,1006.2%
Chanel19 Large Bag$5,300$5,6005.6%
Chanel19 Maxi Bag$5,800$6,2006.9%
Chanel Boy Bag StylesCurrent Prices (USD)New Prices Jan ’21 (USD)Increase (%)
Small Boy Bag$4,600$4,9006.5%
Medium Boy Bag$5,000$5,3006%
Large Boy Bag$5,600$5,600Nil
Chanel Boy Bag StylesCurrent Prices (USD)New Prices Jan ’21 (USD)Increase (%)
Small Boy Bag$4,600$4,9006.5%
Medium Boy Bag$5,000$5,3006%
Large Boy Bag$5,600$5,600Nil

Resale Market Prices

Given the huge shift in Chanel handbag price points, we had to wonder whether it trickled down to the secondary market. Our investigation shows it has. 

Remember when you could scour the resale market online and find a preloved Chanel bag in excellent condition for less than retail? Well, those days are over. Since the multiple price increases over the past fifteen months, Chanel bag prices on the resale market also skyrocketed despite their condition. New or excellent condition classic flap bags, particularly in caviar leather and highly sought after colors, are listed for $2,000-$4,000 over the retail price. And Chanel mini rectangular bags, in both caviar and lambskin, are seeing up to a 150% increase over the retail price for the most desirable colors.

Photo Credit: @claire.banx

Small and Medium Classic Flaps

The 21C and 21S light pink caviar Rose Claire classic flaps set off a frenzy in early 2021 with everyone searching for the perfect pink bag. They sold out before ever reaching the floor. The new fall colors coming out in 21A and 21B this summer and fall will likely cause a similar frenzy.

Read:
Chanel Reveal: Is This the Year of the Perfect Pink Classic Flap?
Reveal: Oh Chanel, What Have You Done to Me (Again)! and
Chanel Has Us Drooling Over the Colors of Its Classic Flap for Fall 2021.

Photo Credit: @fwdstyling

Most would agree that Chanel’s latest hues are the best array of colors ever seen in one calendar year. Despite pandemic lockdowns, shortages in materials, shipping delays, the limited ability to shop, and the inability to travel, demand far exceeds supply.

Since it has been nearly impossible to score your dream color classic flap in the Chanel boutique, the natural place to shop is the resale market. However, prices for the most popular styles and colors are listed at a premium, rivaling only Birkins and Kellys.

For example, if you can even find a 21C or 21S light pink caviar Rose Clair medium classic flap on the resale market you will likely pay between $9250 – $10,500. That is $2,450 – $3,700 over retail. But will your new Chanel bag retain its value in the future? Once you use your bag it is no longer considered new and the value likely drops. Further, will the demand for this color, size, leather, and hardware still be popular in the future should you wish to rehome your once highly sought after classic flap? It is hard to say.

Photo Credit: @karenzkloset

Historically, Chanel bags have not retained their value as well as Hermès Birkins and Kellys. Will all that change now that Chanel appears to be limiting supply, putting limits on the number of bags you can buy per year, releasing highly desirable colors and leathers, and offering these bags to Chanel’s VIP clients first? It is possible, but unlikely. Although it is more difficult for a new buyer off the street with no relationship with a SA to obtain new collection pieces, it is possible to purchase the classic flaps and mini flaps that do reach the boutique floor. Despite Chanel’s presumed strategy, it is too early to predict whether the classic flaps will retain their value on the resale market in the same way Hermès bags have performed.

Lambskin Quilted Mini Rectangular Flap

On the resale market, the listed price of a Chanel mini rectangular flap bag in new or excellent condition is staggering. 

Chanel ceased producing mini rectangles in caviar leather in 2018. So perhaps it is not surprising that a black caviar mini rectangular flap bag in new or excellent condition sells for $2500 to $3,000 over retail. Caviar leather, due to its popularity and durability, is usually priced at a higher premium than the same bag in lambskin on the resale market. But it appears that even lambskin mini rectangular flap bags (both with the top handle and the classic) are selling for several thousand dollars over retail.

Photo Credit: @claire.banx

When the 21P lambskin caramel mini and medium classic flap arrived, everyone wanted it. Only the lucky and VIPs scored this beauty. Then came the two-tone 21P candy colored lambskin mini flap with rainbow hardware in green, pink, blue and yellow.  And don’t forget the 21S gorgeous neon yellow lambskin mini rectangle Pursebop scored at her Chanel boutique. The tennis ball neon yellow set the internet on fire in search of more neon colored mini flaps, but extremely few have been spotted.
Read:
Reveal: The 21S Classic Flap that Makes My Heart Sing
New Chanel Colors for 21S are TDF and Here’s The First Look at the Classic Mini with Handle!

chanel resale prices

Photo Credit: @loveandquilts

Basic lambskin mini rectangular flaps start at $500 over retail on the resale market. If they are in a highly desirable color such as black, caramel, pink, rose gold, gray, beige, neon, or white, you may pay $2500-$3500 over retail. If you can even find a 21P caramel classic mini flap on the resale market you will likely pay $7500, which is almost double the retail price! And the same holds for the new mini rectangle with top handle which are priced several thousand dollars over retail.

Should You Cash Out and Rehome Your Highly Desirable Flap Bag?

The resale market has clearly capitalized on Chanel’s multiple price increases, increased demand, and decreased supply. With all the inflated prices on the resale market, you must be thinking that you could resell your classic or mini flap bag for a premium and reap the benefits of the lack of supply and incredible demand. Not so fast.

Chanel Resale Price

Photo Credit: @arisucookie

Based on our team members’ personal experiences, when trying to sell our own highly desirable mini and classic flaps, all of which were new with tags attached, our offers were surprisingly well below retail prices.

It made us wonder if the resale market was flooded with highly desirable bags purchased by resellers or end users wishing to turn a profit? Or are the resellers unwilling to pay a premium for Chanel bags in the same way they pay for Hermès bags? Put another way, are the only folks benefitting from the soaring prices and demand, resellers? There is no history of Chanel bags retaining their value at these inflated prices. And there is no data showing the same demand continuing into the future. Without historical data in support, it will take time to establish the true value of Chanel bags at current prices on the resale market in the future

Chanel Resale Prices

Photo Credit: @karenzkloset

We are curious what our community members have experienced when buying and reselling their highly desirable mini, small and medium Chanel classic flaps. Keep the conversation going and share your experiences with us.

Love PurseBop
XO

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