Our last Dear PurseBop article (read Dear PurseBop: Should it Stay or Should it Go), really hit a nerve (or the nail on the head) for our community. Whether your Maria Condo-izing your hope looking for the joy-sparking bags, downsizing for life, financial or family reasons, or just deaccessioning), you all had thoughts, opinions and questions.
We tackle two more related issues now: What about those Birkin 35s and How to Sell Your Bags.
Should I get rid of my Birkin 35s
We are often and repeatedly asked whether to keep (or even buy) Hermès larger Birkins, and particularly the size 35. That is considered the “classic” or “original” UHG (ultimate holy grail bag) – the one that began the lore and fantasy. (Read Ode to the BIrkin 35).
Following our last Ask PurseBop discussion (read Dear PurseBop: Should it Stay or Should it Go), there are plenty of reasons to retain or rehome a bag. Simply being a B35 is not one of them. Although it may not seem the most popular of the options right now, we do not believe it will ever be the wrong bag to own.
For those of you who follow the resale/rehome/consignment market, you may have noticed a decline in prices for these bags. So even if you decide that B35 isn’t for you, it may not be the right time to sell, if you’re looking for a quick trade at a maximal price.
What’s the best way to sell a bag?
As with most things, “best” is very personal and depends upon what you’re seeking. We all want to maximize revenue in the easiest most trustworthy transaction possible. Unfortunately, those conditions may be mutually exclusive.
From our experience, you likely will get the most for your bag by selling it yourself to someone you know. It eliminates the middleman; generally the seller gets more and the buyer pays a better price, much like selling a home without a realtor. Of course, this presupposes that you know someone who wants your purse, which while it does happen once in a while, it’s not a given.
Another option is to sell it yourself using an online platform (or low-tech classified type advertising). There are fees involved, but not a substantial percentage. On the other hand, risk is a real factor. For sellers, there’s the concern the buyer won’t pay, or will cancel payment, claim defect or lack of authenticity or the like and you end up in some sort of dispute resolution and you no longer have your purse. Buyers fear the bag is fake.
A booming area of the handbag market now is the resale luxury goods market. And for good reason. Established and reliable purveyors of used luxury goods have a large audience of buyers and sellers, with inventory to match. Look at the range of options available at Fashionphile, for example. Naturally there’s an Ultimate Holy Grail Hermès White Matte Niloticus Himalaya B30 for $125,000, along with an Epson Black B35 for $15,950 and a Epson Black K28 for $18,500.
It is clearly easier and “safer” to sell through a well-established reseller (whether an individual, corporation or auction house). It handles the listing, terms of sale, authenticity and the like. You, however, pay for this piece of mind. If the reseller purchases your bag outright, you’ll net a lesser amount. If sold on consignment, the reseller takes a substantial percentage, so once again you (the seller) receive less.
We hope this discussion helps you determine your handbags’ future. Please let us know how you decide whether to hold or heave.