If you are able to get your hands on one of the most iconic Hermès bags, it could potentially be worth more than gold, according to a study from Baghunter, an online retailer for luxury handbags. Comparing three different types of investments — the S&P 500, gold and Birkin bags, Baghunter found that while the stock market and the value of gold can swing up and down, that is not the case for the value of Hermès’ Birkins. In fact, the bags continue to increase in value, by an annual average of 14.2 percent, according to Baghunter. In other words, the pricey handbags, which retail for upwards of $10,000, do not have bad years, making them “safest and least volatile investment market of the three.”
In Baghunter’s study, the online handbag consignment marketplace compared three different types of popular investments: the S&P 500, gold and Hermès Birkin handbags. The Birkin bag, named for actress Jane Birkin, turns out is a sound investment outperforming the other two traditional investment vehicles.
During the 35-year period, Baghunter found that Hermès Birkin handbags have increased in value year-over-year. The handbag has offered an average annual value increase of 14.2 percent. Unlike the S&P 500 and gold, the value of Birkin handbags has never decreased and has steadily and consistently increased. The handbag’s peak surge value occurred in 2001 when it increased in value by 25 percent, and the lowest increase was 2.1 percent in 1986.
2015 saw a record-breaking year for Hermès Birkin bags, with a record sale for a single handbag sold at auction broken by a pink crocodile-skin Birkin, sold for 223,000 dollars. During the same period, S&P averaged out at an 8.65 percent real annual return, and gold, the most popular commodity to invest in, saw an average annual return of only 1.9 percent.
Baghunter suggests that the data of these three investment options can be used as an indicator of future market fluctuations. While the S&P 500 and gold are subjected to normal increases and decreases, Birkin bags have only weighed positively since the style’s introduction. The report adds that the Birkin bags, which can cost up to 150,000 pounds new, marks the “safest and least volatile investment market” of the three. The only problem might be getting your hands on one, as the style is produced in limited quantities and there is a permanent waiting list, which can be as long as six years.
Reflecting on the report as a whole, a rep for Baghunter said, “As a status symbol for the elite and ultra-rich, the main factor affecting the secondary market for Birkins is desire. The exclusivity of the bag along with the difficulty in purchasing one brand new from Hermes means 2016 begins with demand far outweighing supply on the secondary and investment market for Birkin bags.”