New or Preloved? How far will luxury designers push price increases?

If you follow my Instagram profile - @miss.shirley.girly - you know from my feed that I have a weakness for Chanel.  I’m a fan of Chanel accessories – in particular their handbags, brooches, and costume jewellery.  I’ve been a collector of Chanel since my early 20s, which means more than 2 decades ago. I started with their costume jewellery necklaces, and then ventured out to their brooches.  I’ve accumulated more than 8 medium classic flaps in different colors of lambskin and caviar leather.  Little did I know that my interest in Chanel bags would turn into ‘investment’ bags.  Chanel handbags are iconic, highly sought-after, and demand is always higher than supply. Hence, Chanel continues to boost the prices of their most coveted offerings, and consumers will continue to pay. Since the start of the pandemic, Chanel has boosted bag prices 4 times, already!? We all cringe at this thought, but will this stop you from buying a boutique-new-Chanel classic flap?  Or will you venture to the pre-loved marketplace, for your next Chanel bag?  

My net worth for my medium classic flaps have increased exponentially from my hoarder tendencies.  Should I let them go and invest in a Hermes bag?  Should I continue to keep them for a bigger return on the resale market? Chanel is a brand with undeniable staying power when considering investing in a designer piece.  The Chanel Classic flap sells well because the constant increase in the retail price that they impose on a regular basis, even pre-pandemic.  With these price increases, it makes this model of bag highly coveted in the resale market. The rate of inflation is ridiculous at the moment as they continue to raise their prices, every quarter or so.  Which is much more than general inflation over the years! Chanel has increased their prices between 10-20% over this year already.  This trend seems to be with every other business and fashion brand in the world, stating the obvious reason of dealing with the economic downturn from the effects of the global pandemic. 

The global pandemic has affected us all.  Others may have gotten richer, and continually have the purchasing power to never need to look at the price tag.  The majority of us work hard for our money.  And we value our hard-earned money. I’m a single-mom and very independent.  At this point of my life, I feel ashamed to spend and carry a $10K Chanel or Hermes bag.  Since I know I can spend this $10K towards my child’s education or a new car for them.  I’m certainly not judging those that carry and can afford a $10K handbag.  Everyone has different choices and values.  Some may find value on buying first class tickets, while others oppose and feel it’s a waste of money.  I’m not here to judge or preach.  You are the consumer and you have the power to choose.  For me, I feel that Chanel retailer has pushed me too far and I’m experiencing price-increase-fatigue, is that a thing?  Buying luxury is no longer a fun indulgence, and it feels wrong.  In my opinion, the current prices are out of proportion.  Chanel bags don’t have the same quality equivalency as Hermes bags.  Vintage Chanel bags have much better craftsmanship and leather quality, than current bags.  I’d know, because I own a range of them from 1990 - 2021. As well, Chanel Boutiques do not have the customer service level as Hermes Boutiques.  There’s also a lack of selection at the Chanel Boutiques. I feel as though I am powerless with my ‘purchasing power’.  Where’s the fun factor in shopping at luxurious boutiques?  

I’d rather buy on the preloved market. I’m not shy to buy preloved, whether it be a very vintage 90s piece to a ‘like-new’ 2020 piece.  I can take my time to select the bag I want, compare price points and conditions.  The preloved market is a positive thing to consider when being faced with further inflation pricing from your favorite designers.  The preloved market is booming, due to the constant price increase from your favorite designers.  Their best-selling pieces are becoming more and more accessible.  The preloved market is more affordable and environmentally-friendly.  Whenever I shop preloved, I make sure I’m shopping from a reputable site.  You will need to do your research and ensure the platform you’re purchasing your luxury goods from is a legitimate one.  Where is this seller located?  Will I need to pay duty?  How quickly are they able to provide me more pictures and details?  Do they guarantee authenticity and how?  What is their return policy? What are their reviews?  Can I pay with cash/credit card/e-transfer/Pay Pal?  Do they offer payment plans?  As a consumer, you want peace of mind, even for a preloved bag. With fluctuating supply and demand, and eminent price increases, the top designer bags and styles will continue to perform well on the resale market, and they retain their value, time and time again.

@leididonnaluxe you can shop a wide collection of authentic, preloved luxury handbags and accessories. Some up to 70% off retail. Savvy women out there, nows a great excuse to build your luxury collection!  

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