Can’t stand the hustle and bustle that goes with shopping during the holidays in Manhattan? Are you looking for a very special gift (one that doesn’t require a long waiting list)? If so, then you should check out Christie’s Handbags & Accessories December Online auction in progress now. And even if don’t mind hustle and bustle or long waiting lists, check it out, too. Offering a great range of pristine handbags from such top brands as Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Bulgari and Christian Louboutin, this sale runs from December 2nd-12th, with estimates ranging form $300-500 to $ 70,000 to 90,000. The online sale items can also be viewed in-person at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries.
Earlier in the year we spoke with Christie’s specialist Rachel Koffsky about buying handbags at auction. As Koffsky points out, bags crafted by Hermes make up the majority of the auctions. Their exclusivity (the bags take up to 30 to 40 hours to make) and their celebrated craftsmanship–the bags are stitched by hand with the brand’s famous saddle stitch–contribute to their rock-solid valuations. Here are Koffsky’s insights on buying handbags in the secondary market:
The styles that retain their value best: For Hermès that would be the Birkin, the Kelly and the Constance. From Chanel, the Classic Flap Bag holds its value the most of any style. Other collectible models are the Boy Bag, and the Shopper Totes. We advise our clients to stay away from über-trendy models that will inevitably become passé within a few months.
The color of Hermes bags and its impact on valuations: The brand is known for signature shades, with more than 100 available to choose from. Reds — whether fiery, bright or deep-blood tones — have become legendary; blues are available as rich turquoise, deep-blue marines, or soft sky; pinks range from shocking to the shade of a light lipstick; greens come in olive or rich chlorophyll shades, such as ‘vert céladon’. Then, of course, there’s the ‘So Black’, on which everything, from the leather to the handles and lining is a deep noir.
Selling a bag for more than you paid: The tried and true Hermès Birkin and Kelly, and the Chanel Flap Bag are the only pieces that have consistently gone up in value on the secondary market over the past ten-plus years when compared to the original retail price.