There's an old saying about the only sure things in life being death and taxes, but if you're a handbag buyer, there's another inevitability: price increases. With brands like Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton, they're fairly easy to track; because the bags are only available from the company's boutiques, all the new product arrives at once and sales associates warn their loyal customers in advance. With brands that wholesale bags to third-party retailers and department stores, it's a little trickier.
Because we have a wealth of back-data on bag prices to sift through (hello, PurseBlog post archives), we selected eight super-popular bags from brands that sell their wares at department stores and did some spot-checks to see how much, if at all, the prices have gone up for the versions that have just arrived in stores. Almost all of them had, and we've detailed the price differences below.
In a couple instances, there are still old-priced bags available online, and a particularly resourceful sales associate at your local department store may also be able to find you one of the lower-priced bags in store.
Valentino Medium Rockstud Trapeze Tote
Previous Price: $2,395
Current Price: $2,495
Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Large Tote
Previous Price: $2,950
Current Price: $3,490
This was easily the largest price increase we found among popular bags; Saint Laurent's Sac de Jour is both a celebrity and consumer favorite, and the brand clearly thinks that interest will persevere through a steep jump in price.
Gucci Jackie Soft Shoulder Bag
Previous Price: $2,350
Current Price: $2,350
Despite the Jackie Soft collection's warm reception by shoppers, Gucci seems to have taken a conservative track on price increases because of the change in the brand's creative control.
Givenchy Antigona Bag
Previous Price: $2,405
Current Price: $2,435
In the grand scheme of things, this is a barely noticeable change.
Fendi Petite 3Jours Tote
Previous Price: $2,550
Current Price: $2,650
This price increase is definitely brand new for Spring 2015; some retailers still have Resort 2015 bags available for the old price, including Saks.
Coach Dakotah Rivets Bag
Previous Price: $525
Current Price: $525
Coach's current lineup is fairly new and the contemporary market is more price sensitive than higher tiers, so it makes sense that prices at the brand are stable lately.
Céline Tricolor Mini Luggage Tote
Previous Price: $3,450
Current Price: $3,450
Céline went crazy with price increases when the Luggage Tote first became popular (it originally retailed for $1,750!), but the brand seems to have found some chill; Céline's last price increase was in Spring 2014.
Balenciaga Classic City Bag
Previous Price: $1,545
Current Price: $1,835
I remember very clearly when this bag was $1,195, which makes me feel juuuust a little bit old.