Real Talk

Buy the Bag You Love, Not the One You Will Sell

What if the bag that you fall in love with is one with a less than desirable resale value?

Brands like Chanel continue to bet big on iconic, classic designs with proven staying power. Their Classic Flap and 2.55 Reissue bags have been around for decades. Chanel’s constant investment in remarketing these bags has led to a continued (and growing) demand for these evergreens, allowing Chanel to command ever-increasing prices. This is good news for those who buy these bags since they will have a high resale value should their owners change their minds.

But what if you don’t like these styles? What if your true heart’s desire is a seasonal bag, but the resale value is much lower?

We Can’t Buy Them All

If money were no object, then buy whatever bag you want. Unfortunately, most of us can’t buy everything we want. So we have to budget, and our budget may allow for one nice bag every once in a while. Since these bags don’t come cheap, we may engage in a decision process where we weigh the pros and cons of various bags to eventually decide on one. One of the biggest factors that some people consider is a bag’s resale value. This has meant that evergreen staples like the Chanel Mini Flap end up on the list of bags to buy due to their high resale value…

…even if one doesn’t truly love the bag.

Chanel Mini Flap

Buy What You Love

On the PurseForum, several threads begin with the decision-making process between bags with higher resale value versus more seasonal styles. On the Dior forum, there are often threads about buying a 30 Montaigne or a Bobby Bag where women are wondering if they should get the Lady Dior instead since the Lady Dior is permanent and has a higher resale value. They actually fell in love with the 30 Montaigne first but think it may be better to buy the Lady Dior for longevity and a higher resale price.

In these cases, I suggest buying what you fell in love with. Why should you settle for something else?

Dior Bobby Bag

What About Resale Value?

Yes, choosing the seasonal bag you love may mean that you will lose a lot of money if you choose to sell the bag down the road. But have you considered this: That you would have at least enjoyed the bag a lot more if and when you choose to part with it? It’s almost like marriage (I’m being extreme with this example) where someone marries a person that checks off all the right boxes (like good finances, is committed, caring, honest, etc.) but isn’t actually in love with them. Besides, if you get the bag with the higher resale value that you don’t love as much, then you may still keep thinking about that seasonal bag that you now missed out on.

Our Tastes Change

If we love a seasonal bag that likely has a low resale value, it runs the risk of looking dated (because it is likely in a bag design that will not be renewed the next season). But that is okay. The fashion industry caters to a very human trait: we get bored with what we have and look for the next new thing. That’s why designers make new collections each season. That’s also one of the reasons why so many bags end up on the resale market. We just get bored with them, even with the most “classic” pieces.

I know that this may mean that we should buy what has a high resale value instead of what we love since many of us are doomed to part with our bags anyway. We might as well get more money out of the process. But I don’t think you would be as happy with that bag. Aren’t we buying what makes us happy, after all? If money is what you’re after, then I wouldn’t be spending money on bags if I were you because there are far better investments out there with far greater returns.

You may get bored with the seasonal bag you fell in love with years down the road. But at least you enjoyed it thoroughly before you chose to part with it. I think it is far better than buying a bag that you are lukewarm about and never truly feeling what it is like to get the bag that your heart desires.

Think of the much lower resale value as the cost of happiness. I would rather pay for that than buy a bag I don’t truly like.

Dior 30 Montaigne

What I’ve Learned From Collecting

Almost none of my own bags have high resale value. I usually buy what I love. I know that a lot of Hermès and Louis Vuitton men’s bags have a much higher resale value than the bags I own, but I don’t love them. I simply can’t get a bag with a high resale value that I don’t love, even if it costs me when I sell them. I have parted ways with several bags because my tastes have changed. Bags that I obsessed about initially, like the Givenchy Nightingale messenger and the Fendi Monster Backpack, were sold with huge losses (I often lost 80% of what I paid). Of course, I wanted more money back, but I know why I bought them. I truly loved them and enjoyed them thoroughly before eventually falling out of love with them and parting ways. To me, that is worth the low resale value.

It is also through getting what I love that I still have some bags from when I first started buying designer bags over 14 years ago. I’ll never part with my soft leather Prada briefcase, still one of my favorite bags in my entire collection. I was deciding between it and an Epi leather Louis Vuitton bag with a much higher resale value than this Prada. Still, I’m glad I chose the Prada.

So the next time a new bag catches your eye, and you fall head over heels for it, then get it as your next bag. Who cares if the resale value is low! If everyone only got the bags with high resale value (and there are very few of them), then our bag sightings would get pretty boring.


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