Luxury handbags are perhaps the most popular accessory with women and the Birkin handbag by Hermes is in a class of its own. It has been one of the world’s most coveted accessories for long and are amongst the most expensive handbags. But the limited supply of the premium bags has turned its economics over its head. The French fashion house normally releases new Hermes Birkin handbags priced at around $8,000 but some of their old second hand bags are fetching as much as $56,000 on online stores. And the irony is that the sites like Ruelala.com and Gilt.com who stock used pre owned Birkin bags are known for selling heavily discounted stuff.
The supply of Birkin has been shrinking whereas the demand for the hand crafted leather handbags has been increasing consistently. This phenomenon has led to the abnormally inflated sale prices of the bags on these sites where fashion conscious women try to outbid the others to acquire the fashionable bag. It got the name Birkin because it was originally made for the actress and singer Jane Birkin in 1984. Late Jean-Louis Dumas, who served as the chairman of Hermes for almost 30 years met her on a plane while traveling and was so inspired by her that he got a special bag made for her. Over the years the bag has evolved into a stylish symbol of wealth.
According to a spokesman for Gilt.com the site holds the record for the most expensive Birkin bag sold online. They sold a crocodile skin Birkin bag for $56,000. The most expensive Birkin bag sold on MyHabit.com was an ostrich Birkin variety which sold for $23,100. It is becoming more and more difficult to find a brand new Birkin in stores these days. And Hermes no longer allows customers to phone one of its stores and place an order for the Birkin. The result is that a second hand mint condition Birkin bag for $10,000 is considered a bargain.