Birkin Bag Price
Given the number of questions we field from potential Birkin bag buyers, the handbag specialists at Sotheby's wanted to answer the questions about what determines a Birkin bag price.
What Influences an Hermès Birkin Price?
Many factors influence a Birkin bag price in the secondary market. The top factors are color, size, material, date stamp and condition. In the last few years, the smaller Birkin 25 bag has been in much higher demand, so this size is generally more expensive than a Birkin 30, Birkin 35 or Birkin 40. "Store Fresh" or bags that haven't been carried and still have the original box and plastic on the hardware are always more expensive than the same bag that has been carried, plastic removed and has small signs of wear. A have that has obvious signs of wear like scratching on the hardware is usually 30%+ less expensive than a bag with no signs of wear. The material is also a big driver in the Birkin bag price. While generally it is true leather is cheaper than ostrich, lizard, crocodile or alligator, there are exceptions to this rule. An older exotic Birkin 40 or Birkin 35 that is 10 plus years old with signs of wear could be priced lower than a store fresh Birkin 25 in Togo leather in a high demand color. Color is another interesting price factor with the most desirable bags being neutrals or pale colors. Bright colored Birkin prices are lower than the equivalent neutral or pastel color bag. A less important factor is hardware since this is often a personal style preference versus a value driver. There are some Hermès colors that are more popular with one hardware versus another. Some buyers also seek out limited edition hardware like Rose Gold or Brushed Palladium but hardware tends to have less influence on the price than other attributes.
Why are Birkin Bags so Expensive?
Many factors contribute to the Hermès Birkin Bag price. The most important factor can be explained by the scarcity principle. The economics of supply and demand have driven up Birkin prices for the last 10 years. In some cases a Birkin can sell for multiples of the original retail price. A leather Birkin bag purchased directly from the store starts at $9,000 and can sell for $30,000 depending on size, color, material and condition. Secondary marketplaces like Sotheby's are one of the few places you can purchase a store fresh pristine Birkin with the original box and all plastic still on the hardware without having a relationship with an Hermès sales associate and long purchase history. While it is possible to purchase a Birkin Bag at the store, it is hard to predict how long it will take. Additionally if you don't have an existing relationship at the store, it is even harder to pick the exact bag including size, color and hardware. In many cases you may be offered a Birkin that may not be your desired color or size.
How Much Does a Birkin Cost?
The short answer to the question is it depends on a lot of factors. The most important factors are condition, date stamp, material, size and color. The most expensive Birkin bag sold at Sotheby's was a Himalaya Birkin 30 with diamonds for $450,000. Even Himalayan Birkin without diamonds sell for $100,000-250,000+. At the other end are older leather Birkin 40 or Birkin 35 in excellent condition with some signs of wear that sell for $10,000-15,000. The cost of a leather Birkin 25 in pristine or store fresh condition generally ranges from $25,000-$35,000. The cost of a leather Birkin 30 in the same condition is generally slightly lower in the $20,000-$30,000. Birkin 35 and Birkin 40 in store fresh or pristine is generally slightly less but in some cases the same as the Birkin 30. Ostrich Birkin bags are less popular than Crocodile or Alligator and often sell at prices close to leather depending in the condition, color and size.
How to Buy a Birkin Bag?
Sotheby's has a selection of Birkins available on our Buy Now Marketplace for immediate shipping. New bags are listed weekly but Birkin bags tend to sell quickly. The Birkin in neutral colors and recent date stamp in store fresh condition sell the fastest while older bags that aren't in pristine condition in bright colors don't sell as quickly. Sotheby's also sells Birkin bags at auction in New York, Hong Kong, Geneva, Paris and London through out the year. A small selection of Birkin bags are also available for private sale. Finally a Sotheby's handbag specialist can also source a special Birkin bag but it make take some time depending on the bag. You can email HandbagSpecialists@sothebys.com if you have questions or would like us to source a special Birkin.