What Influences an Hermès Kelly Bag Price

What Influences an Hermès Kelly Bag Price

Learn everything you need to know about Kelly bag prices
Learn everything you need to know about Kelly bag prices

Kelly Bag Price

Given the number of questions we field from potential Hermès Kelly bag buyers, the handbag specialists at Sotheby's wanted to help buyers and sellers better understand what determines a Kelly bag price on the secondary market.

Hermès Mini Kelly II 20 Black Shiny Porosus Crocodile Diamond Hardware

What Influences an Hermès Kelly Bag Price?

Many factors influence an Hermès Kelly price in the secondary market. The top factors are color, size, material, date stamp and condition. The most popular Hermès Kelly bag is the Mini Kelly. Similar to the Birkin bag, Kelly bag popularity declines as the size increases with the Kelly 25 and Kelly 28 being more popular than the Kelly 32 or Kelly 35. Kelly bags that are in pristine or "Store Fresh" that 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 Kelly bag that has any obvious signs of wear like scratching on the hardware or marks on the corners is usually 30%+ less expensive than a bag with no signs of wear. The material is also a big driver in the Hermès Kelly bag price. While generally leather is cheaper than ostrich, lizard, crocodile or alligator, there are exceptions to this rule. An older exotic Kelly 32 or Kelly 35 that is over 10 years old with signs of wear could be priced lower than a pristine leather Mini Kelly 20 in a high demand color. Color is another important price factor with the most desirable bags being neutrals or pale colors. Prices for bright colored Kelly bag are usual 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 least influence on the price than other attributes.

Hermès Kelly 25 Himalaya

Why are Kelly Bags so Expensive?

Many factors contribute to the Hermès Kelly Bag price. The most important factor can be explained by the scarcity principle. The economics of supply and demand have driven up Kelly bag prices for the last 20 years. In some cases a Kelly bag can sell for multiples of the original retail price. A leather Mini Kelly bag purchased directly from the store starts at $9,000 and can sell for $30,000 depending on the color and condition. Secondary marketplaces like Sotheby's are one of the few places you can purchase a store fresh pristine Kelly bag 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 Kelly Bag at an Hermès boutique, 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 Kelly bag that may not be your desired color or size.

Hermès Kelly 22 Kellywood Perspective Cavaliere Palladium Hardware, 2022

How Much Does a Kelly Bag 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 Hermès Kelly bags sold at Sotheby's are either Himalaya Kelly bags or Diamond Kelly bags. A Himalayan Kelly without diamonds sells for $100,000-250,000+. At the other end of the price spectrum is an older leather Kelly 32 or Kelly 35 in excellent condition with some signs of wear that sell for $10,000-15,000. The cost of a leather Mini Kelly 20 in pristine or store fresh condition generally ranges from $25,000-$35,000. The price for a leather Kelly 25 or Kelly 28 in the same condition is generally slightly lower at between $20,000-$30,000. A Kelly 32 or Kelly 35 in store fresh or pristine is least expensive. Ostrich Kelly bags are less popular than Crocodile or Alligator and often sell at prices close to leather depending in the condition, color and size.

Limited Edition Hermès Kelly 25 Midas Black Box Sellier 18K Yellow Gold Hardware

How to Buy a Kelly Bag?

Sotheby's has a selection of Hermès Kelly bags available on our Buy Now Marketplace for immediate shipping. New bags are listed weekly but Kelly bags can sell quickly. A leather mini Kelly bag in a neutral color, recent date stamp in store fresh condition often sells the fastest while older larger Kelly bags that aren't in pristine condition can take longer to sell. Exotic material larger sized Kelly bags also can take longer to sell since there are fewer buyers for exotic bags. Sotheby's also sells Kelly bags at auction in New York, Hong Kong, Geneva and Paris through out the year. A small selection of Kelly bags are also available for private sale. Finally a Sotheby's handbag specialist can also source a special Hermès Kelly bag but it may 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 Limited Edition Hermès Kelly bag.

Hermès Kelly Bags Available to Buy Now

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