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Why Are Birkin Bags So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)




Birkin bags are expensive and often used as a status symbol.


They’re made by a famous French luxury company called Hermès.

The Birkin bag is a type of tote bag.

As such, it’s quite large and can hold a large number of items.

If you’ve looked at the price of a Birkin bag recently, then you know just how expensive they are and may wonder what it is about them that makes them so expensive.



Why Are Birkin Bags So Expensive? (10 Reasons)

Hermes Birkin 35cm Rouge Tomate in Barcelona


The average price of Birkin bags is around $8,000 with some bags costing over $100,000.

Birkin bags are expensive because of their limited production, labor costs, material costs, and the Hermès brand name.


1. Limited Production

Luxury handbag



Hermès only produces a limited number of Birkin bags each year.

In the past, there was a waitlist that you’d add your name to.

Once it was your turn on the waitlist, you’d have the opportunity to purchase a Birkin bag.

These days, it’s even more exclusive.

Hermès essentially invites you to purchase one of their bags.


While you still likely need to contact them to let them know of your interest, in most cases, they’re the ones who contact you.

As such, you usually must have social status or wealth for Hermès to actually contact you.

If you’re not well-known, then it’s unlikely that you’re going to receive an invitation.

Instead, you’ll have to rely on secondhand sellers.

Even they will sell Birkin bags at high prices, however.


That’s because the price of Birkin bags only increases with time.

The fact that the company only sells a certain number of Birkin bags each year means there’s a shortage in a market with high demand.

The price soars as a result.

Birkin bags are expensive because the company makes a limited number each year.



2. Handcrafted

Luxury black women's handbag photographed in the workshop


Another reason Birkin bags are expensive is that their labor costs are extremely high.

Each Birkin bag is made by an experienced and expert craftsman.

They’re all made by hand.

The craftsman hand-stitches each bag and prepares the materials for sewing.


Some might work with certain designers, come up with their own designs, or follow the design of the design lead for the company.

Either way, they’re responsible for putting together a unique and memorable bag.

Since they handmake each bag, no two bags are exactly the same.

That uniqueness is what gives the bag some of its value.

There’s no other like it anywhere else in the world.


Handcrafting is expensive because it takes more time.

Human workers need a bit more time to make each bag than a machine would.

They meticulously work on the bag until they’re satisfied with it.

Since the process takes longer, the company has higher labor costs to pay.

They need to pay their workers the wages they deserve for the long process it takes to make the bag.


They’re also working with expert craftsmen.

Those don’t come cheap.

To ensure they don’t leave for another luxury company, Hermès has to pay them well.

Since labor costs are quite high, the company has to sell its bags at higher prices to offset them and make a profit.

Birkin bags are expensive because high labor costs are required to make them.



3. Real Leather

Rolls of natural brown red leather


One of the things that Birkin bags have a reputation for is being made of real leather.

Real leather is an expensive material since it comes from animals.

The most common type of leather comes from cows.


They provide leather that is durable, stylish, and still soft.

Calfskin can even be used to create softer leather.

When it comes to Birkin bags, there’s no question that Hermès uses 100% high-quality real leather.

Because there’s some pushback on the use of leather, Hermès takes its animal welfare practices seriously.

They’re always looking for new ways to help their partners raise their cattle humanely.


They want to ensure the animal is healthy and happy before it’s used for leather.

Part of their commitment to sourcing from humane ranchers is to keep an eye on these partners.

They’ll often check in on them and ensure that they’re using humane methods.

If they’re not, then the company will cut ties with them.

The sort of effort that goes into their sustainable and humane approach to leather makes their business a bit more expensive to operate.


As such, that also adds to the cost of producing a Birkin bag.

Birkin bags are expensive because leather is expensive to source.


4. Rare Skin Types

A Crocodile Texture Leather,


While many Birkin bags are made of cow skin, there are also even rarer skin types that they are sometimes made of.


Alligator skin is one such example.

Some Birkin bags are made of alligator skin.

Alligator skin is best known for its scaly appearance.

It’s also incredibly tough and durable.

Because the hunting and sourcing of alligators are highly regulated, the company is only able to get so much skin.


Since Hermès also only works with the best materials, they usually have to pay top dollar for that sort of quality material.

Because sourcing costs are higher, they add that to the price of their bags.

Ostrich skin is another rare type of leather that they sometimes use to make their bags.

Ostrich skin might offer some suppleness to the bag.

When Birkin bags are made of rare skin or leather types, they’re more valuable.


For one, they’re a bit more unique than leather bags made with standard cow skin.

Also, the cost of those materials tends to be a bit higher than cow leather since they aren’t as prevalent and easy to source.

Birkin bags are expensive when they are made of a rare type of leather.


5. Hermès Reputation

Hermes text and sign logo



There’s no question that Birkin bags are as expensive as they are because they are made by Hermès.

Hermès has been around for at least a century.

Today, it’s a well-known luxury brand that produces bags, clothes, jewelry, fragrances, and accessories.

Their focus is on producing premium products that make those who wear or use them stand out.

Their specific target audience is the wealthy.


While they do have a few more affordable options, even those are often out of reach for most people.

Because Hermès has a reputation for producing goods that are second to none, it has a lot of marketing power in its name alone.

If its name is on a product, then that product is automatically going to be more expensive.

Some people might see the Hermès name on something and immediately be willing to spend several thousand dollars on it.

They know the power of the name and the value it represents.


Birkin bags are expensive because they have the Hermès name on them.


6. High Demand

Two grey handbags on the claret carpet


Even though not everyone can afford a Birkin bag, there’s still a lot of demand for them.

Part of that is because of the exclusivity.


Even the wealthiest individuals can’t always get their hands on a bag directly from the company.

They might have to buy it from someone else.

When something that has a lot of value and prestige attached to it isn’t readily available, there’s a lot of interest in it.

People want it because it’s so hard to get.

They want the status and prestige that owning a product like that will give to them.


That allows Hermès to set high prices on their bags.

They know that because their bags are so difficult to receive directly from the source, some people will pay whatever they need to pay to own one.

The price of a Birkin bag wouldn’t be quite as high as it is today if there wasn’t a lot of demand for them.

Birkin bags are expensive because demand helps drive up the price.



7. Collectible

Woman in coat and white jeans with brown handbag


Part of the reason Birkin bags are expensive is that they’re also collectible.

Because you usually have to receive an invitation to buy a Birkin bag from Hermès, it means that those who do receive that invitation are quite important.

Many begin to form their own collection.

The company even ensures that clients are only able to buy a limited number of bags from them in a year.


This further reduces how many bags a person can buy from the company.

Since getting your hands on a Birkin bag isn’t easy, some people have started to collect them.

If someone has several Birkin bags, it’s often a sign of wealth and prestige.

It also means that their collection is likely highly valued.

As an example, Victoria Beckham has a famous Birkin bag collection.


Over the years, she’s managed to buy and collect over 100 Birkin bags.

Her collection is worth at least $2 million.

Clearly, there’s a lot of value in collecting Birkin bags.

Some people who have an interest in investing and building wealth likely have their eye on Birkin bags.

Since that only makes the demand for Birkin bags higher, the price remains high.


Birkin bags are expensive because they’re collectible and hold onto their value.


8. Large Size

Woman with Hermes brown crocodile leather bag


Birkin bags wouldn’t be quite as expensive as they are if they weren’t so large.

However, one of the main draws to Birkin bags is the large size.


They were initially created as a means of helping mothers or women who didn’t have enough space in their regular purses.

For mothers, their go-to purse wasn’t always ideal for storing extra diapers, bottles, and other baby-related items.

Hermès wanted to create a bag that could help young mothers while also allowing them to maintain their style.

The reason the large size makes Birkin bags more expensive is that it requires more materials to make them.

With higher manufacturing costs, the price of the bag increases.


Birkin bags are expensive because they’re large and cost more to make.


9. Durable

woman wearing linen shorts, white shirt, brown leather bag


Since the bulk of Birkin bags are made of real leather, they’re also quite durable.

One of the highlights of leather is its durability.


You can abuse it a little and it will still retain its shape and quality.

Since Hermès uses high-quality leather, it means their bags are even more durable.

That also means they last a lot longer.

As a result, Birkin bags don’t just hold onto their value—their value actually increases.

That’s why you’ll find that even secondhand Birkin bags sell for expensive prices.


In some cases, they might be even more expensive than what the buyer originally bought them for.

Birkin bags are expensive because they’re durable which only adds to their value.


10. Luxury Prices

Luxury bag


There’s no question that Birkin bags are luxury bags.


No one needs a $10,000+ bag to survive.

They buy it because it allows them to show off their wealth and status.

Since Hermès is a luxury company that makes luxury goods, the company can charge luxury prices.

Birkin bags are expensive because they’re luxury items and thus have luxury price tags.

The post Why Are Birkin Bags So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons) appeared first on The Cold Wire.


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