The economics of handbags

I wonder if you have a Hermès Birkin handbag in your cupboard somewhere. If so, you might want to dig it out. Odds are it is one of the best investments you ever made.

Prices for new Birkins start at $4,200. Last year, says Barbara McMahon in The Times, bidding for a 2012 crocodile-skin Birkin hit $106,000.

A grey-blue and green leather 2013 model went for $32,500 and a 2010 “shiny electric blue” began at $30,000 and went for $81,250. This is no longer unusual.

What, you might wonder, is going on? It’s partly because [...]

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