Why Designer Handbags are so Expensive

You visit your favorite boutique with so much enthusiasm, and you spot a prepossessing and charming bag. With greater enthusiasm, you approach the bag, and the smile on your face turns to a disappointed frown- the price tag makes you want to cry. What makes designer bags so expensive? Are they really worth it?

Well, here’s why designer handbags cost more than regular handbags:


Designer handbags are not made with regular items, but superior and distinct materials. From ornate rings and clasps, to exotic animal skins, every component that makes up a designer handbag is of great quality. Some of the materials are processed and even pressed for durability.

If the items used to make them are expensive, we can’t expect something different from the total package.


When you hear ‘Ford’ or ‘Volkswagen’, what comes to mind? Style, class, and quality, right? This is as a result of the reputation these brands have built and this holds for designer handbags too.

Take the Hermes Birkin for an example; according to Channel News Asia ‘Their stratospheric prices are attributed to the fact that each bag is made entirely by hand by a single craftsman who trains for almost two years before he or she is allowed to build a Birkin. It takes 18 to 24 hours to produce one bag, which means a limited number can be made each year’.

Now, that’s a huge commitment to craftsmanship, and with that kind of commitment, there is a need for adequate remuneration.


Examples would suffice in explaining this, and an excellent example is the Mulberry handbag. First, the handbags are conceptualized as a design sketch, and then drawn on a computer (Whoa, right? Wait, there’s more).

Next, a paper version is made in order to verify sizing, before an actual production sample is made. That’s not all- each production process is timed to measure the amount of labor before manufacturing costs are cumulated. Finally, the bag’s design is defined by the designs team before production commences.

So, there you have it- All we see is the bag, not the processes, but all that hard work is to ensure perfection and quality (and these are the testimonies we have of them!)


In 2016, correspondent Hilary rose wrote in an article (The Times): “In the 35 years since it was created, the Birkin has gone up by 500 percent.” In 2018, a white Himalayan crocodile skin 18 karat gold buckle, alongside strap loops encrusted with 205 diamonds was sold at $380,000, at a Christie’s Hong Kong auction.

This price elevated past the US$193,000 to US$258,000 presale estimate. The numbers speak for themselves.

Now, you know why designer handbags cost so much, and so next time you see one, don’t be disappointed at the price tag, but rather maintain that smile, knowing that it’s worth it. It’s just like they say ‘Good food costs good money’, we can’t help but also say ‘Good handbags cost good money’.

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