Why Are Designer Handbags so Expensive?

Alexandra Sady

Posted on February 01 2020

Shopping for a new purse can be incredibly fun, but it can also be expensive. But what exactly makes your favorite designer handbag so costly? In most cases, the cost isn’t just due to one reason — it’s actually several.  

  • The use of high-quality materials
  • The time it takes to produce each designer rental bag
  • The cost of the talent to create each bag
  • Marketing and branding are costly
  • Licensing costs and taxes are passed along
  • Exclusivity costs money
  • You pay for the brand itself


How Much Do Designer Handbag Materials Cost?

When you purchase a designer handbag, you’re paying for some of the finest materials available. Rather than using lower-quality materials that may show increased wear or deteriorate faster, companies use higher-quality, and therefore more expensive, materials.

Companies typically also only work with suppliers who have proven their commitment to quality. Manufacturing companies that make the materials needed to create each designer handbag know their worth, so they are able to ask for more compensation than other, less known companies.

Many companies, including Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Chanel, have gone a step further in their dedication to only using the best materials possible by overseeing the entire chain of production of its raw materials. Take leather, for example. Rather than purchase the leather from manufacturers, companies want to control how the animals are raised, how the hide is collected, and the entire processing procedure. Between 2009 and 2012, Louis Vuitton acquired three tanneries: Tannerie Masure in Belgium, Heng Long in Singapore, and Tanneries Roux in France, while Hermès purchased France-based Tanneries d’Annonay, and Chanel purchased Bodin Joyeux.

Leather isn’t the only material that companies want quality control over, either. Hermès owns two crocodile farms in Australia and one in Louisiana, and Louis Vuitton operates the Johnstone River crocodile farm just north of Queensland, Australia. The actions of these companies allow them to know every step of the process they use to source their materials and to ensure the process meets their high standards.


How Long Does It Take to Make A Designer Rental Bag?

You wouldn’t rush through something important. Taking the time to ensure that every step of the production process is perfect is one of the many reasons that contribute to the high cost of a designer handbag. When you think about the amount of time that it takes to sew the perfect stitches on a pocket or a shoulder strap, that time itself is valuable. One of the aspects that also contributes to the time spent on each bag is the cost of the materials. When a company is paying such a high price for quality materials, it’s imperative that employees in charge of production put an equally high price on excellence in their work.


Designer Rental Bag Talent Doesn't Come Cheap

In addition to the amount of time that it takes to create each designer rental bag, it’s also important to consider the skill of employees and the investment that companies are making in their talents. It’s important to remember that it’s not about the amount of time that a task takes someone, it’s the amount of time that they spent learning their craft to enable the task to be completed in that amount of time. When you want the highest quality possible, you need to invest in the people who have the talent to provide that quality.


Marketing, Taxes, and Materials All Play a Role in Designer Handbag Prices

When you purchase a designer handbag, you’re not only paying for the bag itself. The cost of the bag absorbs the cost of promoting the brand and the bag, licensing, as well as different taxes. Of these expenses, marketing and promotion are the easiest to understand. Although you may believe that major brands such as Chanel or Prada don’t need to market their products, these brands still spend millions of dollars each year on television commercials, magazine advertisements, and more to expand their customer base.

Taxes are an additional expense that a company must pay before selling its products. The amount of tax each company pays depends on where the bag is manufactured and where it will be sold. The majority of designer handbag companies manufacture their products in Europe, more specifically, Italy and France. The taxes in these two countries are some of the highest in the world. Unfortunately for consumers, if you choose to purchase a designer bag instead of rent a luxury bag, those taxes are factored into the higher price tag.

The most complicated expense to understand is licensing. According to The Fashion Law, licensing is “the practice of contracting with another party to obtain and use rights intellectual property (IP) rights in exchange for an agreed payment (a fee or royalty).” In a nutshell, a license allows a company the right to manufacture a piece of merchandise without owning the design or brand itself.

For example, Louis Vuitton could contract with a company to produce perfume with the Louis Vuitton name on it and sell it in a foreign country. The company makes all necessary changes to the branding, including translation, ensuring the product conforms to any local laws, and any marketing changes in order to sell the product. For brands such as Louis Vuitton, licensing its name to produce lower-cost products helps create brand loyalty in new markets as well as increase revenue. While a customer may not be able to afford a $5,000 Louis Vuitton bag, they may be able to afford a $100 bottle of perfume or to rent a luxury bag. By creating a relationship with these customers, they may be able to sell them higher-priced merchandise in the future.


You Can’t Just Pack and Ship Luxury

One important thing to remember when purchasing a high-quality handbag is that it’s not something that a company can just shove in a box and take to the nearest UPS drop-off. Using higher quality materials means that companies have to take additional precautions to ensure that the bag arrives safely at its destination. Companies purchase everything from individual padded boxes to climate-controlled shipping containers to keep their products in pristine condition. As you can probably guess, these precautions aren’t exactly your run of the mill shipping features. Each added assurance is an additional cost the company passes on to the customer at the end of the line.


Want the Prestige of a Designer Handbag?

Purchasing a luxury handbag comes with a certain amount of inclusivity. If there are only 1,000 Chanel bags made, the demand is far greater than the supply. Creating a higher demand for a product of which there is a limited supply allows the brand to increase the price. Brands utilize supply and demand to determine prices every day. The item can be as small as a loaf of bread or as big as an SUV. If a brand creates something that is in high demand, the price is all dependent on what people are willing to pay.

Who wants to show up at the party wearing the same dress as someone else? Many people want their fashion choices to be uniquely theirs. The same can be said for your accessories. When you purchase an expensive item such as a designer handbag, you don’t want everyone around you to be carrying the exact same purse. High profile companies work to keep their products feeling unique and exclusive. If a purse was affordable to 90% of people, the bag’s appeal is lost to those who are in search of a unique product. By increasing the price of the handbag and decreasing the number available for purchase, companies can create a product that makes people feel special when they purchase it.


Luxury Handbags are a Status Symbol

The feelings of uniqueness and inclusivity also play into the status symbol of high-end handbags. When a brand creates a lifestyle or personality around its products, those qualities tend to carry over to the person who is in possession of the product. For example, if someone admires a celebrity and sees that they own a Gucci purse, they may be more inclined to also purchase a designer purse.

Oftentimes, the investment that a customer makes Is just as much, if not more so, in the brand rather than the merchandise itself.


Do Low-Cost Designer Bags Exist?

Owning an expensive purse or another accessory may make you feel glamorous, but not everyone has the means to invest in a designer handbag. While it is possible to go online and search for inexpensive designer handbags, you run the risk of purchasing an imitation product, or a product with defects you may not see from online photos. Shopping for a second-hand bag also doesn’t solve the problem of the lack of versatility. If you manage to find a purse within your price range, chances are you will still want to use it as much as you can because of how much you paid for it. 

What if you could have access to dozens of luxury purses at a fraction of the retail price? Believe it or not, you can when you rent a luxury bag! Thankfully for savvy, budget-friendly shoppers, one company has come up with a way to help you live the life of luxury without spending a fortune. Enter GlamHub. This Australian company offers customers the option to rent a luxury bag rather than purchasing it outright.


Can I Rent a Luxury Bag Online?

GlamHub is an online boutique that offers a variety of designer rental bag options for customers to choose from. Customers select from GlamHub’s hand-picked collection of exclusive designer handbags, check the availability of their bag, and then complete their booking. The GlamHub designer rental bag will arrive on the customer’s doorstep on the delivery date by 5 p.m. When the return date arrives, the customer uses the pre-paid satchel to send the designer rental bag back to the company.


What Brands Does GlamHub Offer?

Do you want to rent a luxury bag, but you’re worried that GlamHub won’t have the brands you’re looking for? GlamHub carries dozens of handbags for you to hire, from brands including Gucci, Prada, Saint Laurent, Chanel, and more. GlamHub’s selection comes in all shapes and sizes, as well as a variety of colours and materials, giving customers who want a designer rental bag the options they need to match any outfit.


Why Rent a Luxury Bag Instead of Purchase?

When you purchase a luxury handbag, you’re making an investment in a piece that you hope will match multiple outfits for many years. Unfortunately, that may leave you choosing a more neutral option rather than something fun or vibrant. However, when you rent a luxury bag from GlamHub, you aren’t tied to a specific design, colour, or brand for any longer than you want to be! Choosing to rent a luxury bag is a great option for those who want variety in their accessories, those who frequently attend upscale events, or those who want to add a little bit of fun to their outfits without making a financial commitment.

GlamHub allows customers to select a designer rental bag for a few days or a few weeks. Rather than pay thousands of dollars, customers can rent a luxury bag, like this clutch from Jimmy Choo, for as little as $79 for a weekend. Customers don’t have to worry about conditioning the bag’s leather, keeping the bag clean in storage, or whether or not the bag they picked out two years ago will match their outfit for New Year’s Eve next year. Hiring a designer rental bag from GlamHub is the easiest way to bypass all of the expensive conditions customers may encounter when paying full price for a designer handbag.


Can You Buy from GlamHub?

If you want to take home your very own designer rental bag for good, GlamHub makes it possible. The website features a section specifically for bags that customers can buy at a discounted price. Whether you’re looking to rent a luxury bag for your next special occasion or just explore the designer rental bag options that GlamHub has to offer, you’ll love the freedom and versatility the brand makes possible. Browse GlamHub’s entire collection or rent a luxury bag for the first time now!

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