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The purse that keeps on paying How investment-worthy is your handbag? By Golden Girl Finance | GoldenGirlFinance.com – Mon, 14 Oct, 2013 7:00 AM EDT
hermes The purse that keeps on paying
Who can forget Carrie Bradshaw’s take on her savings plan? “I like my money right where I can see it… hanging in my closet.” Well how about hanging on your arm?
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The Sexand the City diva would love this new fashion-finance development. So-called ‘ investment handbags ’ - those lovely hand-tooled leather purses that cost upwards of $1,000 a piece -are gaining credibility as the serious financial assets that rationalizing fashionistas have always claimed they were.
Yes Lady Finance
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Yes Lady Finance (how much do we love that name?!) is a Hong-Kong based mortgage brokerage company that offers loans to their clients in exchange for taking their designer handbags as collateral. It’s basically a high-end pawn shop arrangement, dealing exclusively in bags. Because Yes Lady is classified as a “nonbank lender”, clients don’t need to provide proof of income or undergo a credit check. It’s all in the bag.
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Handbag loans are offered at up to 50% of the bag’s value and clients have four months to repay, at a 4% interest rate. Milan Station Holdings Ltd (1150) is a publicly-listed retailer of used luxury handbags that provides expert valuations on each handbag and also sells any bags that Yes Lady is left holding in the event of a loan default.
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The loans allow fashionistas who are long on handbags and short on cash a chance to access a little spending money. The smallest loans start at as little as $200 and can go much, much higher. According to a Reuters report, one client with a crocodile-skin bag received a loan for more than $32,000. The Wall Street Journal reported that a Hermès Birkin bag was provided as collateral for a loan of more than $20,000.
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Clients can also bring in multiple handbags to qualify for a larger loan. According to the Wall Street Journal , one client brought in 40 or 50 Gucci purses at once for a $38,000 loan.
And what if a client brings in a fake? Yes Lady Finance is nothing but gracious. While the loan will be declined, the lender will never let on that they know the bag is not what it seems.
Tips for investment-grade bags
We haven’t heard of any North American lenders taking handbags as loan collateral – yet. But in case you want to prepare, or make the most of re-sale opportunities, here are a few tips for making sure your next big handbag splurge is investment-grade.
Choose from the big four: Gucci, Chanel, Herm è s, Louis Vuitton . While Balenciaga, Prada and Fendi might be drool-worthy, it’s the big four who remain highest in demand among re-sellers and whose bags (if well cared-for) will hold value over the long term.
Unleash the animal. Sorry vegans, but crocodile, alligator, snakeskin, calfskin, pony and other animal skins are not only eternally glamorous, but durable and easy to waterproof, clean and protect. The more exotic the skin, the more valuable the bag.
Be timeless. Skip the trendy seasonal colors and latest styles and go for the iconic, always-in-fashion classics. The handbags of Jacqueline Onassis, Grace Kelly and even Margaret Thatcher still look good: simple, ladylike looks in neutral colors never go out of style.
Invest or speculate . On the other hand, we cannot fault a speculator who finds a gorgeous turquoise Miu Miu bag on sale and flips it a week later on eBay for three times what she paid. There is a place for short-term speculating and a place for long-term investing.
Go offline. If you’re going to spend the equivalent of a year’s worth of university tuition on a handbag, you want to be sure you’re getting what you pay for. Buy directly from the brand’s boutiques or a reputable retailer; somewhere you know will still be in business for decades to come when you may need advice on wear and tear.
One final tip for you creative financing types. Let’s say you buy an investment quality handbag on your credit card at an interest rate of say, 18.5%. You pay off half the balance with cash (because you’re good that way), then get a handbag-backed loan for the other half. You use the loan money to pay off the remaining credit card bill, which leaves you four months to pay off the loan at a mere 4% interest rate. We’re not here to say that investing thousands of dollars in a handbag is the right choice; we’re just here to pointout if you must do it, do it wisely.
Are investment bags really worth it?
What happened to Coach?
The price of vanity
Monogramming your Louis Vuitton
What\'s in your financial handbag?
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