Handbag Appraisals
The Cash Value Of Your Hermes And Chanel Handbags

Most women who value style own, or would love to own, a designer handbag. Buying luxury handbags has even become an obsession for some – although an undeniably pleasurable and exciting obsession, which can be quite profitable for those make the right choices.

Whether you own a single Kelly bag and want to “trade up” to a Birkin, or your collection of name brand luxury purses has grown so large that it no longer fits into your bedroom, the good news is that the resale market for designer handbags has never been hotter. Some classic Chanel bags, for example, are now selling for almost double their original cost on the secondary market. And while most luxury purses do lose a portion of their value over time, you can wear many brand name bags for years and still recoup most of what you spent on them when you decide to sell.

The big question, of course, is what your designer handbag is worth. The only way to get a definitive answer is by finding a reputable and experienced company which does luxury handbag appraisals. That's easier said than done.

Who Does Handbag Appraisals?

Truthfully, few people can properly appraise handbags. Boutiques, secondhand and consignment stores may say they can appraise a vintage bag, as will many pawnshops. And many of them can probably tell a knock-off from the real thing. However, there's no way most would-be appraisers have the experience or knowledge to distinguish a Gucci GG classic tote from a GG classic top handle, or a Hermès 35cm Birkin bag with T stamp from a Hermès 40cm Togo bag (which is worth only half the price). You may think of bringing your purse to a Gucci or Hermès store, but they won't appraise it for you even if they're willing to authenticate it (and not all will).

Unless you happen to live near one of the few high-end luxury appraisers operating around the country, the only way to get a real, honest appraisal of a designer, vintage or antique handbag is to get an online handbag appraisal from a company like

Our professionals have decades of experience and have appraised almost every model of purse from every major manufacturer. They know how to authenticate, evaluate and appraise every designer's product from Louis Vuitton to Chanel, they are familiar with rare and valuable limited edition bags, and are intimately familiar with all Hermès purses, including all models of Birkin bags and Kelly bags. They can't be fooled by imitations, they can immediately tell when a handbag is rare and desirable, and they have the specialized knowledge to be able to value unique antique or vintage items like pre-1920 Edwardian beaded bags, velvet handbags from the World War II era, or vintage 1980s Coach purses.

If you happen to own a rare gem without knowing its value, taking it to a secondhand store is a prescription for disaster – if you define disaster as “giving away a precious luxury item for a fraction of its value, because the appraiser had no idea what he was looking at.” The experienced handbag appraisals that we provide at ensures that will never happen to you.

What Is Involved In A Handbag Appraisal?

As we've mentioned, legitimate handbag appraisals aren't easy to do. If you'd like an approximate idea of your purse's value, you can submit as much information as possible to us (including brand name and model, date of purchase, serial number if possible, descriptions and photos) and get a ballpark evaluation of your handbag by phone or email within a day or so. However, for a formal appraisal and possible offer to buy your designer, vintage or antique purse, we'll need to inspect it personally. The service is fully-insured and totally secure, and we even pay the postage both ways.

We'll first authenticate your handbag to make sure it isn't a knock-off, and then catalog all of the important factors in determining a purse's value: the materials used in the design, its age, and perhaps most crucial of all, its condition – including missing stones, replaced or re-plated hardware, loose stitches, stains and discolored leather. We'll also use our knowledge of the designer handbag secondary market to judge how demand for your purse will affect its value. Finally, we'll deliver your appraisal, which will ideally include an offer to purchase your bag at the highest price you'll find offered anywhere. evaluates many high-end handbags every week, and we will treat your treasure with the gentle care it deserves, whether you decide to sell it or keep it.

What Are The Best Handbags To Sell?

Obviously, rare and antique handbags will always fetch high prices. But there are definitely some brand names which are likely to sell for a price close to what you originally paid. We're particularly interested in appraising and buying your Chanel bags, Louis Vuitton bags, and Hermès bags (especially if you have Birkin bags or Kelly bags), as well as any limited edition handbags in your collection. Those purses typically retain most or all of their original value. Others which also fall into that category include Van Cleef & Arpels and Goyard. You'll also find that bags from designers like Victoria Beckham, Alexander McQueen and Givenchy will bring higher prices than you would expect.

No matter what type of luxury handbag you own, we're interested in talking to you about an appraisal. You never know how much cash may be sitting on the floor of your closet.

Six Words about Appraisal Values

Here they are: actual cash value and retail replacement value. It's crucial that you know the difference between the two before you seek handbag appraisals.

Retail replacement value is the amount you would have to pay at a retail store to replace an item that's lost or stolen, and the only appraisals which report that value are the ones done for insurance purposes. Actual cash value is the true value of your handbag on the open market, and is the number you'll see on appraisals that aren't being sent to an insurer.

Here's a quick real world example. If you buy a Hermès bag at a retailer for $5,000, you're going to want to insure it for $5,000 so you can replace it if it's stolen. However, that doesn't mean the cash value of the purse on the secondary market is $5,000; it might be worth $3,000 when sold as a pre-owned item. That's the only number that really matters, because it tells you the true value of the bag. It's important you can distinguish between the types of appraisals, so you're not disappointed when you receive your handbag appraisal.

At we're ready to explain more about the process, or to appraise and make the highest offer possible for your luxury handbag.


Watch Appraisals
The Cash Value Of Your Luxury Watch

Believe it or not, one of the hottest collectible markets in the world centers around luxury watches. And those who know what they're investing in can make a lot of money. For example, take the Audemars Piguet model called “The End of Days” (it was a limited edition watch produced in 1999 when the Schwarzenegger film of the same name was released). It originally cost around $14,000, but when one hit the market recently, it sold for $85,000.

Most watches don't increase in value like that, of course. In fact, most timepieces depreciate over time, just as a car would. However, some do appreciate in value; more importantly, there are a number of watch brands which hold most of their value over time. If you have a luxury watch and are thinking of selling it – or if you are just really curious what your prized timepiece is really worth – online watch appraisals are the quickest and easiest way to “put a number to the face.”

Why online watch appraisals? Quite honestly, it's because a pawnbroker or the jeweler at the local mall hasn't accumulated the in-depth knowledge required to fully evaluate an expensive timepiece. Only experienced professionals who appraise top-end luxury goods on a daily basis are familiar with the many brands and models of watches which have been manufactured over the years, and what they're worth. Not all Rolexes, Patek Philippe, Hublot, Richard Mille and Breitling watches are the same; in fact, it takes years just to become completely familiar with each brand. is uniquely qualified to appraise your watch. Not only do we have the decades of experience required, but we're familiar with just about every vintage, antique and limited edition watch ever made. If you have a unique piece that's worth a lot of money, your local jeweler probably wouldn't recognize it. We would – immediately. And since we have a regular clientele always looking to purchase luxury watches, we're in a position to offer the most money for your timepiece.

How Do You Appraise A Watch?

Appraising watches is very different than evaluating fine jewelry. There are well-established qualities, for example, for appraising a diamond – cut, carats, clarity and color. Authenticating and appraising a watch, though, requires intricate knowledge of brands and models, mechanics and craftsmanship, materials and the marketplace.

The first step we take when evaluating a watch is to authenticate it. Everyone knows that the luxury market is full of knock-offs; we want to know exactly what we're working with before going any further. We'll identify and authenticate the manufacturer, brand and model of the timepiece before moving on to an in-depth examination of the piece's quality and works. (If you still have the watch's original box, packaging material or manual, please send them along with the watch; not only will that help in the appraisal, but it often will add to the resale value.)

Next, we'll look at the materials, quality and functionality of the timepiece. We'll already know what the materials and quality of the watch should be, because we've authenticated it. But we'll double-check to make sure there have been no modifications or alterations which would change the value of the piece. Then, it's time to check the condition and the works – is the watch damaged or in pristine condition? Does it work properly, require small repairs, or need a major overhaul? All will, needless to say, affect the value of the timepiece.

Finally, we'll assess the market demand for the watch. Unlike fine jewelry, there's no firm baseline value to work with; a one carat emerald-cut VS1 diamond with G color will always have a certain value, while the worth of a Panerai Luminor 1950 watch will be largely dependent on current secondary market conditions.

With all of that information, we'll prepare and you'll receive your watch appraisal, along with our offer to purchase the watch. You can either accept the offer and get cash in as few as 48 hours, or have the watch sent back to you – all at our cost and completely insured throughout the process.

What Makes A Watch Valuable?

The brand/model and condition of a watch will primarily determine its value. The “condition” part is easy to understand, but here's some information which might help when it comes to brands.

A number of high-end watch manufacturers are known for products which retain much or most of their value over the years. They include Patek Phillipe, Rolex, Richard Mille and A. Lange & Söhne. Other brands like Piaget and Tag Heuer lose much of their value as time goes on. Then there are manufacturers like Breitling and Panerai, where the residual value can vary widely. We want to purchase all of those watches, and will make the highest offer for them if you're interested in selling your timepiece.

Other considerations which can increase the value of a watch include the materials used in its construction (for example, a timepiece with a gold casing is worth more than one with just gold plate, and a watch with an onyx face and platinum hands will certainly carry added value) and any special features it may have (such as perpetual calendars or mechanical winding mechanisms. These will all be taken into account in your watch appraisal.

Cash Value vs. Retail Replacement Value

People who have watches or other luxury goods appraised are often surprised when the value comes in at a much lower level than they anticipated. Often, it's because of confusion between two types of appraisal values.

When you have an item appraised in order to insure it, it will be valued at an artificially high level which is called the retail replacement value. This figure indicates how much it would cost to go out and buy an exact replacement, on the retail market, for a watch which has been lost or stolen. For instance, if you purchased a Rolex for $15,000 you would want it appraised and insured for $15,000, so your insurance company would pay to replace it if necessary. That has no relation to the actual value of the item, or the price it would bring if it were to be sold on the secondary market – because the $15,000 retail price includes the costs of producing and marketing the watch, plus dealer markup and profit.

Watch appraisals done for clients who want to sell their timepieces (or just want to know their worth) will report the real cash value of the pieces, based on their true worth. The cash value of a watch will usually be much lower than its retail replacement value, because none of the extra retail costs figure into the valuation. The appraisal tells you what your watch is worth in real terms – not what a jeweler would charge for a brand-new replacement.

When you decide to have your watch appraised, make sure you use a company which has the necessary expertise to do the job, and will offer more for your timepiece than any other buyer. We believe fits that description perfectly, and hope that you'll agree.