Why second-hand Hermes Birkin bags fetch up to $56,000 online (by buyers who claim it"s a reasonable price)

Why second-hand Hermes Birkin bags fetch up to $56,000 online (by buyers who claim it's a reasonable price)

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UPDATED:

11:38 GMT, 8 May 2012

The Birkin handbag, by Hermes, has long been one of the world's most coveted accessories.

But while a brand-new Birkin is priced by the French fashion house at around $8,000, second-hand bags are selling for up to $56,000 online.

To further mystify, the websites selling the pre-owned products, which include Ruelala.com and Gilt.com, are classed as sale sites.

Kim Kardashian

Victoria Beckham

Celebrity hit: A Birkin bag by Hermes, seen on the arms of Kim Kardashian (left) and Victoria Beckham (right) is priced at around $8,000 but
sells for up to $56,000 online through sale sites

As a result of the Birkin's shrinking
stock, the hand-crafted leather handbag is proving to be more of a hit
now than ever before.

The
bag was originally made for the actress and singer Jane Birkin in 1984
after the late Jean-Louis Dumas, who served as the chairman of Hermes
for almost 30 years, had been inspired by her after sitting beside her
on a plane.

It has evolved into a stylish symbol of wealth over the years.

Such
demand for the product has also led to inflated sale prices as
fashion-conscious women compete against one another to secure the
product.

A spokesman for Gilt.com claimed that the website has sold a crocodile skin Birkin bag for $56,000.

MyHabit.com, a site under the Amazon.com umbrella, also claimed it had sold an ostrich Birkin variety for $23,100.

Tina
Craig, the founder and editor-in-chief of BagSnob.com, said it is near
impossible to even hunt down a brand-new Birkin in stores these days.

She told Buzzfeed.com:
'I used to be able to get one in two hours, but that's not the case
anymore. It's very difficult to get a Birkin bag in a boutique these
days.'

Demand: Buyers have claimed that it is a fair price given the bag's exclusivity. It was first released in 1984

Demand: Buyers have claimed that it is a fair price given the bag's exclusivity. It was first released in 1984

Some customers have been known to wait for years to purchase one.

Ms Craig said that buying a
second-hand mint-condition bag through a reputable website should cost
anywhere between $7,800 to $9,800.

'Ten grand with taxes is fair,' she said.

Evidently, the Birkin is rarely available at such a price.

A brown variety, that measured 30-centimeters in length, also sold for $11,000 on MyHabit.com.

Gilt.com claimed that an online shopper purchased a 35-centimeter bag off its site for $13,500.

A 40-centimeter size also sold on the site for $15,500.

Ms
Craig said that Hermes no longer allows customers to phone one of its
stores and place an order for the Birkin. It seems to have further
pushed buyers to sale websites.

She
said: 'It used to be that people in Oklahome would call the Dallas
store and place an order but they don't allow that anymore.'