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Why Is Hermès So Expensive?

Fashion, High Life
Why Is Hermès So Expensive?

Women can just never have enough of handbags and while most will have no qualms about getting cheap bags from flea markets, others only stick to designer bags, price tags notwithstanding. Designer handbags have been all the rage among celebrities and moneyed fashion lovers, and different brands try to beat the competition in order to fully take over this market.

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However, one of the brands that has caught everyone’s attention is Hermès, selling some of the most expensive handbags in the world.

Hermès Bags Average Prices

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The cheapest Hermès bags go for about $1,000 while the priciest ones are sold at $70,000 or more a piece.

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The Crocodile Birkin bag is among the priciest piece from Hermès, is available at a price of $120,000. Taking top spot of the most expensive Hermès handbags is the The Hermes Chaine d’ancre bag (seen above) with a price tag of $2 million. For those with extra money to spare, the cost is nothing compared to the value attached to the bags, but to the regular shopper, the high prices could take years of saving to afford. Celebrities such as Victoria Beckham set the standard, with a collection of these high priced bags she makes it seem as though owning a Hermès purse it something that can be easily attained.

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Why the high prices?

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When you look at the price tags on Hermès, the first thing you are likely to ask is why is Hermes so expensive? For one, just like the belts and clothing items, the handbags are a status symbol; they signify wealth and affluence. The bags are made from high quality materials including crocodile leather, and a good number are adorned with gold and diamond studs. Besides, the craftsmen in charge of making the bags go through training for over a year and it takes them about 18 hours to work on each bag. The craftsmen do everything by hand; from the stitching and cutting to folding and trimming, nothing is done by machine. Artisans who are new on the job take more than a day to put a single bag together– this explains why there are not so many bags produced at a time. The fact that each of the bags is handmade means that they are not just purses to carry things in; the bags are works of art. For this reasons, the brand is highly revered.

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While there are a number of sellers who deal in handbags and sell faux leather as the real thing, Hermès bags are made from real crocodile leather. For the crocodile porosus Hermes handbags, the skin is obtained from crocodiles in Australia and for the nilolticus bags, Hermes sources for skin from the Nile in Africa. The pricing for each of the alternatives varies, though the porosus is considered to be of higher quality and it therefore costs thousands more. Getting the hide for the bags may seem like an easy thing but when you think about it, only the purest materials are used, yet getting untainted alligator or crocodile hide is such an elusive task. These animals tend to acquire scars when fighting or due to defects and other injuries, yet quality handbags cannot have scars. To hide the scars, the leather has to be dyed to produce a perfect hue, and this process is not an easy either because fashion hues are exceptionally specific. This is also another good reason why the products are so costly.

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When you buy a Hermes designer bag, you will not just be paying for the name, the item is considered a luxury product and you therefore have to shell out more because you will want it more for its appeal than functionality. Also, while regular bags are mass manufactured in factories, like other designer bags, Hermes bags are made by skilled and well compensated craft persons. Hermes also hires top notch designers at a cost, and this team is put in charge of creating unique and original designs. A lot of effort is put into the creations, unlike the mass manufactured bags where no design talent is required since intellectual property is simply taken without permission. The production rate of Hermes is therefore slower; this means that there are only a few of these items in the market and this also adds to the high prices.

Hermes vs. Other brands

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It is not only Hermes that is costly though, Louis Vuitton is also a top brand that is synonymous with luxury. For quite a long time, this French brand has been a symbol of elegance and it has very well earned its name as the most valuable brand, with a value that stands at over $25 billion.

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One of Louis Vuitton’s most expensive pieces is the Urban Satchel Louis Vuitton that is sold at $150,000.The main idea behind the creation of this bag was to stress on the relevance of recycling, and it was made from junk items such as band aids, tea bags, water bottles, and cigarette packs. Channel is yet another highly revered alternative when it comes to luxury bags. When someone purchases an item from a Chanel boutique they are not just making a regular purchase. Behind that designer Chanel bag, perfume, dress ect is the legend herself! Named as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century Coco Chanel is the reason most people find it acceptable to spend the money on such items. The truth is like Chanel, Hermes has a strong historic influence as the brand was created in 1837 by Thierry Hermès.  Since then the luxury goods manufacturing company has made its mark as one of the top brands of the world priced as well as with its exclusivity on some items.

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Hermes deals in other items including clothing and clothing accessories such as belts. The belts are equally costly, with some going for as much as $800 which is common pricing among the elite brands. These belts have gold on the buckles, and this in itself makes them very rare and just like the bags, they are stitched by hand . The brand sells tops too, and all these are available at a cost of between $60,000 and 100,000. However, none of the items has caused a stir in the market as much as the $91,500 Hermes T-shirt has. One might wonder what the T-shirt is made of to warrant such a price particularly since to most people, a T-Shirt is just a causal and cheap item. Well, the T-shirt is made from pure crocodile skin, and it has a sales tax of about $8000 attached to it; there are additional costs that have gone into producing it as well. With this in mind, whether or not the cost is justified is a matter that is best left for the buyer to judge.

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Even though some people deem Hermes products as exorbitant, the brand has its fare share of customers as has been displayed through its ever increasing sales. The company beat its own forecast in the past year when it hit 16.4 percent rise in sales, and this year, its revenue growth is set to exceed the 11 percent mark. Many Hollywood celebrities can attest to this! 

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