The red bottoms of Louboutins are instantly recognizable. The chunky soles of Doc Martens too. Louis Vuitton inscribes their print all over their bags, making them easy to spot. Some other bags ditch the flash and go for understated elegance. It's hard to identify a Hermès Birkin from a distance, yet it's one of the most coveted bags among women everywhere.
Just so you know, it'll be foolhardy to attempt popping down to the nearest store to buy one. First, you have to try to get on a waiting list, of up to five years, in some stores. Having the cash simply isn't enough for you to get one. Approaching a store assistant, even with cash in hand, will be met with a polite “Not available”. What he/she really means is “Not available for you, mere mortal."
You'll never find Birkins waiting on shelves. That's why there's a thriving pre-owned market for these bags. Pre-owned doesn't equal cheap though; a pre-owned Hermès Courchevel Birkin 32 costs $6,500. If you want to go all out, the Hermès Two-Tone Crocodile Birkin 35 costs $55,000.00.
But let's say you get the gift of a Birkin but are in two minds about spending so much on a bag. Since Birkins range in price, we'll be using a range to show you what you can spend the money on instead. We'll be using bags on the 'cheap' end costing $9,000+, all the way to 'A-list' Birkins of $150,000+.
9 ($ 100,000 - $ 150,000) Does It Go Fast? Check!
For adrenaline junkies who like to surf and jet ski, here is something new for you. The SeaBreacher is a submersible hybrid boat that allows you enjoy the thrill of speed while doing some insane tricks. The 260 hp supercharged engine allows you do barrel rolls, 90-degree 'jumps' straight out of the water and so much more. The streamlined hull covered in custom eye-catching designs can be yours for $100,000.
For those days when you can't decide on hitting the waves or going off-roading, the $125,000 WaterCar Panther has got you covered. An amphibious craft capable of up to 45 mph on water and 80 mph on land, the Panther is guaranteed to make any trip to the water tons of fun. Both of these items can be easily purchased from $150,000 you would have used for the Emerald Green Blue Izmir Crocodile Hermès.
8 ($ 10,000 - $ 70,000) Tick Tock, Time's Up
Sticking with the theme of luxury and the $10, 000 available, you may choose to buy an impressive watch instead. How about a recognizable timepiece like a Rolex? A pre-owned Rolex Datejust Diamond Bezel Jubilee Bracelet Ladies Watch costs $9,995.
For a brand new Rolex, be prepared to shell out up to $20, 000 for the Rolex Datejust Automatic in 18kt Yellow Gold. Looking for a bolder design? Try the Rolex 18k Yellow Gold Yachtmaster II, for only $29,000.
Staggered by those prices? Don't be. A black Hermès Niloticus Crocodile Birkin 30 sold at auction for $70,000, so you'll have enough to buy more than one Rolex.
7 ($ 40,000 - $ 70,000) - Keep the Cars Classy
We all drool over classic cars, but owning a classic car used to be much more difficult to own than it is today. Thanks to the Internet, it doesn't have to remain a dream. Trawling through eBay, you'll find some gems that will make you quickly debate the idea of that $50,000 Hermès. Yes, a lot of these classic motors can be bought for 50k or less.
Take the classic muscle car, the 1966 Pontiac GTO. One was lovingly restored to almost mint condition. It's so close to it's original condition that the International Show Car Association ranked it “the 19th best restored car” in the USA. And it's under 50k.
Another classic that has been restored and ready for you to pick up is this '69 Mercedes 280SL Roadster. In its original Signal Red over Black trim, this Merc comes with its original factory build card, books, tools; everything to keep it true to its classic roots. The price is the best part; less than $40,000!
6 ($ 5,000 - $ 15,000) Pimp Your Home
Want to splash some cash on your castle, but don't know where to start? While you can upgrade your home by installing smart, Internet-connected appliances, that can add up quickly.
So let's start in the kitchen; brands like Sub-Zero start at $6,000 for a 36” Side-by-Side Refrigerator. Even with the $10,000 cost of the Hermès Two-Tone Birkin 40 , that can get expensive fast!
For the den, forget off-the-shelf home theater solutions. A custom DIY home theater system can be set up for well under $ 10, 000. It even comes with a vintage popcorn maker, your own 3.1-cubic-foot steel beverage cooler and leaves you with loads of cash to spare! Indoor jacuzzi, anyone?
6. ($ 5,000 - $ 10,000) Luxury Getaways
Now is the time to trade the $10, 000 you can get from your orange Hermès Togo Birkin 35 and take that holiday you've always wanted. The 10k will take you further than you probably thought.
A Whistler-to-LAX round trip ticket starts at $350 per head. A 7-night, all-inclusive stay at the Totem Chalet will only cost $800 per person. Time to ring up your four besties for the ski trip of a lifetime.
5 ($ 50,000 - $ 80,000) Wander on the Waves
If you had a bigger budget, let's say around $70, 000 (the price of an amethyst Hermès Matte Alligator Birkin 35), how far would that take you? Here's a plan: take a bunch of friends and see Europe on a river boat. It only costs $1,500 per person for a seven night cruise.
If privacy is your thing, you can hire your own luxury yacht. Sail the French Riviera like a boss, on a 3-cabin, fully-crewed yacht for only $4, 500 a week. Destinations range from Greece to British Virgin Islands to Thailand; with your luxury yacht, the world is your oyster.
4 ($60,000 - $100,000) Build A crazy Spring-Summer Backyard
Make your home the weekend hot spot by seriously pimping your backyard. Start by wowing your guests with the Robotic Bartender. This computerized mixologist makes perfect cocktails at the touch of a button. Usually found in hotels and country clubs, this bartender will mix drinks, offer ice cubes and garnishes and only costs $25,000.
For an extra $58,000, install a luxurious double decker hot tub in your yard. Hot tub on top, jacuzzi on the lower level, pop-up speakers, wide-screen TV, what more could you ask for? The $100,000 Limited Edition Tri Exotic Hermes Birkin will more than cover this.
3 (100,000 - $120,000) Floating Weddings: Above And Below
While you can spend up to $90,000 getting married in New York, why not go all out and have a truly amazing experience?
Ever thought about getting married in space? While that's not available yet, but for $5,400 per passenger, GoZeroG will fly you out of New York or Cape Canaveral in a modified Boeing 727, and you can get hitched in zero-gravity! With the flight lasting 30 minutes, you and your wedding party will be weightless for up to seven minutes. Time to perfect posing in zero gravity!
When you are done in the air, bring it down, way down. Underwater experiences are a fun way to spend time with loved ones, whether it's dinner in the Lovers Deep submarine in the Caribbean, a day at the Lime Spa at Huvafen Fushi, clubbing at the Subsix at Niyama, or snoozing at the Jules’ Undersea Lodge, Key Largo, Florida. With the luxury trappings of a 5-star hotel plus the spectacle of fish swarming 'all around', you're sure to have an unforgettable experience.
If you are not so sure about falling asleep 20 feet underwater, head to the Manta Resort near Zanzibar for a floating hotel room on two levels. With bedrooms underwater and a deck up above, you can choose where you to rest your head. The stunning panoramic views, three meals and a spa treatment only cost $750 per person per day.
A Vivid Electric Bleu Hermes Birkin Bag 35 which costs $96,000, will pay for a zero gravity wedding with 10 guests, a 7-day stay at the Manta Resort plus first-class round trip tickets from LAX. And you'll still have change for the Uber.
2 ($20,000 - $50,000) Invest in Real Gold
With gold at around $1,185 (ranging in price) per ounce, $21, 000 will buy you about 17.7 ounces of the shiny stuff. Looking at gold as an investment; even with prices down by 8% so far this year, you're still guaranteed an uptick as the year goes.
Will the Dreamy Hermes Birkin Bag 35cm still look as good as new in a year? Will you be able to sell it for the $22,000 it cost to buy? Even with only moderate use?
1 ($10,000 - $150,000) Give it Away
You can copy a certain Mr. Gates and start a mini-foundation. Setting up a donor-advised fund allows you start with as little as you want, and make donations to non-profits of your choosing. It also provides an avenue for an immediate tax deduction of up to 30%.
Regardless of the size of your investment, you can make a difference if you choose to donate to charity. It kind of makes this Ann Frank quote ring true -“No one has ever become poor by giving."
So what do you think about these alternative uses for that windfall. Are you going to try any?