Are you protecting your fine handbag collection the same way you protect your art and jewelry?
Oct 3, 2018
According to FinancesOnline.com, owning the rarest, best-designed and most durable bags is a worthwhile investment, with resale prices astronomically rising after several years.¹ A rare Hermès Birkin bag recently sold for $383,522 at an auction at Christie’s in Hong Kong.² A mini Courcheval yellow Hermès Kelly bag previously owned by Elizabeth Taylor sold for $47,196.²
The Kelly bag, which was renamed after Grace Kelly fell in love with the sac à dépêches, takes at least 18 hours to create by hand and usually starts around $10,000 depending on the type of leather.³ Most Birkin bags, which take up to 48 hours to produce, sell for $8,000-$12,000 depending on the size and material used.³
Whether or not your personal collection includes an iconic Hermès bag, at Nationwide® Private Client we understand your handbag collection is important to you. Nationwide Private Client Risk Solutions recommends the following simple steps to help protect your fine handbag collection:
Take inventory of your handbags
Home inventories are invaluable to have when it comes to a loss, especially a total loss. Start today by including your handbag collection in your home inventory:
Do a video walkthrough of your house showing all the major items in each room and a view of each closet so your valued possessions, including your handbags, can be seen.
- Take photographs of your handbags showing the brand names.
- Keep all your handbag collection inventory information in a secure location, such as in a safety deposit box or stored with a secure cloud service provider.
- Regularly maintain and update your inventory as you purchase new handbags. There are vendors, software and applications to assist with your inventory.
- Contact your insurance agent to confirm your handbag collection is adequately insured.
Take care of your handbags to protect their value
Follow these simple steps to help safeguard your passion for handbags, one of your most prized collections.
- Shield your handbag from spills and dirt by treating the material with fabric guard, water and oil repellant and/or leather conditioner. When purchasing, remember to ask what treatment product is recommended for use on the handbag.
- Avoid placing your handbag in areas where it can get soiled. For example, be careful where you put your bag while at the hair salon. If left on the floor, styling products and chemically treated clippings can land on your handbag and leave marks. When dining out, consider using a purse hook to store your handbag under the table or placing a smaller clutch behind you in your chair at the small of your back to protect from food, beverages and dirty floors.?
- Handbags will last longer if stored the right way: out of sunlight, away from heat sources, in an upright position and ideally within their dust bags or a natural-fiber pillowcase. Never store bags in plastic or vinyl, which can trap moisture inside. Keep handles crossed over each other to avoid scratches. Removable straps should be detached and stored inside the handbag.
- Maintain the shape of the handbag with a handbag insert or bubble wrap. Don’t use scarves, sweaters or tissue paper, as they can attract moths.
- Protect the lining from stains and tears by storing cosmetics and liquids in pouches. Opt for pens with caps or keep them in pouches, as well. Handbag liners can also be used to organize and keep the interior clean.
- Avoid touching the bag with dirty hands or after applying beauty products, lotion or cream.
- Regularly rotate which handbag you use so they don’t wear out too quickly.
- Practice routine maintenance. Clean suede with a suede brush. Moisturize leather regularly to keep it looking good and free of cracks. Wipe your handbag with a soft cloth on a weekly basis.
- For stains, tears and wear beyond your expertise, take it to a handbag repair professional. Most shoe repair shops also work on handbags. They can treat it, clean it and restore its color.
If you have any questions, please contact your agent or Nationwide Private Client Risk Solutions professional. For more information on how you can help prevent losses, visit nationwide.com/solutionseries. For information on our personal collections policy, visit
We offer this information to assist you in making decisions that can help mitigate your risk. While we cannot address every possible scenario or guarantee these tips will work for you, our goal is to support your efforts to protect yourself and your family.
Download: Protecting your fine handbag collection