Birkin Bags are Stupid - picture of colorful purses

Birkin Bags are Stupid. Period.

This article may contain references to some of our advertising partners. Should you click on these links, we may be compensated. For more about our advertising policies, read our full disclosure statement here.

As most people know, we use Netflix and Hulu when we watch to watch television because a) it’s cheaper, and b) it’s more convenient.  I actually like streaming TV online vs. watching it live because I tend to enjoy watching entire seasons at a time.

Lately, I’ve been watching a few of the Real Housewives series and mostly recently the Miami season.  I love those bitches, but one of the recent episodes seriously confused me.

In it, Lisa Hochstein and Lea Black were talking about these amazing and scarce <LOL> handbags called Birkin bags.  Apparently, they’re a seriously pricey brand that is made by Hermes and only available to clients who “know someone.”  Since I typically buy my handbags at Kohl’s and my current purse has a gaping hole in the side, I am obviously not a potential client.  However, the whole thing intrigued me.  Why?  Because the girls on the show were saying the Birkin bags cost as much as $30,000.  What?!?

And it’s true.  How do I know?  I googled that shit.  In fact, a quick google search for Birkin bags turned up purses that cost upwards of $100,000 and more, although most of them were in the $20,000 to $50,000 range.  In other words, some of these purses cost as much as our first home that we actually lived inside of.  Others cost so much you could literally feed thousands of starving children instead if you wanted.

Or you could just buy a big, stupid status symbol bag that means nothing.  Burp.  Your choice.

Let’s get back to the Real Housewives on this, shall we?  The whole scene was about how “rare” these bags were and how you had to “know someone” to get one.  And the girls were practically salivating over them, as if they were something more than a diaper, tampon, and wallet holder.  I have to admit, it kind’ve made me lose my faith in humanity for a minute, and I had to wonder what the big deal was about a stupid handbag.  So I sat there for 20 minutes and thought really hard.  Real hard.  What was the big deal about these purses?  Unfortunately, I turned up nuthin’.

Let’s face it.  A birkin bag is just a purse, people.  Something to haul your shit around in.  A bag that will probably sit on a public restroom floor one of these days – Gasp – and will have to endure the rain, sleet, and snow if you actually use it.  Oh, the horror.

Birkin Bags are Stupid

And yes, Birkin bags are stupid.  Unless the thing cleans my house, watches my kids, and doubles as a hotel room, I just don’t see how a $20,000 purse could ever be worth it.  And the people who buy them?  What are they thinking? 

Do they know that they are merely the victim of a giant scam?  That the company who sells these awful purses makes them “scarce” so they can fool insecure people into believing that a handbag can give them status?  Do they know that Hermes is probably laughing their asses off….all the way to the bank?

My guess is that they just don’t care.  And, why should they?  After all, they’ve got at least 30K to waste on lavish purses that were probably made in a sweatshop in Indonesia.

But I digress. Unlike most Birkin bag customers, I actually do need a new purse.  The only difference is, I’m heading to Kohl’s to find my new bag.  No status required, but I seriously hope it’s on clearance.  Wish me luck.

Would you feel like a bad person if you paid $30,000 for a handbag?  Do you think Birkin bags are special?

Similar Posts

Disclaimer: Comments, responses, and other user-generated content is not provided or commissioned by this site or our advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by this website or our advertisers. It is not the responsibility of our advertisers or this website to ensure that all comments and/or questions are answered. Club Thrifty has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Club Thrifty and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

148 Comments

  1. This post is so funny! Apart from those purses being plain old ugly, it is strictly a status symbol and only people who feel they have something to prove need one. I now know my personal worth, and having an expensive accessory does not make me feel special. Don’t get me wrong I love nice things, but in moderation and of course within my means….I’ll see you at Kohl’s…..most likely in the shoe section.

    1. I can tolerate Kohl’s as long as they aren’t too busy. It can be a madhouse in there!

  2. I have never been a purse girl. Ever. A lot of my friends really like Coach purses and I personally just don’t see it. I cannot believe that anyone has $100k to waste on a purse! We could almost pay off both the mortgage on our present home and our rental property for that.

    1. Me neither, although I can be picky about what I buy when it comes to purses since I don’t buy leather. I don’t care about the pattern or style but no dead animal skin, please =)

    1. You‘re clearly very ignorant on this entire industry of high end fashion and accessories with actual heritage. The fact that you assume Hermès Products are made in Indonesian Sweatshops justifies that statement. Please do some genuine research before you write an article on something. Just looking up bags on ebay isn‘t enough to make a statement like you did.

      Yes, it is expensive. Yes, it is „overpriced“ to a certain extent (like anything you purchase). But it is not „too expensive“. Those cheap bags you buy from Kohls are most likely sewn by children in Bangladesh, while the Hermès bags are hand-sewn by artisans in France who are being paid an above average salary as well.

      Just for your information: The retail of a basic leather Birkin is currently around 12‘500usd. I don‘t know where you got the idea from that they cost anywhere between 20-50k. Only exotic skins start from 25‘000 and up. Hard to get pieces will be sold above retail online, so that does not reflect what you‘d actually pay for it in-store.

      Good luck for your future articles. I hope those are more though through than this one.

      1. Joanna Kelley says:

        Dude, it is impossible to make an ethical crocodile bag. Jane Birkin herself has been at odds with Birkin and no longer carries the bag because she considers the company unethical. I carry mostly “The Sak” bags. They lack the pretentious fashionista BS clout of a Birkin, but they are made by an ethical and sustainable company. People who buy these absurdly expensive bags are either hopelessly rich or foolish. It is a stupid “investment” for an average person.

  3. I just don’t get it.

    I think the same about Rolex watches or any other expensive status symbol. Buy expensive items if they provide some value to you. However, the Burkin bag or a Rolex won’t last any longer than a good quality, but much less expensive version.

    1. Yeah, pretty much, although I think Rolexes can be purchased for less than 5K. Still wasteful, but not as tacky as a 100K purse! =)

  4. Insane! I think your next post should be all the other thing you could buy for the cost of a Birkin Bag. I thought my wife’s Vera Bradley bags were expensive.

  5. Eh. The beauty of living in a free country is getting to spend your money on what you want (well, legally) as long as you’re not hurting anyone. They’re not hurting anyone, so what’s the big deal?

    1. Except that stuff like this is a good argument for higher marginal tax rates. Which is more important, corporate welfare or feeding kids?

      1. As an economist, do you like the idea of a consumption tax? (either instead of or in addition to income taxes?)

        1. No, but there are smart economists who do. I assume you’re meaning a VAT tax because we already have sales taxes.

          1. YES! That’s what I was referring to.

    2. It isn’t a big deal- it’s just a blog post. Relax.

    3. I’m with you. This whole post was terrible. Most Birkin’s do not cost 20-50k. They cost 10k-15k and they are made with superior craftsmanship and last a lifetime. I doubt you’d find a hole in these bags.

      Eitherway, to each it’s own. I’m not going to judge someone’s lifestyle simply because I can’t afford it.

  6. The Birkin bag always reminds me of Gerkin pickles!!! I find them incredibly blah! I once saw an expose of handmade italian bags in Rome ( hubby translated). They are indeed handmade, by poor Asian people who are shipped in and made to work in horrendous conditions, for like pennies, and sleep 10 to a room. Bag made for 23 euro average, sold for thousands!!! I wouldn’t even buy a fake Berkin- Gerkin!!! 🙂

  7. That is ridiculous!!! I’ve never heard of these fool things before, but I’m with you–crazy. $30K is an obscene amount of money. My most recent handbag is one that I found in a ‘free’ box on the sidewalk. My other purse is from Kohl’s.

    1. I have a Kohl’s purse right now too….with a hole in it, lol!

  8. I wouldn’t buy any birkin bags for my wife even if she wishes to have one. Haha.. I am thankful my wife is a saver. That bag costs way too much.

  9. Omg LOL!!! I’ve heard of these purses before but had no idea some were more than $100,000!! I would never ever EVER spend that much on a purse, no matter how much money I had. What an absolute waste!!!

    My current purse is from Old Navy. It’s not even a purse, haha, it’s a big bag that says “Old Navy” on it that costs $5. The only reason I got it was because my diaper bag got torn up and I didn’t want to spend $40 on another one.

    Seriously though, if people like this actually did something useful with their money the world would be in a better place!!

    1. Yes, I agree. I’m not against people spending their money how they want but I’m also not against making fun of them.

      1. I have zero idea how I stumbled across club thrifty and this post but I did. I read it because I like Hermes. Believe me, handbag aficionados make fun of you too. Walking around with a bag that has a hole in it is hardly a badge of honor. It’s just sloppy. Why should you care what anyone does with their money? I earned it and if want 30 Birkins in a rainbow of colors and skins that’s up to me, right? I think a $2,000 bottle of wine that’s gone in a few hours is a waste but I don’t criticize the people who happily pay it.

        I should also point out that Birkins have been a damn good investment. I sold an exotic Birkin for a $49,000 profit recently. I would estimate that my collection has a comfortable six figure unrealized net gain remaining. Read up on that aspect and do a little more research. You might find yourself reconsidering your ridicule.

  10. No shit, and the same goes for coach bags, or any other purse that costs more than a vacation. They would fail my “does the value this item brings to my life worth the cost?” Yeah, no…it wouldn’t. Being a dude, I’m obviously not in their market, but paying that much for a bag to put stuff in makes zero sense to me. Zero.

    1. Me neither. I just don’t get it. Plus, you just increase your odds of being robbed if you haul something like that around.

      1. Dudee… you honestly dont have any idea of what youre talking about. You can actually make a living out of collecting and reselling birkin bags. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ Same rolexes. I have a watch collection that i never wear and it has nothing to do with the status. Its a smart investment that im holding for my son’s future. Im gonna double my money in a couple years. Birkins and watches are super smart to invest in. Smarter than other bags that you will eventually throw away. This article is so judgemental and ignorant….

  11. Wow, just wow. I’ve heard of these before though didn’t know they were THAT crazy expensive. At that price, it better be doing a whole lot more than just carrying stuff around! All it is is a bad marketing gimmick combined with the lunacy of a crazy status symbol.

  12. I’d never buy a Birkin or even the much cheaper (relatively) Louis Vuiton. I do have a couple of Coach purses that I’ve had for a couple of decades. They are classic styles and hold up so well to every day use so you can sort of think of them as an investment 😉 . One thing I don’t do is buy bags with the brand initials all over it like LV does on most of theirs. That is such a pathetic attempt to make people notice that you can spend money to be a walking advertisement for someone else’s brand.

    1. My sister got my mom a Coach bag for Christmas about 7 years ago. It still looks like new, despite daily use!

    2. How much are Coach purses? $200-$300? I could probably live with that, although I don’t buy leather. There’s a difference between buying a high quality item that will last for years and dropping 30K!

      1. My sister got it on a clearance end of season Christmas sale or something, she told me it was something under $150, though I don’t remember the exact number. (Not that we try to one-up each other for parental affection or anything.)

  13. This post is hilarious! 🙂 I think the whole thing is kind of silly, too (and I’m admitting this as someone who does like the finer handbags in life). It’s genius marketing though. Rich people go through crazy hoops to get Birkins because of the need to know someone. While I’m sure I wouldn’t drop $30k on a handbag, it doesn’t really bother me that others do because I don’t have a problem with extreme wealth. If you’re someone who can afford it and you’re also giving generously and leading a good life, then who am I to judge their bag? Also, I visited a sweatshop / factory in Lesotho, Africa a few years ago and literally every brand of denim jean (including Gap, for example) was being made there. Unless you’re committed to buying American-made everything, it’s really hard to find things that aren’t made under bad conditions. (P.s. I’ve never read a post about Birkins / handbags like this and I’m just loving it – great creativity here!)

    1. It really is genius marketing. Whoever convinced people that Birkin bags are scarce and that you need to “know someone” needs a raise!

  14. I think it was a Keeping up With the Kardashians episode that I watched where they spoke about the Birkin bag and I did the same thing and googled it and nearly fell out of my chair. I have a Coach purse that I got at an outlet 8 years ago that I ALWAYS get complimented on and for me it looks way nicer than a Birkin bag. I have zero interest in carrying something around that cost more than my car and doesn’t even look that great.

    1. Me neither. You’re just asking someone to mug you, I think.

  15. Haha I bet you will get some interesting comments on this post. I can’t imagine anyone reading this post is in Birkin Bags target market, nor do the manufacturer care that we all think they are running a big (legal) scam. But yes, I do think they are dumb but I’m not surprised that people buy them. When you reach a certain level of wealth and maybe even more so, “status”, people are always looking for something ridiculous to set them apart.

    Now what I’m more interested in is who started Birkin Bags? How did they get the idea? I’d really be interested in seeing their thoughts on it all and how they got it started and off the ground.

    1. Yeah, I doubt anyone who owns a Birkin will read this. If they do, I hope they feel free to flame away! Tell me why your purse is “worth it.” PLEEEEEEEEEEEASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    2. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says:

      It actually was named after Jane Birkin, an actress.

      I think Birkin bags are like Rolex’s in the sense that they do not lose their value, so sometimes rich people buy them to resell later in life.

      But I agree with all of this. If all the people in the world who wasted $100k on a purse instead settled for a nice, hand made by a person making a living wage handbag, the most I could see it being sold for is like $1,000 (especially if an intricate bag). Anyways, my point is, that a $1k purse, although crazy high in price, is a heck of a lot more reasonable than a purse that cost 100 times that. Then, with that $99k they saved, they could make a huge contribution to charitable causes they believe in.

      For the record, BRIC countries like China have been a big part of their demand in recent years.

  16. I’m totally with you. A purse just carries my shit in it and it gets put through the ringer. Don’t get me wrong, I want a bag that is cute, but I can easily find that for $30. I don’t have a shoe thing either like a lot of other women do.

    1. I’m not into shoes either. I can’t wear anything with a heel because of my back so I have to seek out sensible shoes. Boring.

  17. That’s why I don’t watch reality shows. They just make me mad and I wonder why people who are so narcissistic and have no talent get a TV show. I also feel the same way about opposite ends of the spectrum with extreme cheapskates or couponers. I guess it’s so we’ll talk about them.

    1. In my defense, I had strep throat! I watched all 3 seasons of that show on Netflix over the course of three days!

  18. As a guy I have no idea what you are talking about… So I googled it… I don’ get it. I mean I feel bad when I spend $20 on a wallet that I use for a decade or so. Guess I am too out of the loop to understand this. But in the end… good for Hermes for being able to sell over priced bags to people.

    1. I agree. That’s some marketing plan. I need to create some “scarce” product to sell to these people!

  19. OMG, you are hilarious! I used to love to watch those shows too. I don’t understand their mindsets either. I had a $35 purse once and all I did was worry about it. Would it get dirty? A pen mark? Yuck, a bathroom floor? It wasn’t easily cleanable, you could see every little mark on it. I realize $35 isn’t much, but seriously, I rarely had $35 IN it. My favorite purse of all times was one I bought on clearance for $3. It was gorgeous, it was easy to clean, it didn’t show every little mark, it was soft yet it could stand up when you put it down. It only had 1 handle (this is a pet peeve of mine, I despise 2 handled purses, but I’m sure that’s just me!). Real housewives are just posers who seem to be so insecure that they have to flaunt their “wealth”. Truly wealthy people, the secure ones anyway, don’t feel that need. Again, Holly, you are HILARIOUS! 😀

  20. I would feel like such an idiot if I valued a status symbol enough to want to buy a bag like that. What a colossal waste of money and seriously? Like if you need to show off your wealth so much as to buy a $30K bag, then you probably need to get a life.

    1. Yes. You basically summarized this entire post. =)

  21. It’s all a matter of perspective. If you have oodles of $, the price of the bag is not a big deal. For certain people in the developing world, what you drop in a Coach or Kohl’s bag would be the equivalent of what you are whining about relative to the Hermes bag. And for all you frugal people who love a deal? How do you thing prices at your favorite stores are so low? Hint: fair wages are not involved. I think everybody should do as they please with their money. Everyone has different priorities, no need to judge. If you don’t get it, just don’t buy it / feed the marketing scam.

    1. Oh, I definitely agree that people should do what they want with their money. But I also enjoy taking advantage of my right to make fun of them.

      And if someone’s “priority” (Priority, really?) is a purse that costs 30K, then I truly feel sorry for them.

      I’m confused why you think I shouldn’t be allowed to talk about it. If you support someone’s right to buy a $30,000 pursue, then you should support my right to say whatever I want! =) (And I’m a firm believe in exercising that right BTW)

      1. I never said you couldn’t talk about it. But if you so strongly oppose it, the way you wrote the post, you are actually advertising it in a way… And again, what is with the judgement, let them have their 30K purse, 100K car, whatever! If they want to spend it that way, so be it! How would you like someone to tell you that your trips are an absolute luxury, how dare you spend so much on them, etc… (sure you use points whatever, you could use that for other “nobler” things). And hey, they are spending, you are watching the shows and talking about it. They could not care less about your feeling sorry for them. HA! they win 🙂

        1. No one who would buy a Birkin bag would read a website called, “Club Thrifty.” Get real!

          And people write how travel is an unnecessary luxury all the time. Why should I care? They are probably just writing about whatever they want, as am I. It seriously confuses me why you would argue that people have the right to spend 30K on purses. Of course they do. And I have the right to write anything I want about it. Why encourage one and try to suppress the other? Honestly, that makes zero sense.

          On the other hand, I encourage all comments- good or bad! So keep fighting the good (or pointless) fight! I’ll be over here making fun of Birkin bags and the people who buy them. And working.

      2. christine says:

        You sound like a big hater. Birkinsstart at 10,000. The ones going for 30,000 Is the exotic skin so please do more research before you childishly bash someone

        1. WAIT a MINUTE! They only start at 10K? Wow, what a bargain! You are totally right! Birkin bags are such a huge bargain!

          1. LOL….. Holly you hilarious 😛

      1. Unfortunately, as it stands right now: “let them eat cake”

        1. I agree with you. And speaking of fancy trips, I was in Paris last week and stood in the area where Marie Antionette got her head chopped off. That is a very interesting time in French history IMO.

      2. For those of you who advocate higher tax rates, I’m sure that you voluntarily send a check to the Bureau of Public Debt each year. That is the recommended way for people to make voluntary extra payments to the government.

        1. Oh honey, I know Fox News likes that talking point, but it doesn’t work that way because of the Tragedy of the Commons (look it up on Wikipedia).

          My puny little 6 figure salary isn’t going to do much at all for government even if I give 100%. This article explains better: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2010/10/13/why-warren-buffett-cant-solve-our-tax-problem.aspx

          And yes, I’d be perfectly happy to have higher marginal taxes even at my “less than rich” level. But only if everyone else is too, including those making far more than I do.

          Of course, no matter what I say it isn’t going to make a difference because Fox News is pretty good at brainwashing with repetition. It doesn’t actually have to make sense, it just has to “feel” like it makes sense.

          1. Gee, Honey, what does Fox News have to do with a discussion about Birkin bags? I simply figured that since you advocate the government taking more of our money, then you would practice what you preach and voluntarily send more than required to the government.

  22. I wouldn’t even buy a 30k car let alone a 30k bag.
    The Birkin also made an appearance on Sex and the City…as a symbol of success…mmmk
    Make sure to check Retail Me Not for a Kohl’s coupon!

    1. Yes! I have a 30% though that I got in the mail. And a $5 off coupon.

  23. Stuff like this makes me crazy. My brother just showed me pictures from a wedding of one of his college friends (who is 22 years old) that was featured in Vogue. It was estimated at over 1 million dollars. I’m like- REALLY? Is there nothing better you can do with that money? Not that rich people shouldn’t enjoy their money, but the level of extravagance is disgusting, especially considering how many are in need.

    1. That is a lot for a wedding. I would rather take that cash and purchase a home in cash. Of course, if you have a ton of money, I guess you can do that too.

  24. Oh my word – I had no knowledge of these. Maybe because I’m vegan and in debt, do these things would be completely off my radar. That and I don’t carry a purse. I put my keys and wallet in my jacket, pump bag, or diaper bag. I have no idea what women carry in purses.

    1. LOL. I mostly carry my wallet in mine. Sometimes I have coupons or a hair brush or something for the kids.

  25. I think the bags are ridiculous, but the impulse is real. We all have a need for status, and in a consumer culture our purchases are a viable way to get that. Even we frugal folks get status, ironically, by our frugal purchases. We buy the sensible bag at Kohls and, in our own little subculture of PF writers, get some kudos from our like-minded peers — we’re seen as smart shoppers.

    1. I don’t know that I agree with that. For example, when I carry my new Kohl’s bag, I don’t do it so people notice it. I don’t let people know it’s a “X brand” or whatever, I don’t flaunt it. I just put my shit in it and go. I don’t save money to achieve status, I do it because I’m cheap. And I also do it because, to me, a purse is a practical item that serves a purpose- not a status symbol. That $20 purse can do the job just as well as the $30,000 bag.

      1. Holly,

        I’m painting with a broad brush, certainly. But the need for social status is ingrained in all of us. You might not be motivated by the personal finance, subculture status you get from frugal purchases. But we all get status/reputation nonetheless. All our actions (including purchasing decisions, or the things we write about on our blogs that show we’re frugal or thrifty) influence the status we have with others.

        On the point of the bag, I know it’s sensitive to point out how all of us are motivated by social pressures. We want to think we’re immune from these things. But we are not carrying our stuff around in a paper bag from Kroger’s, either. 🙂 Our purchasing decisions are motivated by, and then reinforce/influence, our social status.

        1. Maybe you should write a blog post about it? Seems like a weird place to park that comment. This is simply a blog post about how I think $30,000 bags are stupid. That’s it.

          1. My intent wasn’t to make you feel defensive, just to give my perspective. To my cousins in the Philippines, I can assure you that my wife’s $50 Marshall bag is stupid, too. It’s relative.

            People buy a $30k bag for status. Many middle class purchases also fall under the same motivations.

          2. Maybe, but not all. I assure you that whatever purse I do buy won’t bring me any status. I’m replacing mine because it has a hole in it. =)

    2. Completely agree – whose PF is the noblest of them all.

  26. Instead of spending 30k on a bag, how about donate that money to a cause like helping out with the Ebola crisis? I will probably never be mega wealthy in my lifetime, but I would like to think that if I was, I would be putting that money to good use.

    1. I can think of a million things to do with 30K that don’t involve a purse.

  27. I own one purse that I’ve had for 20+ years – I never use them, this one is for when I wear something without pockets (aka dress/skirt) and Dad won’t let me stash my wallet, keys and phone in his pockets (NB: this happens about once a year). I do however carry a 10+ yr old Jansport backpack around when I need to haul my laptop or notebooks, or travel stuff. $40 (maybe? that was a long time ago) with a lifetime warranty – and Name Brand!
    I never understood the desire for purses; knowing me, I’d have a 30k purse and forget about it and leave it somewhere…. But 30k can do a lot of good elsewhere – either for your own wallet or for charity.

    1. Me too! That’s why I don’t buy expensive sunglasses. I usually lose 2-3 pairs per summer. But since I pay like $10 for them, I don’t lose any sleep over it. I’ve never lost a purse, but I would be really stressed out if I were carrying a $30,000 bag around. I don’t think it would ever leave the house.

  28. I stopped carrying purses years ago! Oh wait, I don’t carry them. I never understood why people spend big bucks on a purse. They are just bags people. They wear out and have to be replaced. Hell, you can get a nice car for the price of a bag. At least you can drive that status symbol around.

    1. Well, in some cases, spending more can get you something that lasts longer. Cheap purses tend to have short life spans. On the other hand, there’s a point where that no longer matters. A quality made purse doesn’t need to cost 30K.

    1. Probably! Maybe you just lose perspective as your income grows.

  29. While I agree with the intent of your argument, it honestly could be used for everything in life. Why do people drive nice cars? It’s just something to transport you to one place from another–a bicycle could do that. Why do people buy three-bedroom houses? You only need a place to sleep and cook. A shack could do that. Why do people buy anything in life when something cheaper would most likely do? Because sometimes we just like nice things.
    While I could never justify that cost for a purse, I’m sure their budgets are much bigger than mine.

    1. Sure, I could write a blog post about mansions and fancy cars too. But that isn’t what this blog post is about- its about purses.

      1. Mi, I’m starting to think you are the proud owner of a Birkin bag or at least something in that realm. Wow, this post really touched a nerve with you! =)

  30. It continues to amaze me how much people will waste just for a status symbol. I mean really! sponsor a child, buy a Greek island, anything but a freakin purse. Bunch of dumb twatwaffles.

      1. catherine says:

        haha you can steal it, to give credit it’s not an original Catherine-ism but given the amount of idiots in today’s society I use it more than I’d like.

  31. Status symbols in general drive me crazy. It’s one thing if you can potentially argue better handling, more durability, etc (say, for driving a fancy car). But at some level, a cheaper item could do the same.

    I wish there were more cachet with being a big donor to something. It’d be nice to see the Real Housewives competing to see who could make the biggest donations to help their local schools or nature areas. Maybe see who can spay/neuter the most stray animals. Or, since they’re in Florida, donate money to bounty hunters to see who can get the most anacondas out of the Everglades.

    Money has power, sure. I’d like to see that power for good.

  32. I am a purse person, kind of. I did buy a $200 purse once, but I used it for 4 years, so it’s the same as my typical $50 for a year deal. That said, I do lust after them… but mostly because the leather feels awesome, more than “oooh, it’s a birkin”

  33. That’s such a complete waste of money ….

    I walked into a Coach store the other day and saw a men’s wallet for $120. It was honestly no different (material, construction) then the $20 wallet in my pocket except that it said Coach on it. Honestly what’s the point in paying that extra $100 just for the name??

    1. I don’t know- especially since a wallet stays in your back pocket. At least people can see the Coach emblem on a woman’s purse. Men’s wallets mostly stay hidden.

  34. Wow, I had to google that too because I didn’t believe you at first. Then bam—I see that hideous green bag for $105k. INSANE. I knew expensive bags were out there, but I thought that meant $5k, not $30k and up! Crazy!

    I splurged (well, geez compared to the above prices probably not) on a Coach bag for $400. What was happening was I’d get these cheap-o bags and seriously, a month later the thread would come off, or the handle would start to wear away, and basically I’d have to get a new bag every year. So I settled on a good-quality bag that has so far lasted me a whole lot longer than what I had spent on the others I ended up throwing up combined.

    1. Mine was cheap but it has lasted a while- a few years. I really do need a new one though- it has a hole in the side. So far the hole doesn’t extend into the liner of the bag but I know that one day my stuff is going to start falling out. =/

  35. I think every time I hear many of these reality stars speak…I lose a little faith in humanity! At some point, the cost is way too excessive. Don’t they have anything better to do with their money. Shoot, wouldn’t it feel better to know that you fed a starving kid (hundreds of starving children) rather than the “status” of a scarce hand bag?

    1. I would feel better doing a lot of things with 30K. Well, almost anything!

  36. I won’t deny being a purse girl with some high-end purses in my closet, but no birkin bag. 🙂 I don’t watch the Housewives, because the first one took place in the OC. They were so vapid. I don’t act that way – promise! But no, as much as I love a good handbag, I couldn’t see spending $20k+ on a bag. There are lots of other things I would rather do with that money.

  37. I have a question about Hulu and netflix. Can you watch the current seasons or do you have to wait until they come out on video? Thanks!

    PS: Those bags are a waste of money.

    1. Jessica!

      It is my understanding that they release some seasons once they are over and other incrementally as the season progresses. For example, I know the Master Chef episode released on Hulu one week is the episode from the week before.

      Does that make sense?

  38. Well, not a sweatshop. As I recall, one reason they’re so scarce and so sought after is that the designer himself hand sews it. And when I first hear of them, back in the early 2000s, they were “only” $5,000. Still stupid, though.

    I dunno if you want Gilmore Girls, but I’m reminded of an episode where a boyfriend gives Rory a Birken. She gets all excited and says it’s great because it’ll fit her laptop.

    That’s pretty much how I look at it. Nothing short of a car or a house is functional enough to spend tens of thousands. So… yeah.

    1. You mean they are sewn by hand? Well then, it’s totally worth 30K! BAHAHAHAHAHA
      (Kidding)

    2. LeRainDrop says:

      OMG, Abigail, I just came back here to post because I’ve been netflixing Gilmore Girls and — totally coincidentally — saw this episode tonight! Rory says it’s perfect for her computer cords, and Logan tells her it’s “not a computer cord kind of purse.” Rory’s (wealthy) grandmother tells her, “That’s a VERY nice purse.” So Rory says, “Maybe I shouldn’t use it?” And her grandmother replies,” Oh, no. A Birkin bag is meant to be used — and seen!”

  39. Oh, and if you haven’t watched Gilmore Girls, the whole series is on Netflix. Just sayin’.

  40. That’s crazy, not sure I can ever imagine spending that much on an item like a bag. I think the real question here is how do I create the next “birkin bag”? Looks like you just need to pretend its scarce and get it in the hands of a celebrity. If only it were that easy!

    1. I know, right. I’m brainstorming ideas for some really “scarce” items I could make and sell myself.

  41. I just saw a coworker has a $5,000 rolex listed on a company intranet classified listing. I had no idea she owned a watch that valuable. I think it’s a bit crazy but I guess some people love their watches

  42. While I, personally, would not feel comfortable buying a Burkin bag for a significant other (I’m a guy)… a large part of that is because I also don’t reasonably expect to be making more than $1 million per year any time in my career. Only at that time might I feel okay with it, although it still seems like a highly excessive item. Maybe 1-2k on a very well made high quality leather designer bag, but 30k just seems like a pure jewelry item.

    Of course, I do tend to believe that we should be free to do as we wish. The mentality that “… you could feed a whole XX with that…” scares me in this society when we judge what other people do and impose our own beliefs upon them.

    Would I feel like a bad person? No, but I would feel like a complete idiot if I or anyone in my family ever got one. Even if I make obscene millions some day, I will still be frugal. Frugal in the sense that I will always look for value in anything I buy. I may pay 400-500 per night at a hotel, but only if I felt the service/experience was worth the premium… same goes for any other product/service. When I start buying things just as a status symbol, please shoot me!

    1. I know what you’re saying. I don’t like it when people judge my spending and I don’t think the government (or anyone else) should be actively involved in deciding what we can and cannot buy. BUT I still think it’s ridiculous enough to buy a blog post about and I am not trying to legally bar it from happening- just making fun of it because it does! =)

      And yeah, I agree. Please shoot me if you see me with a $30,000 handbag.

    2. Nybluedog says:

      When you make millions a year, or a million a year or even hundreds of thousands a year and you have your million dollar home and investments, and you want to spend on alternative investment and beautiful things that hold their value and even increase in value over time, that’s when you choose to buy a Birkin or an art work. Some people collect good watches as they hold their value over time or even appreciate in value. Some people collect exotic cars (which cost way more than birkins by the way). Some people collect homes and just have them sit there and collect dust for most of the time. Some people collect art and hang on the wall. What do you have to say about those? Have you heard of people who collect wine, which is something that you drink and pass out as waste from your body? To each his own! This is a post that I can understand coming from “club thrifty” but Birkin bags can only be understood by the non club thrifty.

  43. LeRainDrop says:

    Are you freakin’ kidding me?!?!?! I can appreciate the looks of a cute purse, but absolutely nothing could justify, for me, purchasing such an over-the-top expensive handbag like this. I even feel a bit guilty and wasteful for the two lower-end Coach purses I’ve bought in my life. These Birkin bags are just in a whole nother universe!

    1. LeRainDrop says:

      OMG, don’t ask me why, but I am watching Gilmore Girls episodes on Netflix, and in the episode that is on now, Logan just bought a pink Birkin bag for Rory! What the hell? Okay, I just couldn’t let that coincidence go by without re-commenting here 🙂

  44. I (somewhat shamefully) know the exact episode you are talking about. I think I just bleed middle class blood and will never understand such an intense love for a material object bc it never has been and probably never will be an option for little ol’ me 😉 This post was SO funny. I admire your ability to turn a Real Housewives moment into a post for a financial blog. Bravo ! (pun intended)

  45. I’m honestly a little disappointed in this post. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE your perspective and humor, but I honestly feel like this post, given your platform as a whole and the readers you attract, is a waste of time and head knowledge. ha ha! We KNOW people who care about status are usually swimming in debt, so I think it goes without saying that purses priced for that amount are completely absured. Anyways, club thrifty for life! 😉

    1. You win some, you lose some =) But seriously, thanks for reading! If you read the comments on this post, some people don’t seem to think that spending 30K on a bag is a bad idea at all. Maybe it’s just common knowledge for some of us! =)

  46. I love purses – but I could never understand a purse that costs as much (if not more) than my car! Kohl’s bags are amazing, btw! I heart Kohl’s <3

  47. Ben Luthi says:

    People who spend that much money on something like a purse are horrible people. There. I said it.

    1. Judgmental people are horrible people.

      1. Ben Luthi says:

        I guess you can’t really paint with that brush without getting anything on yourself, can you? 🙂

  48. Let’s talk seriously about this. You say $100,000 is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a handbag, and that money could have been used for a good cause. Instead I suppose the Birkin owner should shop for a purse at Kohl’s.

    A Birkin bag is expensive, yes. But it is not, as you assumed in your post, made in Indonesia. Birkin’s are hand crafted in France by artisans who make a good living.

    Conversely, your Kohl’s purse was in fact thrown together in an Indonesian slum where workers live in horrid conditions and are paid a pittance.

    Choosing to spend $100,000 on humanitarian efforts that relieve poverty conditions in Indonesia instead of buying a Birkin bag would be commendable. But choosing to shop at Kohl’s under the guise of frugality is the real problem. It’s easy to bitch about people spending money on designer purses while turning a blind eye to the suffering that has been inflicted by your own “responsible” purchase.

    Stop throwing stones.

    1. Hey Kristen,

      Do you have a blog? If you do, I highly recommend you fill it with YOUR opinions on how life should be. Please, educate us!

      I agree that crappy handbags from Kohl’s aren’t the world’s best option. I would prefer to buy used about 99% of the time, but haven’t had great luck with purses. Perhaps a good compromise would something locally made that is somewhere far away from the $100,000 spent on Birkin bags. Like maybe a few hundred bucks?
      Hell, maybe I will order a handmade bag off Etsy. And for the record, I had no idea where Birkin bags are made…nor do I care! Spending $100,000 on a bag is stupid and that is the point of this post. If you disagree, feel free to blow your wad on any ridiculous luxury item of your choosing! I’ll be over here carrying my shitty handbag and keeping my money in the bank.
      And FYI, I buy almost everything we need second-hand because a) I don’t like to funnel money into companies that use cheap labor b)I like to save things from the landfill when I can, and c) I like to avoid spending money on industries that harm the environment when I can.

  49. I tend to pride myself on finding cute stuff for little money. I don’t know if you have them where you live, but Charming Charlie is my absolute favorite place for finding super cute purses for under $50. Uh-oh, I just gave away my best fashion secret… You better not show up to the same party as me with the same purse! 🙂

  50. Nybluedog says:

    People pay for a birkin like they would for a piece of art. A birkin is not just a bag. You can think of it as art that happens to be a bag. Why do people pay thousands and even millions to buy art to hang on their walls and not being able to use it for practical examples you have provided. Birkins are all handcrafted with exact precision by craftsmen in Paris specially trained to make these bags. The leather (exotics) can be so rare or can be discontinued, thus making the bags of investment value. There is a socialite Jamie chua of Singapore who bought 200 of these birkins maybe costing her 2m but which have increased in value to close to 4m today. It’s a smart woman’s bag/art/ collectible.

  51. I own a Birkin.
    I realize this a relatively older thread so my response may be redundant but I’ll give my 2 cents anyway.
    I bought my Birkin over a decade ago and I live in a region where few know what it is even is and I’m perfectly fine with that, I don’t carry it to impress others, I carry it because I like the bag and appreciate how well its made, it serves me well. It’s the only bag I have owned over the last decade and it doesn’t look any the worse for wear, no holes, hasn’t been thrown into a landfill and replaced numerous times other bags made in sweatshops that eventually would end up in a landfills.
    As far as how I got it, I didn’t “know” anyone, I went I to the boutique and asked if I could get one, 6 months later I got a call to come pick it up if I was still interested. Nothing magical, no secret society or hoops to jump through. People like to create their own drama and if you’re watching these kinds of shows them drama is all you get because they sure don’t have substance.
    I always get a kick out of people who make assumptions about others who spend their money on things that they feel are beyond utilitarian and always bring up how they could donate these funds to those less fortunate. Sorry, I’m not a martyr but I do more than most who like to throw this kind of rhetoric out there. I have worked in Foreign Aid and community development for over 20 years as a volunteer. I spent 6 years in India volunteering in 3 orphanages and 2 psychiatric institutions all set up originally by Mother Teresa. I have set up numerous community aid and development programs and still manage them to this day. I now work in an ER in Canada and channel substantial donated medical supplies to India, Kenya and the Congo, many being shipped on my dime. It is an exhaustive process on top of my existing 60+ hour week directly treating local patients.
    I’m not wealthy by any stretch, I’m not in debt, I don’t care if someone recognizes I carry a Birkin on occasion, fact I’d prefer they didn’t notice because it doesn’t define me as a person, it’s just a bag I appreciate for its quality and workmanship. Owning one does not make me an idiot, foolish, attention seeking or wasteful with my resources. On the contrary, I find those that preach stentorian from the mount in the judgement on others and the ratio of their financial contributions to those in need are typically those who could stand to look in the mirror and ask themselves what have they done with any kind of regularity to actively help others in need?

    1. I like how Holly didn’t respond to this comment because frankly you said what most people who can afford or own a Birkin do. Most are the source of financial aid supporting programs and organisations that help people. Holly please share some of what you have done to improve another persons life while saving money on your Kohls bag?

  52. Anonymous says:

    I read a really interesting article recently about what drives up handbag prices – apparently most of that money goes towards funding other products and advertising and glamorous events for the designer brand. Then of course a huge chunk just for the name. Then some for the quality of materials and craftsmanship and the small number produced (because you can’t mass produce things of such high quality). So imho…yeah, the bag is NOT worth that amount – even the designer purses that are a lot lower than that are truly NOT worth that money – you’re paying for much, much more than the actual quality of the purse, despite the tired arguments you hear about how “you get what you pay for, you’re paying for the quality”. You could get a very high quality, hand made purse on Etsy for a tiny fraction of the price. When people fall in love with the gorgeous designs though, they often also don’t want to go the cheaper option of buying a replica (or the illegal option of buying an outright fake). Maybe the look-a-like “inspired” versions just aren’t close or good enough. Nonetheless, those bags are certainly not actually worth the money with regards to quality – it’s the extra psychological or aesthetic value that the buyers put on them that makes them buy them, or simply seeking status for some – I think most really love the bags though. Some of the bags increase in value, so it’s profitable to sell them, but most wouldn’t buy with the idea of selling anyway. It’s also funny to me how people seem to do this crazy contrast between the cheapo Target (or Kohl’s) bag vs. the Hermes Birkin, trying to justify one against the other. The sweatshop produced low quality bags (which do look cheap, whether buyers can see that or not) are terrible for other reasons. People shouldn’t forget the many, many reasonable and high quality bags in the mid range, even less money than Coach would cost. The two options are not simply tacky and extravagant.

  53. YOU are stupid. Period

    Educate yourself first. With expert like you no wonder why the economy is doing so bad
    Hermes bags are made in France by highly qualified artisans who spend tens of hour handcrafting one single bag.
    Plus, lot of people buy these bags as an investment. Are you not appalled by the amount some art collectors spend on random drawing on a piece of canvas they call ‘art’ ?
    And the real price at the hermes boutique for non exoctic birkin is 7,000 euro ($8,000) in Europe and $10,000. It’s the resellers that are bumping the prices up to the $20 range.

    As a financial expert I suggest you do an analysis on this phenomenon first, before judging people who has worked their a** off to earn their money and live in a country where everyone is free to spend it however they want.

    1. I am cracking up like an egg under a bus!

      You wrote: “spend tens of hour handcrafting one single bag”

      Again: “TENS of hours” for a bag that can cost almost $200,000 ?!?

      You gotta be kidding me?

      Not only it should be “hours”, but also, I wonder what makes any (!) bag on this planet worth anything over a few hundred Dollars / Euros?

      A bag is what it is: It’s a place where the women carry around their tampons, rouge, lipstick and probably even condoms around. There is absolutely nothing on a bag that can possibly be worth that much money. Period!

      Anyone who tries to defend such an insane product and at such an ridiculous price must check his or her own sanity.

  54. Fashionmommy01 says:

    I find how judgmental you are, Holly, ridiculous. All you are doing is spreading hate with nasty articles like these.

    To me, you are the problem. First of all, you’re watching reality housewives shows which is just smut and by watching that garbage you are just contributing to them spending ridiculous amounts of money on things. Secondly, your cheap Kohls or low end crap is a huge problem in society. Talk about sweatshops. Who do you think makes, your cheap Kohls crap, or your cell phone or your computer, your cheap clothes. All sweatshops. Not only is all that cheap crap being made by people who are denied basic human rights, what do you do with that crappy purse after you use it for two months and then there’s a hole in it? You throw it away, so now the cheap crap you have to keep replacing because it sucks is piling up in landfills all over the world. But, you know, it’s cool, at least you saved some money.

    Well, Hermes doesn’t contribute to any of those problems. They hire skilled crafts people who make each bag by hand, and they are paid well for their art, because if you ever touched something from Hermes, you would know it’s a work of art. Each Birkin takes 18 hours to make and for each bag only one artist makes it, meaning if I ordered a Bleu Paon Clemence 30cm bag and Mr. Nicoli is the bag maker selected for my bag, that only Mr. Nicoli would be involved in making my bag, no one else. These people are artists, not sweatshop kids.
    And guess what, no Birkin would ever get a hole in it. These bags are meant to be passed down generations, like a Rolex. Imagine, your grandma passing on to you a beautiful handmade bag.

    Lastly, it is understood that not everyone can afford them and that’s life. There are tons of things in this world some people can get and can’t. It has always been that way. It’s the American entitlement attitude that make people in our country seem to think that people with less money and less education deserve more. If you hate Hermes Birkins so much stop watching those stupid tv shows so they won’t get as much money.

    1. Hey Fashionmommy01, Thanks for your very impassioned comment. I like your point about not buying crap and putting it in a landfill. I also like the point about sweatshops. We try not to support those whenever possible, which is one reason we buy used. I’d even agree that entitlement in America is a big problem. All good stuff.

      Of course, there’s a gigantic leap between buying quality stuff and spending $10,000 on a purse – kinda like the leap you took when your backwards logic pinned the blame on Holly for somebody else buying a Birkin bag. You have to admit, that’s a pretty big stretch.

      Oh, and for the record, we could buy dozens of Birkin bags if we wanted to. But we don’t. Because they’re a waste of fucking money.

    2. Dear Grandma,

      Please don’t leave me a $10,000 handbag when you die. Please just leave me $10,000.

      Signed, Everyone in America with half a brain

    3. I agree with SOME of your points excluding the “It’s the American entitlement attitude that make people in our country seem to think that people with less money and less education deserve more”…that’s just plain insensitive, classist and aggregious!!

      1. ^^spell check…egregious 🙂

  55. I think it is wrong to judge people who spend their money on what they like, saying that instead, they should feed starving children! Are you kidding me? So because someone is rich and has loads of money they should just feel bloody guilty about it, never spend on futile things but go around the world giving to the poor! Yeah…right…

  56. With Birkins, it’s a bit more complicated than you suggest.

    I agree as to almost all consumer goods (purses, jewelry, cars, etc…). These items almost never hold any value. For most consumer goods, resale value is a small fraction of the MSRP, so the decision to purchase is about taste and emotion.

    With that said, there are some (very very few) luxury consumer goods, that hold or even increase in market value over time. This is actually the case with the Hermes Birkin bag. It is also true for some Chanel purse models, luxury watches, and rare cars. Looking back over the last 30 years, the value of a Birkin Bag has consistently outperformed the stock market, commodities markets, and precious metals (500% increase over 30 years). The reason is that unlike most luxury goods, Hermes strictly controls to who it will sell a new Birkin (it will only sell to an individual it believes Is representative of the brand. It is impossible to walk in off the street to buy one, even if you have the cash, unless you are known to the brand. In turn, that drives up the resale value. Also, the Birkin never changes — there is no “new” model to drive down the relevence of a 20-30 year old example of a bag that is kept in good shape.

    This is not to suggest that a Birkin has any inherent value, because of course it does not (arguably, only water holds intrisic value). A Birkin does, however, hold market value. Purchasers of Birkins for that reason are not stupid — they are investors.

    All of my consumer goods will wear out and be worth pennies on the dollar. A Birkin, historically, pays exponential returns over time.

  57. Lol the birkin starts at 5000€ and everyone can buy one if they have the money for it lol only specific leather types and designs have a long waiting list but u can go into a Hermès boutique ( at least in Europe ) and buy one of the regular ones they have in stock I saw the easiest way to get one immediately is purchasing it at the main boutique at 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris they have a lot of bags in stock compared to other Hermès boutiques in Europe u get a appointment if the store is crowded but that’s mostly the next day

  58. I feel sorry for those folks who have to buy these bags to make themselves feel better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.