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Why are Chanel bags so expensive?

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Chanel raised their prices again in March for 2023. While some may have gotten used to it, there is no doubt that it has left committed followers with conflicting feelings.

Have you ever wondered why Chanel handbags are so pricey, and even getting more so? Of course, the luxury status of the brand name contributes to the price tag, but it can’t be the only reason. If you’re wondering about this as well, keep reading.

chanel bags real

The History and Legacy of Chanel

Now that the brand’s premium position has been mentioned, how can we not talk about the history of its founding and legacy? Thanks to its iconic founder, Gabrielle Chanel, commonly known as Coco Chanel, Chanel has become a pillar of luxury fashion.

In 1913, Gabrielle Chanel opened her first boutique in Deauville and unveiled a revolutionary line of sportswear made with jersey material – fabric typically used to make men’s underwear. It was an instant success with the public. This daring act also changed the way how women felt about their bodies.

Gabrielle Chanel boutique Deauville 1913

Gabrielle Chanel in front of her boutique in Deauville, 1913

Since then, Chanel continues to expand its design empire to include everything from apparel, and hats to fragrances and premium skincare items. Not forgetting those iconic bags – who could?!

Coco’s creative design and timeless style shaped the fashion industry. Chanel became associated with luxury and high-end. The iconic “CC” logo becomes eye-catching and hard to overlook. It’s safe to say when you invest in a Chanel bag, you’re not just buying an object, you’re buying a piece of history.

Coco Chanel 2.55 Handbag

Coco Chanel with Her 2.55 Handbag

The Luxurious Materials Behind Each Chanel Bag

I think materials is the most obvious explanation for the price tag. And I believe that most people’s obsession with designer handbags is partly because of the leather. No one can’t resist the silky smooth texture and incomparable luxurious feel of leather.

To create beautiful textures and finishes for their bags, each bag is crafted with incredible attention to detail and using only the most luxurious and high-quality materials, such as:

Leather: lambskin, caviar, goatskin, calfskin, deerskin, patent leather

Exotics Leather: alligator, lizard, python, ostrich

Alternative Materials: tweed, canvas

chanel bag materials leather

Take the two most popular Chanel leather as detailed examples:

Lambskin Leather – It has a butter-soft, silky texture with a dazzling shine. And is highly desired for its luxurious, dressy appearance. If color depth is important to you, lambskin is the material for you.

real chanel wallet chain Lambskin Gold Metal Black

Chanel Wallet on Chain – Lambskin – Black

Caviar Leather – Caviar leather is pebbled-grained calfskin leather. It’s a little heavier and tougher than lambskin. But it’s also more stable and durable, so for those who prefer to carry their Chanel bag more frequently, caviar would be a better choice.

authentic Chanel Small Flap Wallet Calfskin Black

Chanel Small Flap Wallet – Grained Calfskin & Enamel – Black

the value of exclusivity

Part of the reason why Chanel bags are so pricy lies in the value of exclusivity. Chanel is known for their limited production, which essentially means that not many people can get their hands on their products. This exclusivity is what drives the value of the brand further up, making it even more desirable for those who can afford it. Simply put, if you want to stand out from the crowd and own a piece of high-end fashion item, Chanel won’t be the wrong choice.

Shoppers lining up Chanel store

Shoppers Are Lining Up In Front of the Chanel Store

Price Increase over the years

Chanel, like other luxury brands, has raised the pricing of their handbags year after year. Nowadays, the cost of manufacturing, employee labor, and material expenses has indicated that supply has difficulty keeping up with consumer demand.

The increase is huge! Steepening to the point where the only Classic Flap under $10,000 is the small size, the Maxi now hits the $11,000 mark. The Chanel Classic Medium Flap has risen 16% and prices have soared to $10,200.

chanel classic flap medium prices 1955 2022

However, Chanel adjusts the price isn’t just because the cost of production has skyrocketed. Some say it’s to retain exclusivity while others claim the company aims to attain peak fantasy bag status to sit alongside those from the more costly brands like Hermès. Chanel believes people are willing to pay a premium price for an exquisite piece that’s both timeless and iconic.

Customers View Chanel as an Investment Piece

As mentioned above, the price of Chanel bags has increased significantly compared to their original cost. Price hikes might be advantageous for individuals looking to invest in the luxury market. Because the bag holds its value properly, you will be able to recoup your investment if you choose to sell it in the years to come.

Look at the picture above and take the medium Chanel Classic flap for example, if you bought the bag in 2021, and sold it now, you could earn two to three thousand for just two years later (Of course the bag have to remain in good condition).

It makes sense to me why this resale value makes a huge difference in justifying why people are willing to invest in such an iconic luxury brand. Because buyers know that if they want to resell their bag later down the line, not only will they get most of their money back but there’s potential for profit too.

chanel bags price increase

What do people feel about the increasing price?

● For those who specialize in reselling and are good at profiting from the rules. It is certainly good news for them.

● Some people are used to it. They have accepted the idea that exclusivity comes at a cost, so they are still willing to spend thousands for their favorite luxury brand.

● Some seem to be angry by the steep increases. They argue that the costs are becoming unjustified and that they are just paying for the name.

● Some are getting to feel embarrassed to use Chanel bags. Because, before that, Chanel’s classics were ideal for everyday wear and travel. But now it’s turning out to be something that may be more expensive than someone’s car. They believe “it feel insensitive and sets up the wrong image”.

● Most of them are frustrated when they’re eyeing a new Chanel item only to find that the same style they were considering just a few years ago is now significantly pricier.

chanel bags different colors

And I, like a lot of others, feel upset by this but also have become used to it. So now the problem is how to get a cheaper Chanel bag? I have two options to recommend for you.

1.  Go the pre-loved route. Search for a Chanel in ‘great’ or ‘excellent’ condition, and make sure it comes with the authenticity card, dust bag, and original box. Examine the photos carefully to ensure you know exactly what you’re buying.

2.  Buy a Chanel replica. I noticed that many consignment and reseller websites don’t have satisfactory return policies. And some readers told me they have an experience that received fake and poor quality bags from those resell platforms. So instead of being afraid of getting a fake, I might just well choose to buy a high quality Chanel replica, at least I know what I will get and even save more.

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  1. Carmen
    April 24, 2023 / 3:05 pm

    10,200 dollars for a bag is just insane

  2. Lori
    April 22, 2023 / 1:04 pm

    I’m having trouble getting my payment to go through. I used visa, Mac and then my debit card; none would complete the transaction even though there are sufficient funds. What do you guys do?

    • Angie R.
      April 23, 2023 / 8:29 am

      Hi Lori,
      I haven’t encountered this situation so I can’t give you any advice. Maybe you can ask the seller for help and see what they can do for you.


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