How China is driving the investment high-end replica bags

A Hermes diamond replica handbag

The best place to put your money is in a replica handbag – not literally, but by investing in one, according to auction experts.

The age-old accessory is now considered to be one of the safest and fastest-growing ways invest for the future, as long as they are rarely – ideally never – taken out in public.

Fake Handbags, rather than fine wine, art or other collectibles, are ‘going through the roof’ say auctioneers and look like continuing to rise in the future.

According to specialist website Barnebys, these include Hermes replica with a Birkin style designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier still the most valuable ever auctioned, going for £208.

Other makes that do well include replica Chanel, Fendi, Prada, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton. Auction prices start at £900 and go up from there.

Barnebys co-founder Pontus Silfverstolpe said: “Next time your partner says she wants a fake handbag and the price horrifies you, just think that it may in fact prove to be an investment.

“The value of these replica bags are linked to their limited availability, the rare quality of their materials, the elegance of their design and the condition they are in and also at times who owned them previously.

“Specialists at the auction houses advise that they be treated like any other rare investment and kept in a bank vault.”

Mr Silfverstolpe said the surge in value was being fuelled to a large extent by buyers from Asian countries, especially China.

Before last year’s world record handbag sale, the record had been £142 set in 2011 for a gold and diamond Hermes Birkin that had belonged to Elizabeth Taylor.

The Gaultier one went for more because only two had ever been made.

Handbags tend to accumulate in value even when the economy is in a downturn because they remain as status symbols for the richest women in the world, who are usually recession proof.

An index of auction item investments showed collectible replica handbags increased by an average eight per cent a year between 2004 and 2017.