PETALING JAYA - There are Malaysian women who have sold off their designer accessories, including Birkin bags from Hermes, to get out of a tight spot in life.
While some cite the need to get back on their feet after a divorce, others use the money to settle debts.
"I told my friends once that they'll need to buy some of my bags if I ever need the cash, and surprisingly, everyone said sure," said one woman in her 40s, who wanted to remain anonymous.
Another woman who also prefers not to be named says she had problems paying her divorce lawyers and raising her children, so she sent off a few Birkins to be sold.
"My husband hasn't paid any child maintenance or given any money. So I'm glad I have my Birkins to sell," she said.
If you're not yet tired of hearing the name being bandied about, then read on to learn why the Birkin is so sought after.
A Birkin is considered as an exceptional investment when it comes to its resale value, all over the world.
Checking with a retail outlet in Kuala Lumpur that handles the sales of second-hand luxury items, The Star found that a standard Birkin goes for between RM25,000 (S$8,500) and RM100,000 (S$34,000).
The value of each one greatly varies of course, based on the demand, condition and age of the item - as well as whether it is a limited edition.
Prices have shown an upward trend over the years too. A 2016 report on Baghunter.com stated that Birkins have increased in value by 500 per cent over 35 years.
In comparison with gold and S&P 500, the Birkin outperformed. It gave an annual average increase of 14.2 per cent.
Over the same time period, the S&P 500 has offered an average annual real return of 8.65 per cent, while gold has offered an average annual real return of -1.5 per cent.
As it is, the Birkin remains the undisputed "it" bag for having an out-of-this-world exclusive status.
There is also a wait list, which of course makes the bag even more coveted. You can't just walk in to buy one and you need to be an existing Hermes customer to get on the list.
So, how do you go about selling your Birkin?
Another local outlet in Kuala Lumpur said that the sales of such items are performed via consignment only, and payments to the seller are done via bank transfers and never in cash.
"We always take great care to ensure that the items that are placed in our inventory are 100 per cent genuine," said the retail attendant.
Such transactions usually do not involve a sales cut. Stores, however, reserve the right to set the price negotiated with the buyer, which means they do make a tidy profit.
Now you know what the fuss about Birkins is about.
To quote the sales clerk from hit television series Sex and the City (Episode 11, Season 4): "It's not a bag, it's a Birkin."