A limited-edition monogram Centenaire Sybilla umbrella backpack, Louis Vuitton by Sybilla, 1996. 20 w x 30 h x 12 d cm. Estimate $1,500-2,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary

Handbags — The insider’s guide to protecting your investment

Handbag specialist Rachel Koffsky explains everything you need to know about maximising the value of your arm candy — illustrated with pieces offered in What Goes Around Comes Around  on 18 September in New York

1. Keep a paper trail

Intrinsic to the future resale value of any valuable handbag is the paperwork that comes with it. It is vital to keep all documentation organised and readily available. Exotic items require permits in order for them to be shipped internationally, and authenticity cards and certificates can be required for the repair of certain brands.

A rare, shiny natura vert céladon alligator Sellier Kelly 32 with gold hardware, Hermès, 1995. 32 w x 23 h x 11 d cm. Estimate $30,000-40,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

A rare, shiny natura vert céladon alligator Sellier Kelly 32 with gold hardware, Hermès, 1995. 32 w x 23 h x 11 d cm. Estimate: $30,000-40,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

Additionally, as valuable and rare assets, insurance appraisals may require invoices for proper valuation. It pays to be organised. This is especially important for bags set with diamonds, as official documentation of carat weight and gem colour cannot be replaced.

2. Put in your storage

A shiny tangerine lizard Birkin 25 with ruthenium hardware, Hermès, 2005. 25 w x 19 h x 13 d cm. Estimate $10,000-15,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

A shiny tangerine lizard Birkin 25 with ruthenium hardware, Hermès, 2005. 25 w x 19 h x 13 d cm. Estimate: $10,000-15,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

For accessories, proper storage is crucial to maintaining resale value. Condition is key on the secondary market — and this means appropriate packing is essential. Be sure to read our expert tips on handbag storage in order to maximise resale potential.

3. Exotics and the rain don’t mix!

A simple but very important rule: no exotics in the rain! Rain damage is one of the most detrimental condition issues for any handbag. Although exotics may appear durable, they are particularly susceptible to water damage. The innocuous shower turns serious when your Porosus Crocodile is rain-speckled. More often than not, this damage is permanent.

A bleu électrique porosus crocodile Birkin 40 with palladium hardware, Hermès, 2013. 40 w x 32 h x 20 d cm. Estimate $20,000-30,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

A bleu électrique porosus crocodile Birkin 40 with palladium hardware, Hermès, 2013. 40 w x 32 h x 20 d cm. Estimate: $20,000-30,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

Ensure that when the weather report calls for rain, your exotics are safe at home. If you must tote your tote, utilise the ‘raincoat’ that accompanies your Birkin or Kelly.

4. Pens and lipstick are your bag’s sworn enemies

A shiny red alligator classic medium double flap bag with gold hardware, Chanel, 1997. 26 w x 17 h x 7 d cm. Estimate $6,000-8,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

A shiny red alligator classic medium double flap bag with gold hardware, Chanel, 1997. 26 w x 17 h x 7 d cm. Estimate: $6,000-8,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

The condition of a handbag’s interior is just as important as its exterior. One rule of thumb to follow for your most precious pieces: no loose pens or lipstick. Even light pen marks can reduce a bag's resale value. Be smart and invest in an insert organiser.

5. Don’t forget to moisturise

With regular visits to a handbag ’spa’, a piece’s lifespan and resale value can be ensured and extended. In particular, moisturising leather will protect against cracks and permanent damage. Treat your handbags as you would any other asset — with regular and attentive care.

6. Operate a rotation system

To ensure a holistic and complete collection, be sure to invest in a mixture of timeless and on-trend pieces: a utilitarian tote for the office, for example, and a delicate clutch for evening.

A limited-edition pink alligator monogram Multicolore Marilyn, Louis Vuitton by Takashi Murakami, 2007. 25.5 w x 13 h x 10 d cm. Estimate $1,000-1,500. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

A limited-edition pink alligator monogram Multicolore Marilyn, Louis Vuitton by Takashi Murakami, 2007. 25.5 w x 13 h x 10 d cm. Estimate: $1,000-1,500. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

Another rule of thumb: rotate. Making use of each piece in your collection as much as possible will ensure a longer life for all the bags you collect.

7. Buy only from trusted outlets

A classic Goyardine canvas steamer trunk with brass hardware, Goyard, 1900s. 100 w x 56 h x 55 d cm. Estimate $8,000-10,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

A classic Goyardine canvas steamer trunk with brass hardware, Goyard, 1900s. 100 w x 56 h x 55 d cm. Estimate: $8,000-10,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

A savvy collector is always on the hunt, but knows to buy only from industry-respected sources. Be wary of a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ bargain, and don't be afraid to consult an expert if you think a deal is suspiciously good. Nothing can replace the confidence of buying from a trusted outlet.

8. Think about the resale value

It is critical to think about a bag’s resale value, even if you never anticipate selling. If your handbag is valuable on the secondary market, it is also more likely to be valuable to your heirs.

A shiny rouge H porosus crocodile Sellier Mini Kelly 20 with gold hardware, Hermès, 1993. 20 w x 18 h x 14 d cm. Estimate $20,000-30,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

A shiny rouge H porosus crocodile Sellier Mini Kelly 20 with gold hardware, Hermès, 1993. 20 w x 18 h x 14 d cm. Estimate: $20,000-30,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

Fundamental to resale value is the quality of a bag's craftsmanship and design. Apply the same principles to investing in your handbags as you would to art or jewellery. You won’t regret it.

9. The three rules of collecting? Quality, quality, quality

A bag’s hardware and manufacturing will always be among the highest indicators of its value.

A custom cognac, safran & rouge vif ostrich Birkin 40 with gold hardware, Hermès, 1995. 40 w x 32 h x 20 d cm. Estimate $12,000-15,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

A custom cognac, safran & rouge vif ostrich Birkin 40 with gold hardware, Hermès, 1995. 40 w x 32 h x 20 d cm. Estimate: $12,000-15,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

Handmade will always rule: assembly-line construction will simply not hold up in comparison to the quality of an item made in an atelier. Made-to-last will outlast the competition, and is worth the investment.

10. And finally... be sure to show it off

A rare metallic bronze chèvre leather Constance 18 with ruthenium hardware, Hermès, 2005. 18 w x 15 h x 5 d cm. Estimate $8,000-10,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

A rare metallic bronze chèvre leather Constance 18 with ruthenium hardware, Hermès, 2005. 18 w x 15 h x 5 d cm. Estimate: $8,000-10,000. Offered in What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction on 18 September 2018 at Christie’s in New York

Don’t be afraid to let your collection be an extension of your style and personality. The handbag is one of the most personal objects you own and is often the most valuable piece in a wardrobe. When all that’s said, don’t be afraid to have fun with it!