Handbags are the new shoes, the must have "it" accessory that has all the fashion-istas clamouring for the latest offering from popular designers.
It's also a market that has more in common with the male-dominated world of classic cars than you'd realise.
Few of you will have missed the fuss a couple of months ago when Sainsbury's sold 20,000 "I'm not a plastic bag" Anya Hind-march totes for 5 pounds each. Within hours those same unbleached cotton bags were selling for in excess of 150 pounds on eBay.
"Every girl has a handbag," says Christie's specialist Monica Turcich, "and every girl wants one. Women now want the 'it' bag and the one nobody else is carrying.
They've always been popular and they are the section of our 20th-century fashion sales for which we get the most phone calls, but now they are doing particularly well because everyone wants handbags, whereas 10 years ago there weren't the 'it' bags like we have today, simply the classics."
Like cars, most of the more recent designer handbags which sell through dealers and auction houses make significantly less than their original retail price,
losing value the second the initial purchase has taken place. That is good news for both collector investors and handbag enthusiasts, but there are some exceptions to the rule.
Last March Christie's sold a red Hermes crocodile skin Kelly bag for 10,800 pounds, this had only been purchased in 1994 and was originally a bespoke product. The Kelly bag is the "holy grail" of the classic handbag world according to Turcich.
"Chloe and other more contemporary bags are more driven by what's popular now, but for Hermes and Chanel's quilted bag, these are classics which never go out of style and are always useable."
Kelly bags can be bought for 600 pounds and can often be sold on for 1,000- 2,000 pounds, which isn't bad for a bag. which might have been bought back in the 1960s.