MISS MONEYSAVER JASMINE BIRTLES: Tot up your returns with whisky, Lego and handbags

The stock markets are falling and savings accounts offer safe but tiny increases, so how can you get more bang for your buck outside of the conventional routes?

Well, like charity, money-making investment now begins at home with the things we all covet: start with the fun stuff such as Lego, handbags and even whisky!

Handbags are my favourite. Only re-selling specific arm candy earns extraordinary returns, from designers including Hermes, Chanel, Gucci and Dior.

In 2020, research from Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index showed that luxury handbags increased in value by an average of 13 pc per year compared to art, which only saw a 5 pc return.

The top performing bags are Hermes ones, specifically their Birkin style, followed by the Kelly bag. And the values are staggering. In 2017 a Hermes Birkin fetched more than £301,000 in a Hong Kong auction.

In 2020, research from Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index showed that luxury handbags increased in value by an average of 13 pc per year compared to art, which only saw a 5 pc return

The Birkin has seen a value increase of more than 500 pc in the last 35 years and luxury analysts such as Knight Frank say that its value could double in the next ten years. The Holy Grail of Birkins is the black version with gold hardware. Expect to pay at least £4,000 for even a basic Birkin at auction.

Slightly more affordable for new collectors, the Hermes Kelly bag also reaps rewards in resale value if it’s in good condition, up by 129 pc in the last ten years. Expect to pay a few thousand pounds for a good Kelly bag at auction or on a vintage website.

Chanel is the next best label for investment bags. According to the luxury online retail platform Bag Hunter, the price of a 2.55 Chanel handbag has increased by 70 pc in just the last six years.

You can pick up designer bags at local auctions and, for the more expensive ones, at national auction houses such as Christie’s, on vintage sites such as Vinted or even eBay.

Those obsessive Lego-collecting children we all knew have now grown up to be cash-rich collectors, with websites dedicated to Lego as an investment

Be careful as it’s easy to be conned into buying a fake, although eBay has expanded its Authenticity Guarantee service to include handbags worth more than £500. Keep the bag carefully stored, and if you use it, get it professionally cleaned.

A somewhat cheaper, but fun, investment option is the popular Lego set. Those obsessive Lego-collecting children we all knew have now grown up to be cash-rich collectors, with websites dedicated to Lego as an investment. One such, Brickeconomy.com, includes analysis of how Lego sets have grown in value and forecasts future growth.

Similar to handbags, it’s all in the specifics. The Ultimate Collector Millennium Falcon, for example, released in 2007, will shake the money tree. If unopened, its value will have grown by 528 pc to £2,150.78.

The Statue of Liberty, released in 2000, has grown by 1483.73 pc to £2,489.79 per unopened set.

On average, according to economists at HSE University in Moscow, secondary market prices of even the humbler retired Lego sets grow by 11 pc annually — faster than gold, stocks and bonds.

Lego investors starting out should go for sets dedicated to famous buildings and films. Look for limited edition sets and keep them in their boxes as they fetch more if unopened.

Finally, a drop of the hard stuff is a better investment than wine. With consumers of whisky now numbering more than 500 million worldwide, the market shows no signs of slowing: rare whisky was the best-performing collectable of the past decade, says the Wealth Report from Knight Frank, with a rise in value of 582 pc on average across each of the ten years.

At a Sotheby’s auction in December a four-decanter lot of 1950s Glenfiddich sold for £1,037,500, according to VCL Vintners. At the same event, a single bottle of The Balvenie 1964 sold for £175,000.

Investing in the right whiskies requires research and even professional advice since the whisky should be rare and in high demand. Its age, where it’s from, if it was created in a single cask, its reviews and other factors should be taken into account.

The website Whiskystats.net shows which types of whisky have made the most money, while RareWhisky101.com has indexes of past performance. To buy and sell whisky, try Whiskybase.com, with its access to buyers and sellers around the world.

Car share to beat rising petrol costs

Brits are trying everything to cut down their fuel usage, including getting rid of the second car, using bicycles and walking where possible.

So now is a great time to take advantage of services that maximise car use to make money.

Hiyacar.co.uk enables you to rent your car out by the hour to local people who don’t have their own vehicle. It says that users can make up to £650 a month and cars are rented out for between £2 to £5 per hour.

Brits are trying everything to cut down their fuel usage, including getting rid of the second car, using bicycles and walking where possible. So now is a great time to take advantage of services that maximise car use to make money. (File image)

If you drive to work every day, you can share that journey with people going in the same direction, and get part of your petrol costs paid, through the carpooling site blablacar.com.

For one-off trips cross-country there are ride-sharing sites such as liftshare.com and gocarshare.com. Liftshare says its members save around £1,000 a year by using the platform. If you live in London, joining a car club such as zipcar.com can make sense. It pays for fuel, parking, congestion charge and insurance. Membership costs from nothing to £15 a month and rates vary from £5.50 per hour to £79 per day depending on your membership.

Outside London, you can rent vehicles through Enterprise Car Club from £3.23 per hour.

Strawberries and cream… and Wimbledon £500 dream!

Fancy making £500 over your strawberries and cream at Wimbledon? You could be paid this for simply sitting and watching the tennis matches and eating your fill of lunch and snacks.

Other arduous tasks you’ll have to endure to make your money include judging your seat for its views and comfort, the tournament atmosphere and accessibility, the taste and flavour of strawberries and cream and other food, plus the experience’s general value for money.

Do you think you can handle that stress?

Fill in the application form at betting.boylesports.com/daily-news, by 9pm on Thursday, June 30, and tell them why you would be perfect for the job.

Fancy making £500 over your strawberries and cream at Wimbledon? You could be paid this for simply sitting and watching the tennis matches and eating your fill of lunch and snacks

Now that the sun is well and truly out, treat your eyes to sunglasses from Cornish brand Waterhaul (Waterhaul.co). Frames are made from 100 pc recycled plastic collected from their coastline, come with a lifetime warranty and include polarised Barberini glass lenses, or you can order them with prescription lenses. 

Every pair sold helps remove more plastic from the UK coastline. Get 20 pc off using the code JASMINE20. This code is valid until July 25, 2022.

I am not a fan of Amazon. I don’t like the way it treats its workers or sellers. But I do see why so many use Amazon as it is convenient and has great discounts. Amazon Prime members will be pleased that, although Amazon Prime Day isn’t until July 12-13, some early members-only deals are already online: up to 60 pc off products including smart speakers and tablets, and the same off selected movies and TV shows. 

For new Prime members, four months of Amazon Music Unlimited is now free, with 30 free games available to download from Prime Gaming. Prime members can also have Kindle Unlimited (and its sister audiobook service Audible) free for three months.

New Prime users can get £15 off their first three Amazon Fresh orders and £10 off their first three shops at Amazon’s partners Morrisons and/or Co-op — both offers for orders of £50 or more. Until July 13, Prime members can also save 25 pc at Amazon Fresh UK. Prime membership costs either £7.99 per month or £79 per year.

■ Got a question for Jasmine? Email her at [email protected] MoneyMagpie.com

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