I have read a quite a bit of articles on the buying experience of an Hermes Birkin and Hermes Kelly and wanted to share my experience because I don’t think that what I have read is applicable to everyone. First of all, I started my hunt for these coveted bags just in 2015 when I moved from New York to Switzerland. I didn’t really have the need to acquire these bags until I arrived in Geneva and was surrrounded by a mixture of gorgeous vintage and current Hermes bags. Since I had the ability to cross over to France anytime I wanted to purchase and get my hands on one – I told myself why not, let’s see if these write-ups are true and is not a bit exaggerated. If I was going to invest money, I wanted the real buying experience and not get it from a secondary market. To this day, I have acquired 3 Kelly’s and 3 Birkins, including the coveted Kelly Danse and a Birkin 25 in Paris (during covid lockdown so maybe it was pure luck). So I will tell you the story of how I acquired each so you know that each experience is different and yes there is a waiting list but you can get your bag in less than a year if you are lucky.
(2016) Hermes Birkin Poppy 35 in Clemence with Silver Hardware – I purchased this beauty in Lyon, France. We decided to have a nice lunch in Paul Bucose and I went to Hermes after to browse for the first time. I asked for a Birkin from a random SA and he brought out the Birkin and a Kelly. Not wanting to Spend over 10,000 Euros, I chose the birkin and went home with it. I just acquired my first Birkin. First time in the store and I had no record of previous purchase. Needless to say, my husband was close to having a heart attack – lol!
(2017) Hermes Kelly 32 in Togo silver hardware- I spent a week in Bordeaux and went to Hermes and asked for either a Birkin or a Kelly and she brought out a Kelly 32 in taupe color (forgot the actual name of the color) and I bought instantly. I went back the next day to attend their cocktail party and bought several things because it was so much fun. But I acquired the Kelly before buying anything else. Again, first time in that store.
(2018) Hermes Kelly 32 in Togo in Black in silver hardware – I flew back to NYC for Christmas and went to Hermes for some Xmas Shopping and asked for either a Kelly or Birkin. SA brought out the black Kelly 32. I couldn’t say no and then I acquired my 2nd Kelly. Again, I don’t have a buying history.
(2019 – Spring) Black Birkin 30 in Togo, Silver Hardware – I am in the waiting list for the Geneva store and admittedly, have spend quite a bit of money on shoes and everything else in there collection, not because i wanted a bag, its because I liked them. So SA sent me a text one day and said “Voila” you got your Birkin 30 in Togo Black with silver hardware (I waited about 6 months and not 2 years). So maybe I spent tons of money to get this but then after the sale, she goes what do you want next? I placed my next Birkin order and still waiting. BUT…
(2019 – Dec) Hermes Danse II in Deep Blue with gold hardware – Going for Christmas shopping for my family and my bill was about CHF 7K, I just casually said to my SA: “My christmas would be perfect if I can give myself a gift of a new bag.” She comes out with an Hermes Danse II in deep blue and black. I opted for the deep blue and there I have my 3rd Kelly. I am not supposed to have more than 1 purchase of a Birkin or Kelly in one year so she puts on my husband’s account – problem solved.
(2020 – July) Hermes Birkin 25 Beton Swift with Silver Hardware – Just decided to drive to Paris to spend the weekend and my hotel is a block a way from Hermes. I went in asked for a bag and they turned my away because I didn’t have an appointment. So I said thanks but no thanks since I leave the next day. I proceed to look at shoes and an SA chases me and says I should come back 4 hours later because they have an opening. I came back and spent about a good hour with an SA and told her specifically what I like and didn’t like about their bags. She took one look at me and came out with the cutest Birkin bag ever and we just laughed because I told her that the whole things is such a parade. We went around the store to dress the bag up and i walked away with a really cute bag (pic attached). Yes it may have helped that I was wearing the Kelly Danse and that I knew more than she did about the bag.
Honestly, it’s true that you have to have the relationship. But if you look at my story, I had to start somewhere. It also helps that you show to them that price is not an issue. That you are willing to spend the minute you ask for it. Also helps when you know more than your SA and you actually educate them. When you are asked what you want, be ready to be specific – colors, hardware, material etc. Be honest about what you want to spend your money on. I am because as much as they look really fun, I would not drop more than $10k on a neon lime green bag because I don’t look like i can pull it off. And I do say that so they know that I am keeping the bag for me.
Hope this helps.
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Big congratulations on your beautiful b25!!!! and it’s true what you said about that it helps a lot when u have more knowledge than the SA about the leathers and colors that’s how I scored my new baby last weekend in Paris too :) and had no buying history of there neither ???? wohooo! ????