Buying a Birkin in Paris is Still Not Easy

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Photo Courtesy: @ohmycarlin

Back in August 2017 PurseBop published an account of the new system at Hermes Paris FSH to buy a Birkin or Kelly, courtesy of @luvre.hermes.
Read: New Development In the System To Buy A Birkin

 

Managing Editor Maura Carlin just returned from Paris.  She shares her experience with the new appointment system:

I went to Paris.  Or perhaps I should say I went to Hermes in Paris, as unwittingly three days of my short trip revolved around the FSH store.  I was maneuvering my family of five, two of whom had never been to the City of Lights, through sights and streets in cold, rainy, windy weather trying to experience as much as possible in the few short days between Christmas and New Year’s.  And, of course, I tried to buy a Birkin or Kelly.

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Photo courtesy: @ohmycarlin

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Photo courtesy: @ohmycarlin

We landed early the day after Christmas, a Tuesday.  Pre-trip I tried to book an appointment but the online system was closed both Sunday Christmas Eve day and Monday Christmas Eve.  Somehow I remembered to sign onto the website at 10:30am to register to request an appointment.  Actually it was more like 10:33 over breakfast at a café on the Champs when I said “holy crap” and 10:36 when the site acknowledged my request.

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As you can see, I would know at 7:45pm whether I had an appointment.

Voilà! I received an email at 7:47pm confirming my appointment for the next day. In the email I was given a link to check for the time of the appointment, which is subject to (repeated) change.

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My first stated appointment time was 6:05pm.  Okay, maybe not the best in terms of deliveries and stock availability but at least it freed the day for touring Paris.  Our dinner reservation was at 7, so it would be tight but I could always just meet the family there.

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After lunch on Day 2 I began checking the appointment time.  To my surprise, the slot moved to 5:15.  Thirty minutes later it was 4:40, then 4:30, ultimately changing nine times (that I saw) between 2 & 4pm before landing on 4:45pm, when I learned a sales associate was ready for me.

Upon entering the store, I was directed to the leather appointment desk where I was asked for my passport and told I would be helped shortly.  I waited about two minutes before being greeted by a lovely French woman.  She told me up front that they had little stock but said she would check and asked what I was seeking.  I explained a smaller size Kelly (my 35 is too big) and gave her a few neutral colors.  She suggested K25; I said probably 28 and we also agreed on B30.  She returned about 15 minutes later and said there was nothing but she had checked with her sales manager who said to return the next day at 12:30. I asked that we do it a bit later – and we settled on 1pm.

The next day I arrived a few minutes before 1pm and was told my SA was running about 30 minutes late. As I waited, I observed the leather department being busy but not crazy so. It was mostly calm except for one apparently frustrated customer who loudly proclaimed “and that’s why this store is such a fail.”  Yes, in English.  American English. I did not see any big or bag boxes that I could identify.  At 1:30 I inquired and the greeter said she would call my SA.

Ultimately I was told she was not available and that nothing had come in but I was asked to return the next day at 11.  She gave me an appointment card to show upon my return.

My third visit followed an early morning museum trip.  At 11am the leather department (and the store in general) was calm.  I showed my appointment card and my SA was called. She came immediately – apologetic about the prior day, that she’d been tied up with a very high VIP (whatever that means).  She also apologized that she had checked with the Manager and there were no bags and no shipments coming that day or the next.  She urged me to return to Paris and email her in advance.  Yes, she gave me her card.

So…all in all… three days, zero bags.  On the other hand, there was no waiting in line or drama.  The store and staff were lovely.  There just weren’t any bags.  And I believe it.  Do you?

Maura Carlin

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12 Responses to “Buying a Birkin in Paris is Still Not Easy”

  • No I don’t believe that there are 0 bags left for a persistent customer who would return for the third time. There are probably many VVIPs that were in Paris for the holidays and they were reserved for them. Perhaps if Maura was asking for a B35 or K32, there may have been one available.

  • Same here. I don’t believe! As I wrote in my reply, they use iPads to check their stock. So why all that staging?! When I was there and have asked for any bright color, there was a chinese couple. They have been proposed 2 Birkins – red and blue. They left with one box. I didn’t see which one they bought. So at least one bright bag was still there! In my email to Hermes I have asked which criterion their SAs are taking in consideration to sell a bag?! Are they playing Gods? It’s awful experience. I think prefer to order and wait as to feel for my money miserable as a bagger

  • I do believe it. I was in Paris before Christmas until New Year’s. I bought a couple of quota bags a few days before Christmas from my long time SA (no appointment if you have an SA). I was hesitating about one of them, which was gorgeous but exotic (I am conflicted about that) but he told me I should buy it and then exchange it for store credit if I couldn’t live with it which is an idea he found crazy. But, to stay on point, he also very clearly said that if I did that, it would be a while before I could use the credit because there would be no stock for a few weeks after Christmas. The workshops close and whatever they had would pretty much have been sold for Christmas.

  • if you have an SA, can you just email before your visit? Can u please share me how does it work?
    Love,
    Linn.

  • I think it’s cruel to ask you to come back 3 times and not been offered anything. May be

  • Sorry you went through all that, not sure if I could, not sure it would seat well with me… honestly I am not so sure she was saying the truth, probably the VIP had some on hold and might of changed it’s mind and get another few they had in the store, I feel like something slipped through your fingers, 3 days of interfering with your vacation is a lot xxx

  • It would have given me great pleasure to tell that rude woman that there were no bags available for her. This is just one of the reasons why I’m so embarrassed for my country these days! Obnoxious. I also think that they had bags put aside for VIP customers, especially during the holidays. Getting a bag at this location seems like more trouble than it’s worth.