Is It Better to Shop Hermès In a Big City With a Larger Boutique or In a Small City?

Dear PurseBop:
Should I try to establish a relationship with a Hermès SA in a larger store/city or a smaller one? I already have a purchase history in London and at the mothership, FSH, but my goal is to get offered a Birkin within the next 3 years. Thanks!
Dear Birkin Hopeful:
Many things with Hermès is a mystery and it is never clear which path is the best path. You ask an excellent question which many people wonder. On our team some of us shop in a major city at a flagship store, and others shop at a smaller boutique in a suburb. Even with this “firsthand” experience it is difficult to determine whether a smaller or larger location is better when hoping for a Birkin or Kelly offer.
Since we often wonder the same thing, we have put together a list of pros and cons to shopping in a large boutique in a big city versus shopping in a smaller boutique outside the big city. Here are some of the pros and cons.
Big City Hermès Boutique
  • larger selection
  • more variety of items to buy
  • more SA’s to choose
  • easier to visit often


  • many more customers
  • more competition for the SA to secure the bag you want
  • harder to get an appointment
  • SA is so busy and may not have as much time to spend with 1 customer


Small Boutique Outside Big City
  • Less SA’s and less customers
  • possibly good inventory and variety of products
  • less competition
  • may be less busy
  • more personalized service
  • SA has more time to spend with customer
  • may have more inventory available because there are less customers
  • Cons
  • may receive limited inventory and choices
  • if you don’t live in the area it is further to travel
  • may get less shipments than a larger store
  • SA may leave for more opportunity at a larger store
Whether you shop in a large city or a smaller location, it comes down to the same factors: a good relationship with your SA, the amount of your pre-spend profile, the amount of inventory available at any given time, and the size, color, leather and hardware that is on your wish list.
For example, if your wishlist consists of only neutral colored bags such as gold, craie, and black you may have to wait longer for a bag because many people make this request. However, if you desire any bright color with only a few exceptions, and are flexible on the size of bag you desire, an offer might come sooner rather than later. There are many variables at any given time so it is difficult to predict.
A good SA in a big city will go the extra mile for their client. It may just take longer to achieve the desired bag. Whereas a good relationship with a SA in a smaller boutique may be able to prioritize your wishes faster because they have less clients to juggle. Unfortunately, there is no perfect choice.
Nevertheless, your goal of being offered a Birkin in the next 3 years seems extremely reasonable and possible provided you shop regularly with one SA, build a good relationship with that person, stay in communication with them, and update your wishlist regularly so they know what you like.
Good luck and happy shopping.
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