Hermes Is Your Best Buy In Paris

Chapter 8: Mom Needs to Make Some (Hermes, Chanel, VCA) Memories!

Remember our International shopping diva ~ Dream?

Dream took a Christmas holiday trip to Paris and London with her family.  Her handbag purchases were so magnificent I thought our readers would love to see her treasures. I’ll limit her holiday shopping here to bags only, otherwise I would be writing another epic reveal story like we did after returning from the South of France.

Let’s start in Paris at the Hermes mothership.  Her visit proved very fruitful once again. The Hermès Faubourg Saint-Honoré is no unfamiliar territory to our Hermes queen. The Christmas spirit brought magical surprises. Let’s just say Santa Hermes was very generous this year.



PB: What made this trip to FSH different/unique?  

Dream: It was busier than I had ever seen it because it was Christmas time. I had also never been to Hermès on a Sunday before (as normally it’s never open during the year) but they are open a few Sundays during the holiday time.  I guess I could also say it was memorable because I had my three grown children and hubby in tow. I’m not sure if they wanted me out of the store quickly as we occupied much of the floor space in the leather department, LOL.  I say this because it all happened really fast and the process was rather seamless! My boys were deposited at the VIP desks with their iPhones and my daughter accompanied me although she was mostly on her phone too…

PB: Share details of your experience with us…

Dream: Once my turn, and I only waited about 15 minutes… I made my requests to my SA and indicated my preference for lighter colors, be it in exotics or leathers. I made it clear I was willing to consider anything though. I have a daughter, so my theory is “no Birkin is a bad Birkin”. I think in all my years of collecting (nearly 20 now), I have only turned away one birkin offered to me, and till this day I regret it!

The experience was no different than the usual… the friendly talk, he asked my name, walked away to look me up (I presume). He would have seen plenty of purchase history as I was here in April on my way to Africa (BopTalk reveal), then September with PurseBop and then this at Christmas. He was gone a total of about 5 minutes and came out straight away with a box … and then he pondered and then requested we go upstairs… up to the 4th floor landing.

I saw leathers being opened on the ground floor but I think exotics are always done discreetly. To be honest, majority of my viewings have been in the mens department ~ its always empty there.

We took the stairs. Climbing I had no idea whether it was a Birkin or Kelly, leather or exotic? I did know judging from the size of the box it was likely a B35!
Hubby came with while the kids waited in the leather area on those desks. There wasn’t much time to anticipate the opening… It was no more than 5 minutes and we were all done. I was thrilled with the color ~ it was such a beautiful shade of almond white and matte croc just like my last one that after using now for a few months. I absolutely love the matte effect. I was thrilled to have a lighter colored exotic in my collection.

Bread & Roses was our lunch spot and then both my sons escorted the new adoption safely back to the Raphael Hotel. I reminded them several times not to leave it in the cab, LOL. My boys were the official custodians to the big orange box, talk about early training! Mothers little helpers (well more like grown men)!


Sac Birkin 35 Crocodile Porosus Matte


Hermes Exotic Birkin

RegionHermes Exotic Birkin
VAT Refund (approx. 10%)- €3,830
Cost after VAT€34,470
USD Equivalent$37,400

Hermes Exotic Birkin
Price in US: $61,000
Price in Europe: €38,300

Hermes Exotic Birkin in US: $61,000 + $6,253 (tax 10.25%) = $67,253 total
Hermes Exotic Birkin in Europe: €38,300 – €3,830 (VAT refund 10%) =€34,470 = $37,400 total 
What she saved: $67,253 – $37,400 = $29,853 (~44% savings)


An exotic Hermes belt in blue marine for Mr. Dream.

Hermes Belt Strap

RegionHermes Belt Strap
VAT Refund (approx. 10%)- €260
Cost after VAT€2,340
USD Equivalent$2,539

Hermes Belt Buckle

RegionHermes Belt Buckle
VAT Refund (approx. 10%)- €31
Cost after VAT€279
USD Equivalent$303

Hermes Belt Strap
Price in US: $3,600
Price in Europe: €2,600

Hermes Belt Strap in US: $3,600 – $369 (tax 10.25%) = $3,969 total
Hermes Belt Strap in Europe: €2,600 – €260 = €2,340 = $2,539 total
What she saved: $3,969 – $2,539 = $1,430 (~36% savings)

Hermes Belt Buckle
Price in US: $365
Price in Europe: €310

Hermes Belt Buckle in US: $365 + $37 = $402 total
Hermes Belt Buckle in Europe: €310 – €31 = €279 = $303 total
What she saved: $402 – $303 = $99 (~25% savings)




Time for Chanel

PB: Tell us about your Chanel purchases?

Off to Chanel Rue Cambon… this was going to be my daughter’s first classic to mark her special birthday. I still remember every detail of my first Chanel that I bought with my mother. My daughter was hoping for a plain black boy, but the new iridescent boys from the Cruise 2016 collection stole her heart. We deliberated between the purple and the bronze, and ultimately decided the old medium was more appropriate for her frame and it was only available there in bronze. I couldn’t help but think perhaps I should purchase one for myself, but I didn’t dare suggest it at that moment, LOL.





Seeing my daughter’s new boy bag in action for a couple days confirmed my initial instinct to add one to my collection. This would be my first Chanel boy bag. PurseBop has been strutting these  boys around for years, but I resisted as I am truly a classics kinda girl. But, I guess these boys are around for the long haul.

Chanel Rue Cambon did not have any more at all when we went back 2 days later… I was a little dissappointed, and then managed to score one at the Chanel at the Paris airport on our way to London.  Tip: the Chanel store here was loaded with inventory!

I selected Purple and one size larger for myself.  We are ‘mother – daughter’ twinsies now. A memory that is etched in our minds forever. You know how I am about creating memories, LOL



Chanel Bronze Boy

RegionChanel Bronze Boy
VAT Refund (approx. 10%)- €372
Cost after VAT€3,348
USD Equivalent$3,632

Chanel Purple Boy

RegionChanel Purple Boy
VAT Refund (approx. 10%- €415
Cost after VAT€3,735
USD Equivalent$4,054

Chanel Bronze Boy
Price in US: $4,700
Price in Europe: €3,720

Chanel Bronze Boy in US: $4,700 + $482 (tax 10.25%) = $5,182 total
Chanel Bronze Boy in Europe: €3,720 – €372 = €3,348 = $3,632 total
What she saved: $5,182-$3,632 = $1,550 (~29% savings)

Chanel Purple Boy
Price in US: $5,100
Price in Europe: €4,150

Chanel Purple Boy in US: $5,100 + $523 (tax 10.25%) = $5,623 total
Chanel Purple Boy in Europe: €4,150 – €415 (VAT refund 10%) = €3,735 = $4,054 total
What she saved: $5,623 – $4,054 = $1,569 (~27% savings)


Total Savings

Hermes Exotic Birkin$29,853
Chanel Purple Boy$1,569
Chanel Bronze Boy$1,550
Hermes Belt Strap$1,430
Hermes Belt Buckle$99
Total Savings$34,501

The numbers really say it all. With the strength of the US dollar against the euro combined with the pricing strategies of some luxury companies such as Hermes, one can really come out ahead if one is in the market to purchase large ticket items. Of course, there is no guarantee that your holy grail will be waiting there for you. Chanel adjusted prices back in April to compensate for the fluctuating global market conditions but despite that, the current exchange rate brought about a decent savings again (greater than before).








Special thanks to Dream for sharing her story and fabulous reveals with us. Your pictures always make me smile, from whatever corner of the world you are in…

Love PurseBop

Published: January 25th, 2016
Updated: June 23rd, 2017

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7 Responses to “Hermes Is Your Best Buy In Paris”

  • Oh My God Dream, thank you so much for sharing this story with us!!!!it was pure delight reading it!!! Your daughter is so fashionable, that Boy looks PERFECT on her!!! And you’re such a great mother! Wow, a BOY for a first CC, what a dream!!! M. knows I’m the biggest Boy lover in the world so I must say your picks are to die for!!! Congrats! And super congrats on the Croc B too… What a beauty!!!!
    As for prices… Wooooowza the exotic Birkin’s price difference between US and EU ??? I’m totally shocked!!! And even the Boys… Over 1k difference… for brazilians that’s a very considerable (USD 1k = R$4,200 ?).
    Totally in love with this post and the bags!!!!! Oh, and I’d love to see another epic reveal ??❤️❤️??

  • Congratulations Dream on your new purchases ??? I’m a Chanel Boy girl myself and I’m sure you will enjoy your first time experience especially that you’ve marked it as “first” in your mother-daughter memories .. Thank you for such a great story

  • Congratulations Dream on your new purchases ??? I’m a Chanel Boy girl myself and I’m sure you will enjoy your first time experience especially that you’ve marked it as “first” in your mother-daughter memories .. Thank you for such a great story.. You can also see my BOYs on my Instagram account @hathor_s_philosophy

  • Why is it that sometimes posts take into consideration duties when doing handbag math and other times they don’t. I have a hard time accepting the savings estimates when duty isn’t taken into consideration because it makes the savings appear larger than they are.

  • Generally duties are not calculated into our handbag math. I suggest you visit the VAT & Duties feature at
    There are simple calculations there that will make it easy for you to calculate the duties if you are declaring your items.

  • Very nice review!
    I am just curious how much they charge when you went back to U.S Customs for these bags?

  • I’m ready to start my investment of Hermes Bag. I was thinking to go to Paris to
    get it.

    Is it guaranteed in Paris that I can take home a bag with me?
    Planning to stay at least 4 nights. Which store in Paris is my best chance of
    scoring a Birkin Bag?