How to Buy Your First Hermès Bag

Hermès Birkin


You do not need to be a Kardashian or a Beckham to carry a beautiful Hermès baby in your arms. Read on for tips on how to score, and eventually score big with the ultimate of all luxury brands.

Familiarize Yourself with the Brand

Before making a beeline for the store and asking directly for a Birkin/Kelly, or putting yourself down on a waitlist, spend some time at an Hermès store near you. The stores are beautifully designed – subtle yet luxurious. Walk in, browse and soak it all in. When travelling, never miss the opportunity to walk into an Hermès store to get a real feel of the brand. Chat with the sales associates, touch and feel the products around you and even pick up a few items that catch your fancy. You will always remember ”that trip to Shanghai” every time you drape the signature scarf or wear the enamel bangle you picked up from there.

Hermès store, Hermès Shanghai

Hermès Store in Shanghai @hangtang_culture

Knowledge is Key

Familiarize yourself with the brand’s show stopping bags other than the Birkin and the Kelly – Evelyne, Constance and Jypsiere to name a few. Educate yourself on the leathers, colors, sizes and hardware options for the bags on your wishlist. This will take you a long way in pulling off a knowledgeable and productive discussion with your SA. Moreover, you owe it to yourself to spend your precious money on a bag you are sure you will treasure forever. So if you are sure you want to take your first Birkin out a lot, a more resilient leather like epsom or togo may be your preference. If your jewelry tends to be more yellow gold-toned then that may be the hardware color of choice for you.

About Hermès


Relationships Take you Far

If you are not a celebrity or a VIP customer at Hermès but are keen to lay your hands on your very own Birkin or Kelly, then it is wise to start building a relationship with a SA at your local store or one which you can visit often. Build a purchase history, put yourself down on the waitlist and drop in regularly to meet your SA to check on the status of deliveries. The bits and bobs you pick up along the way will definitely help too.

Hermès store experience


Hermès packaging


Visit the Mothership

The only place with a defined system for scoring a Birkin or a Kelly is the Hermès flagship store at the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris (Read: New Development in the system to buy a birkin).  This system was introduced in 2017 after much criticism about the queuing system that existed before, which required customers to line up outside the store as early as 5 am with no guarantee of success! Be warned though, that ‘defined’ system must not be confused with ‘definite’ system. While your chances of scoring are high, there are no certainties around this.


Hermès Alert: Changes to the Birkin/Kelly Quota System

Hermès in Paris


Hermès Headquarters in Paris


Secondary Market

If only the Birkin or Kelly will satisfy you and you don’t have the energy or patience to play the Hermès game, there is a risky but surefire alternate – the secondary or resellers market. Be ready to pay a premium though and be very careful of the scores of counterfeit sellers out there.

Happy Shopping!!!

Hermès Kelly Bag


How did you get your first Birkin or Kelly?

Published: February 16th, 2020
Updated: February 16th, 2020

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