Q/A Related to European Shopping and Travel

In recent weeks, I have had several excellent questions emailed to me. I thought sharing the replies here in a Q/A segment could benefit many pondering the same queries. Let’s dive into some of the questions…

Scoring in Paris

Hi PurseBop,
I just want to thank you for posting about all the current trends about fashions. Your reveals are always amazing and inspiring. I hope you don’t mind, but I just want to get your opinion. I’m ready to invest in my first Birkin bag.

I was thinking of going to Paris to purchase it. It seems impossible to get it here in the US, and the prices are marked up, especially if you decide to get it through a consignment store. Is it guaranteed that I will bring a bag back home with me from Paris? Which store in Paris is my best bet in scoring a Birkin Bag?

Please advise! Thanks in advance. I really appreciate any insights.

PurseBop answers: Buying your first Birkin is an exciting adventure. If you are planning a trip to visit Paris, I would advise you to certainly try at the mothership Faubourg Saint- Honoré (FSH). Before you get your hopes up, please know there are no guarantees! It is a process, especially after they have implemented their new leather goods system.  For more info on the exact process, thoroughly read through the articles below. I wouldn’t want you to travel to Paris only to purchase a Birkin. I went this year in January with four girlfriends, and only one of us managed to score a Birkin  in 3 days of trying.  I would advise building a strong relationship with your local Hermes sales associate. That’s the best way of scoring a Birkin  in the long run.

Read more about shopping in Paris in the articles below:
New System in Paris to Buy a Birkin
Are You There Hermes? It’s Me PurseBop
Hermes FSH – The Struggle is Real
Part 4: PurseBop’s Score at Hermes FSH
Spend an Afternoon at Hermes FSH


Hermes London vs. Hermes Paris

Hello PurseBop,

I have followed you for a long time and have always wanted a Birkin! I’m traveling to London next week and was wondering what the price difference is between getting a Birkin 30 from Paris versus London? Which location (Paris or London) is easier to get a Birkin? My husband has an established account and bought numerous scarves and non-Birkin bag for me. I hope this time when we go I can finally get one! Many thanks in advance!

PurseBop answers: From what I know, it’s very difficult to purchase a Birkin in London now unless you have an established relationship. Paris at the mothership store is your best bet, and it will definitely be cheaper than London even after Brexit.  I suggest you go to where you have a shopping history. I would reach out/email your contact before going if you can. Previous communication always helps!

Read more on buying Hermes abroad in the articles below:
Buying Bags After Brexit
Hermes Increases Prices in Europe
Hermes is Your Best  Buy in Paris
Shopping in France



Go With Gucci?

Hi PurseBop,

I am a moderate bag collector, and lately I have had the itch to add another bag to the family. At first I was considering adding the Givenchy Antigona to my collection, but I feel like I want something more “exciting”.  With all the attention on Gucci lately, I feel like Gucci might be the way to go. I’ve seen some of their popular bags on instagram, and I’m confused about which style to pick. Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you!

PurseBop answers: If you’re looking for something fresh and new, you are right – Gucci just might be the way to go! The new designs from creative director Alessandro Michele are really bold and striking. While the Antigona and the Sac de Jour are well-constructed, beautiful bags as well, purchasing a newer silhouette from Gucci might breathe new life into your collection and satisfy your itch for something more exciting. For a bigger, everyday bag, I would recommend the Gucci Dionysus or Gucci Sylvie bag with the top handle since they have a unique shape and are more spacious. If you are looking for a smaller bag, the Gucci Marmont flap bag is a great option and has a Chanel  classic flap feel.  Depending on your personal style, you could go for plain leather or opt for one of the patterned, embellished bags if you really want something more funky.

Check out our coverage on Gucci below:
Gucci: The Most Improved Player of the Year?
Top 10 Most Digitally Savvy Brands
YAY or NAY: Gucci Marmont Bag
YAY or NAY: Gucci Dionysus Bag

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Gucci Marmont Bag ~ @mel_inmelbourne

The Birkin Hunt

Hi PurseBop!
I’m going to Paris in April and want to try to find my holy grail bag while I’m there (B35, black with PHW, but I am open to a few other color options). I’m not rich with LOTS of expensive bags, so my Hermes purchase history is limited (one Kelly— which I then sold to buy a Birkin— two wallets, a couple of scarves, and handful of bracelets).

My questions are:

  1. Will my limited purchase history in the US hurt or help my chances of being offered a Birkin?
  2. Also, will my bringing a Birkin with me to the store hurt or help my chances of being offered another? Should I carry a Chanel or LV instead (meaning will the SA say “she already has one, she doesn’t need another”)?
  3. Do I need to dress up, or dress trendy instead such as casual jeans/leather jacket attire?

Thank you!

PurseBop answers: I love your questions, I had many of the same ones myself when first shopping at Hermes. Firstly,  your purchase history here in the US is not available for the sales associates to see in Europe. Their system is not internationally centralized yet, and even if it were, I still consider what you have already purchased to be enough to show your commitment and love for the brand. Going to the FSH mothership store should be an enjoyable experience, so I wouldn’t worry too much about what you wear. Be comfortable and take whatever bag you are traveling with.  It was January when I was there, so I wore my North Face black jacket, black Chanel sweater, jeans, and my Stuart Weitzman 50/50 ‘s. My handbag was my mink Chanel jumbo, as it was the only one I took. I think your enthusiastic dialog with your assigned sales associate speaks volumes over anything you are wearing. Have fun, but do read the new system Hermes has implemented to purchase leather bags. 

Read more about the Hermes Shopping Process below:
New System to Buy a Birkin in Paris
How to Buy a Birkin at Hermes FSH
Are You There Hermes? It’s Me PurseBop
Hermes FSH – The Struggle is Real
Part 4: PurseBop’s Score at Hermes FSH
Spend an Afternoon at Hermes FSH



The Birthday Bag

My Dearest PurseBop,

First of all, thank you for all your beautiful pictures and articles! I have a dilemma, and I really think you can help me. I want to buy myself a bag for my 30th birthday. I have a budget of €3000-4000. Are there any bags that you would suggest? I am looking for a bag that can hold its value and be a classic in my collection.

I’m really looking forward to your answer!

PurseBop answers: Happy Birthday and may all your bag wishes come true! If you’re thinking of the perfect gift to put on your wishlist, make a little “pro” and “con” list of the things that you prioritize in a bag. From reading your question, it sounds like you are concerned with picking a style that will not become outdated and are willing to spend more money to invest in a high-end brand. As we’ve reported on PurseBop before, in terms of resale investment, Hermes and Chanel hold their value the best. In that case, a Chanel Classic Flap in either mini or small might be a great option for you (See prices for each size of the Chanel Classic Flap in Chanel 101). Another practical and classic bag that may fit your priorities is the Saint Laurent Sac de Jour. It has a very clean look and it is a great investment in terms of adding a bag to your collection that is traditional and will have longevity.

Check out the articles below for more inspiration:
Should a Bag be an Investment?
Hermes and Chanel Reported as Best Investments
10 Hot Bags That Should Be on Your Radar
If You Had $3000, What Bag Would You Buy?

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Chanel Classic Flap ~ @kugzz

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Saint Laurent Sac de Jour ~ @an.anonymous.blonde

Thank you for all your questions! If you have any advice to add to the conversation or want to ask a few questions yourself, start a thread on BopTalk and help out your fellow fashionistas.

Love PurseBop

Published: December 21st, 2016
Updated: June 24th, 2019

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