If you’ve spotted a Hermès Birkin on the arm of your favorite celebrity and decided to get one for yourself…well, you might quickly realize that’s easier said than done. Aside from the hefty Birkin prices, these particularly luxurious purses are notoriously hard to find. It’s not like you can walk into a Hermès boutique and immediately pick up a Birkin bag from the shelf. No, these bags are usually hidden “in the back” and you need to make a special request – and sometimes even get rejected if the salesperson doesn’t like the way you look at all. Why does this culture of exclusivity surround Birkin bags and what can you do to pick a Birkin bag for your own collection? Here’s everything you need to know.
Why are Birkins so unique?
There are a few reasons why Hermes’ Birkin and Kelly bags are so unique. According to an interview with Insider, the Hermès Birkin is actually the most expensive luxury wallet in the world, with prices ranging from $40,000 to $500,000. Plus, according to some studies, the Birkin holds its value remarkably well, increasing in value at 14% per year.
Originally designed for actress Jane Birkin, today the bags are all handcrafted in France in high-end materials such as calfskin, crocodile and ostrich. While some celebrities have extensive Birkin collections, Hermès places a limit on the number of bags a customer can buy in a year, and to extend this exclusivity even further, the brand only allows certain customers to buy one of the bags, as implied above — and, in many cases, even then, the customers involved wouldn’t be allowed to choose the Birkin color or style of their choice. A limited number of Birkin bags are produced each year, with only an estimated 200,000 remaining.
How to grab a Birkin bag
So what do you do to get one of those 200,000 bags for yourself?
First, you need to take a look at the parts. As a Vox article reported, a Hermès sales associate told a buyer that a potential customer should look “worthy” of a Birkin before asking to see one. On the other hand, you could also try going to the Birkin location, where it’s harder for the salesperson to judge the customer (and their wealth). For example, the same Vox article reported that customers had great success at the Hermès store in Las Vegas, as it was not uncommon to see customers there wearing a wide variety of clothing, after all, one never knows which customer just dropped in Huge jackpots won on slot machines.
It also helps to build a strong relationship with your local Hermès salesperson, Vox notes in the article. You can do this by going to the store on a regular basis and buying much smaller items, whether it be accessories, fragrances, etc. Of course, you’ll want to make your chosen sales partner as friendly as possible, but not overly so. If you haven’t gotten the salesperson’s kindness, you’ll likely hear a slew of excuses about your Birkin request. Customers report hearing they’ve been put on a waiting list (hint: the wait is never over). Or the salesperson might just say they don’t have it in stock at all, they don’t know when they’ll get more, no, they don’t know if other Hermès stores have it in stock, and, again, no, they won’t call you.
But is it all a salesman’s lie? Not always. Hermès told the Daily Mail that each Hermès store manager only knows their store, and they place orders twice a year for things like Birkin bags, which then come in anywhere from six months to a year later. So in some cases, snatching a Birkin all comes down to luck—walking into a boutique at the right time, wearing the right clothes, and talking to the right salesperson who happens to have a bag behind her.
Your most realistic option?
What’s the easiest way to add a Birkin bag to your collection? For many shoppers, buying a used Birkin is a lot easier. Not only does this allow you to (occasionally) buy a Birkin at a lower price, but it also means you can get your Birkin almost instantly. No need to wait on a waitlist that may or may not exist! Plus, you won’t be forced to accept whatever Hermès boutiques are offering at the time; you can shop around to find the Birkin you want.
So, when you’re shopping for a used Birkin, how do you make sure you don’t end up with a fake? There are some signs of a counterfeit Birkin that you can look out for.
According to Eluxe Magazine, you start by looking at how your bag is placed. If the bag is completely listless or drooping, it’s most likely a fake, as the Birkin’s leather finish means it’s always standing upright. Also, look at that leather, it should always have that distinctive leather smell. The stitching should be even throughout the bag — no mess. The interior of the Birkin is always goatskin. If you purchased a bag manufactured after 2000, it will come with a lock and key with a matching number stamped on it. Finally, the inside of the bag should have the stamp “Hermes Paris Made in France”.
Shop for Luxurious Birkin Bags
AULOVELY offers a huge assortment of Birkin bags in a variety of colors and sizes, starting at $60. Shopping for luxury is easy at AULOVELY, with no salesperson deciding if you’re “worth” buying a Birkin. Plus, when you shop at AULOVELY, you’ll never have to worry about getting a counterfeit wallet like you might encounter when shopping for used wallets elsewhere. Once we receive a package, our top certifiers combine their advanced knowledge and artificial intelligence technology to verify the package even before it goes to our website.
Got a Birkin bag you want to sell? As any luxury handbag collector knows, the Birkin is one of the best resale bags, you’ll see some of the highest ROI on designer bags, and AULOVELY makes the resale process easy. All you have to do is submit an online form with all the information about your Birkin, wait for our quote and send the bag to us. You will be paid after we verify authenticity and condition. It’s that simple.So whether you’re buying a Birkin or selling a spare vintage bag, AULOVELY makes the whole process seamless.