A Hermès Birkin bag is one of the most in-demand handbags in the fashion world, so we have all the tips and tricks to answer the question of how to buy a Birkin bag, so you can add one to your own wardrobe!
The iconic Birkin bag is the most popular handbag from the House of Hermès, after first joining the Hermès collection in the 1980s and quickly proving to be a highly sought-after bag. The Birkin bag was first designed by Hermès CEO Jean-Louis Dumas in 1984 specifically for the British actress Jane Birkin.
According to Hermès, Dumas met Birkin on a flight, and she discussed with Dumas how her belonging kept falling out of her straw bag and that she couldn’t find a leather bag that would hold everything. Dumas decided to design a bag to fit this gap in Jane Birkin’s collection, redesigning the Haut à Courroies, which was first designed in 1900.
The practical design of the Birkin included rolled top handles, a flap top that was secured with a belt and lock closure, and feet to protect the base of the bag. The Birkin bag, as it became named, began to be sold to customers, quickly becoming a must-have status symbol.
If you are wondering how to add a Birkin bag to your own luxury bag collection, this article will answer the question of how to buy a Birkin bag to give you all the details you need.
How to buy a Birkin Bag
Getting your hands on any popular Hermès bag, including the Kelly bags, Constance, and Evelyne bags can be quite a long process; it’s not just as simple as walking into an Hermès store and asking for a certain bag.
Birkin bags are in high demand, and this demand outstrips the supply meaning the waiting times for a Birkin bag are long, and the stock varies from boutique to boutique and from country to country.
According to the Hermès fashion house, each Hermès store has a store director that is responsible for buying for their own store, placing seasonal orders twice a year that are then received six to twelve months later. This means that it greatly differs as to what Birkin and Kelly bags each Hermès store has on offer at any point.
Tips For buying a Birkin bag
1. Build A Relationship with your Sales Assistant
Buying a Birkin bag straight from the store is hard, and the key is to be patient. One area where you can be proactive is building a relationship with your sales assistant in the Hermès store/country of your choice, mainly by buying various other products through them at the boutique.
This will show your commitment to the brand overall and that you are serious about buying a Hermès Birkin bag.
After you’ve spent time getting to know Hermès SA, you can mention how you are looking for a Birkin bag, noting the size, color, and leather of your dream Birkin. This means that if Birkin comes into the store the SA thinks may be right for you, they may contact you to let you know the bag is in store.
This may take a long time as there is no guarantee that the Birkin you are looking for will be in the next shipment to the store. There appears to no longer be a specific waiting list you can join to get your hands on a Birkin bag, so you really do need to get to know an SA well and purchase a range of Hermès pieces from them.
To develop a relationship with a Sales Assistant, it is handy if you have a friend or relative that can introduce you to an SA. If not, just find a friendly SA in your local Hermès store to help you out.
2. Consider Shopping Exclusively In Paris
It is a well-known fact that many French luxury brands typically have more products available in their hometown Paris. Because of this, it’s often said that your best bet at scoring a Birkin is in one of the 3 Hermès boutiques in central Paris.
While this is true, you must remember that, as with many other luxury brands, your purchase history does not transfer globally. This means that sales assistants in Paris will have no way of tracking your purchases in a different country, be that the US, China, or UK.
So, if your strategy is to buy a Hermès bag in Paris, make sure that you regularly shop at their Paris boutiques, preferably over the span of a few years. Of course, you should also aim to develop a friendly relationship with a local sales assistant to increase your chances of getting a Birkin or a Kelly.
3. Consider Timing
We’d also like to note that if you are particularly fortunate and in a great financial place, the best time to buy a Birkin could be in the upcoming recession – after all, demand for luxury goods will inevitably drop, and you just may be able to score a Birkin sooner rather than later.
We saw that this was the case with several influences after lockdowns were lifted in the UK and USA – many were able to buy their first Birkin around then, some even without an extensive buying history with the brand.
With this said, our theory on timing is, of course, not a guarantee – the brand may choose to limit its supply of bags too.
If you don’t want to have to wait a long time to get your hands on a Hermès bag, then you need to head to a vintage store or check out the secondhand market.
There are lots of great resale sites that offer Birkin bags in pristine condition, including Vestiaire Collective, Fashionphile, and Rebag. These sites will have lots of different Birkin bags on offer, in a variation of sizes, colors, and types of leather, so you are bound to find the perfect style for you.
There is also a Hermès Spa – if you do spot a Hermès bag you love, but has a little scuff or mark, it can be sent to the spa to restore the bag to excellent condition. It is worth noting that as the retail price of these bags goes up, so does the resale value, so it’s better to get your hands on one of these iconic bags sooner rather than later.
The only thing to bear in mind is fake bags – you want to thoroughly check the authenticity of any secondhand Birkin bag that you buy in person or online to make sure it is genuine. If you buy through reputable websites like Fashionphile or The RealReal, you should have no issue with counterfeit products.
Lastly, you may also want to check out auction houses – these will have the more expensive, rare, and vintage Birkin bags on offer.
Top Resale Birkin bags
Fashionphile is one of the top resale sites to find top-quality Birkin bags in great condition, here are just a few of the Birkin bags on offer from the website.
The Birkin 25
The 25 is one of the smaller sizes of this Hermès bag, but will still easily fit all your everyday items. The Hermès Birkin 25 is available in many different types of leather and colors so you can easily find the best option to suit your style.
We love the neutral tones of this dark grey Birkin made from Togo leather. This type of leather has a grained texture to ensure durability, while the silver-plated hardware really sparkles against the grey tone of the bag. The interior of the bag is crafted from goatskin leather in the same grey shade for a totally luxurious finish and has been fitted with a handy zip pocket and wall pocket to hold your most important items.
If you love a bag with a little bit more color, then this Epsom leather Hermès Birkin 25 Sellier in vibrant red is just perfect for you! This stunning bag is totally eye-catching with the rolled leather top handles, front flap, and strap closure with the polished palladium turn lock, padlock, and keys.
The Birkin 30
The 30 is a little larger than the 25 and ideal if you like having plenty of room in your handbag. The Hermès Birkin 30 is most commonly available in Togo and Epsom leather, although there are swift, Taurillon Clemence, and exotic leather options too.
This taupe Birkin is made from Togo leather and then finished with gold hardware for that totally luxurious look. The lighter, neutral colors look stunning and will suit a wide range of outfits, but they go get marked a little easier so that is definitely something to bear in mind when you are buying a Birkin bag. This Birkin 30 also has a matching leather interior for that high-quality finish.
The Taurillon Clemence leather, as you can see on this red-orange bag, has a grained, durable finish, but more of a shiny look that looks gorgeous in the light. The orange tone of the bag is complimented with silver-plated hardware and a matching orange matte goatskin leather interior. This Hermès bag is the perfect luxury item to add a touch of glamour to your outfit.
Exotic Skin Birkin bags
Hermès Birkin bags are also made in exotic skins, such as crocodile, ostrich, and alligator for that unique touch. The Matte Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin is one of the most expensive options you could go for, with a resale price tag of around $150,000-$180,000!
Niloticus Crocodile has a specific color that makes this handbag instantly recognizable, the leather fades from grey at the edges to white in the center, and is complimented by palladium-plated hardware. The interior is lined with grey goatskin leather, which is a pretty durable leather so you don’t have to worry too much about what you throw into your handbag.
The ostrich options are gorgeous too, just like this Hermès Birkin 30 in vibrant red ostrich skin and finished with gleaming gold plated hardware. The gold lock on the front keeps your belongings secure, while the gold feet keep the base of the bag structured and protected from any surfaces.
The ostrich skin features textured polka dots which gives the bag a striking and unique look. This luxury handbag also comes with a raincoat to protect it from wet weather, so you can keep this bag looking pristine.
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