Everything You Need To Know About Buying An Hermès Bag (2024)

“It’s quite simple, a Birkin is a better everyday bag as it’s less structured in its design, giving it a more casual look, while the Kelly has a more classic presence and is a great option for special occasions,” suggests Tony Freund, editorial director of 1stDibs.


Pre-Owned Hermès Birkin 35 Handbag


Pre-Owned Hermès 2001 Dalvy 30 Tote Bag

How long is the waiting list for a Birkin bag?

The reality is, waiting lists at Hermès stores no longer exist. Demand for both styles outstrips supply, meaning that stock varies from store to store. Boutiques have their own style offering, with infrequent deliveries and little notice as to which colourways or finishes will be available to purchase at any given moment. For this reason, customers who want a brand new bag should enquire in store, and seek advice from Hermès sales experts.

What is the most expensive Hermès bag ever sold?

In 2016, a 2008 Birkin made from white Himalaya crocodile with 18-karat white gold and diamond hardware was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong’s 30th anniversary auction for £208,175. The following year, a similar Birkin from 2014 sold for a jaw-dropping £293,000, and in 2022, Sotheby’s sold a Diamond Himalaya Birkin 30 for over $450,000.

During Koffsky’s decade at Christie’s, she mentions that one of her “absolute favourite handbags of all time” was the Hermès Metallic Bronze Birkin 25, created in 2005. Twelve years later, in 2017, she had the “privilege” to auction one in Paris, which was expected to sell for between €8,000 and €10,000. In the end, it sold for €100,000. “The excitement of auction cannot be overstated, each sale is like the premiere of a show,” she says. “When top collectors have their eye set on an extreme rarity, there can be no limit to the bidding.”


Pre-Owned Hermès Birkin 35 Leather Bag


Pre-Owned 1997 Birkin 35 Handbag


Pre-Owned Hermès 1988 Constance 23 Shoulder Bag


Pre-Owned Hermès Red Leather Swift Mini Constance 18

Is an Hermès bag an investment?

“The handbag market is more similar to other markets than you might expect – it is all a matter of supply and demand,” says Koffsky. “Pieces that are hard to come by are considered rare and valuable. This is why the Hermès Birkin and Kelly in limited edition or discontinued [colours or leathers], and pristine vintage condition capture the attention of collectors.”

As with any investment – be it a work of art or a classic car – condition is everything. Keeping your Hermès bag pristine means it will retain its value for years to come. “Condition is one of the most important indicators of value,” Koffsky continues. (See below for advice on keeping your Hermès in tip-top condition.)

Which Hermès bag should I buy?

“Curating a handbag collection is very much like curating an art collection,” says Koffsky. Whether you’re an Hermès newcomer or an avid collector, the bag you choose should be based on your personal taste. Classic colours like black, gold, etoupe (taupe) and ivory are consistent bestsellers, and smaller Kellys and Birkins are currently making a comeback (Hersan notes the popularity of the Birkin 25, in particular).

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How much is an Hermès bag?

The price will depend on the leathers, exotic skins, hardware and colourways. A product being pre-loved doesn’t make it any less desirable – in fact, where Hermès pieces are concerned, the opposite is true. It’s in a seller’s interests to keep their bag in mint condition, so even though the prices are still high, you can rest assured that vintage Hermès styles will retain their value.


Pre-Owned Hermès Hermes Zip 31 Herbag In Berline Canvas


Pre-Owned 2020 Hermès Herbag

How do you look after an Hermès bag?

  • “You want to store it at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. If you have the original box, store it inside. If not, the dust bag will do as well. You want to keep the bag covered at all times when it’s not in use. Never store it hanging by the handles or the strap. Don’t store it empty, stuff it with some plain tissue paper, air pockets or a bubble wrap, but be sure not to overstuff it. This will help maintain the shape.” Tony Freund, editorial director at 1st Dibs
  • “Make sure that when you use your valuable pieces, you treat them carefully. When putting bags away, it is important that they are emptied out and stuffed with something soft, such as a small pillow, bubble wrap or tissue paper. If the piece came with a dust bag and box, store the bag in its original packaging. Otherwise, a soft pillow case will do.” Rachel Koffsky, SVP, international head of department for handbags and accessories at Christie’s
  • “Keep it away from the heat and rain. Store it with padding to avoid deformation. And of course, when it comes to repair or restoration, always address the brand workshops so that your bag remains authentic.” Sara Bennani, director of the bags department at Collector Square
Everything You Need To Know About Buying An Hermès Bag (2024)


Can I just walk in and buy Hermès bag? ›

You just can't walk into an Hermès boutique and buy a Birkin immediately. It must be ordered, and there is a waiting list. You also can't buy the Birkin, Kelly, or most of Hermès's more iconic styles online.

How does Hermès decide who gets a bag? ›

Playing the 'Hermès game'

Some bags are allocated via waitlists, others offered at the sales associate's discretion. Others are reportedly offered on a first-come-first-serve basis, particularly at the brand's original flagship location in Paris.

Is it worth investing in Hermès bag? ›

Birkin bags can double in value in 5 years. An Hermès expert explains why it's a better investment than gold. “It's similar to buying a Picasso and holding it in your home, because you can look at it, you can enjoy it,” said James Firestein, founder of OpenLuxury.

What are the conditions to buy a Birkin bag? ›

To buy a Birkin directly from Hermès, customers must have a purchase history with the brand. Hermès only allows boutiques to purchase a select number of Birkins on a bi-annual basis and the style of Birkin bag delivered to boutiques is rarely known ahead of time.

Which is harder to get, Kelly or Birkin? ›

Some areas of the US have smaller, less competitive Hermès stores where it may be easier to be offered a mini Kelly than a Birkin 25, such as in your situation. Other big city locations such as New York City and Beverly Hills are highly competitive and being offered a mini Kelly is akin to winning the lottery.

Can a regular person buy a Birkin? ›

If you're looking for a faster way to buy a Birkin bag than the long process of building a relationship with an Hermès sales associate, the resale market can provide an opportunity to make a straightforward purchase, so long as your desired style is available and you have the funds.

What is the most in demand Hermès bag? ›

Of all of the Hermes' bags, the most coveted one is the iconic…. birkin bag. It was actually named after actress, Jane Birkin. The bag comes in many colors, materials, and sizes.

How much should I spend to buy Birkin? ›

The price of a standard Birkin 25 Togo in the USA has risen to $10,400 in 2023, while a Birkin 30 and 35 in Togo leather are now priced at $11,600 and $12,700 respectively. Even in Europe, the price for a standard Birkin 25 Togo has seen a significant increase to €8,050 in 2023.

How long is the waiting list for a Birkin bag? ›

How long is the waitlist for a brand-new Birkin? The world of Hermès Birkin bags is a rather mysterious one, so there are no set rules or timelines on how long you'd have to wait to be able to buy one.

Which Hermès bag holds its value? ›

For many years, the Birkin topped all Hermès bags in demand and resale value. However, today, the Mini Hermès Kelly bag indisputably tops any list of handbags with the best resale value.

Do Hermès bags depreciate? ›

Unlike the majority of designer clothing, where the value will depreciate over time, Hermes bags are the rare items that actually will appreciate in value.

Why are Hermès bags so special? ›

What is so special about a Birkin bag? The Hermès Birkin tote bag is a labor of love. Artisans in France make each bag by hand using the signature Hermès saddle-stitching technique. The bag's distinctive design features two rolled handles, top flaps with buckle loops and a lock and key.

Can not everyone buy a Birkin? ›

Only customers with an extensive purchase history at the French brand are offered the opportunity to buy “quota bags” such as the Birkin or the Kelly. This practice, dubbed “the Hermès game,” has kept the bags exclusive—but it's also ruffled many feathers.

What is Birkin bait? ›

The purse is so coveted and so limited that there's a culture of so-called “Birkin bait” spending, where customers buy lots of Hermès products to bribe their way into the chance—yes, chance—to purchase one. The company knows these customers are its lifeblood, and it goes to great lengths to keep them around and happy.

How to become a VIP at Hermès? ›

VIP status is typically granted to the brand's most loyal and high-spending customers. In some cases, corporate clients and partners may receive private sale invitations through their business relationships with Hermes.

Can you buy Hermès without appointment? ›

Hermès Flagship Boutique

If you do not have a leather appointment, it's easiest to just go to the section where you want to look first (for example, silks or shoes) and wait for a sales associate to become available.

Can you only buy Hermès in store? ›

Figuring out how to buy an Hermès bag in most styles is pretty easy. They can be purchased from Hermès online or from a brand boutique. However, Hermès aficionados love the Birkin, Kelly, and Constance bags above all others.

Do you need an appt for Hermès? ›

Appointments are recommended if available. Please bring along: - The email informing you of the availability of your order (printed out or on the screen of your phone) - Proof of identification.

How long do you have to wait for a Hermès bag? ›

There is no waiting list. You just have to wait for the bags to arrive at your store or at the wearhouse. There are 200.000 Hermes Birkin Bags in circulation!


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