Here is a first hand account of a friend who was able to purchase a Hermes Birkin (35cm Sanguine Togo to be exact) on a short trip to Paris. Your personal experience may vary but these are some of her tips on how she was able to obtain the ‘Holy Grail’ of bags.
Note: The account below does not claim to guarantee success over buying a Birkin and is available only to provide tips to help those who want to try their hand at buying this highly coveted item.
What made you try to decide to buy the Hermes Birkin in Paris?
In the city that I live in there’s only one Hermes store. The store has a huge wait list for a bag so the only other option was to purchase directly from the source, which is in Paris. Many people end up choosing this option to try and obtain one from the store but the experience actually was arduous but at the end of it was totally worth it.
What was your strategy to obtain the Birkin?
The strategy was really to check each store in Paris area and ask each sales associate directly on whether I could purchase a Birkin. Be prepared to get a No right away. Some of the other sales associates who are willing to give you the time of day will ask you to be ‘VERY SPECIFIC’ with what you want. I asked for a specific size 30cm or 35cm and also colors black / red / orange as those were the most classic in my opinion. The sales associate will check their computers for inventory and usually came up with a ‘No’ answer. When I purchased my Birkin it happened to be in August when most of the artisans are on vacation so stock I was told was extremely limited.
Where did you end up buying your Birkin?
In the end the Birkin was purchased from the Rue du Fabourg, Saint Honore store. It must have been a lucky day for me as I noticed the day before a truck pulling in to drop off inventory. I arrived in the morning and was able to speak to one woman in the bag section. She looked different as she had a walkie talkie, I asked specifically if I could purchase an Hermes birkin. She asked what size and color, which she followed up on by checking the system.
She then did not mention that there was none in stock (unlike the other tries I had) but told me to wait in the Men’s department area. This is when I realized that she would have the bag for me, which she presented in a giant orange box. Voila!
Are there any tips you would give to people who want to buy a Birkin in Paris?
Be persistent, patient, kind and courteous to the sales associates, which should be common practice for anyone. Consider that the associates have to deal with many customers day in and day out asking to buy a Birkin or Kelly. It does help to wear Hermes pieces when speaking to the store associates. There is a component of luck involved as the bag may have not been there if I hadn’t decided to ask about it on that day or had spoken to that specific person.