The unanswered questions to all the myth and truth
It was manly years ago when I first wrote a blog about how to get a Hermes Birkin/Kelly. Back then, I did not own any of these thought-after bags and the blog was purely based on research that I have done for my own needs. Today, as I am writing this, I can finally speak from personal experience. Before reading this Q&A you may consider reading my updated version of how to score a Birkin/Kelly from the Hermes store: HOW TO REALLY GET A BIRKIN/KELLY.
I don’t know about you, but getting my hands on a Birkin/Kelly has been a big dilemma as well as curiosity for me for the past few years. Through my five desperate years of wanting this bag, I researched high and low. There are lots of articles and videos on this subject, but I wanted this Q&A to be a thorough place where you can get all the answers to your unanswered questions. This post will be updated on an ongoing basis based on your questions/comments, so check back once in a while to see what’s new.
I’m on the waiting list…when is my bag going to come?
This so-called waiting list may exist in some countries or stores, but I hate to break it to you, it doesn’t exist in most. There is no so-called waiting list, to most stores, this is just an indirect way of telling you “Hey, we don’t have a Birkin/Kelly for you”. For the lucky few who got their Birkin/Kelly years ago or live near stores that don’t have too much demand, I can only say that you are just too lucky. Hermes and its sales associates have gotten smart these days, so I wouldn’t bet your luck on these “waiting lists”. Plus, most stores now days don’t even have this waiting list anymore. I remember going to Hermes in 2010 and they were nice enough to put me on a waiting list that was 7 years long…this list was later cancelled in a year. WHERE WAS MY BAG?
Myth or fact, there is a system on how to get these bags.
After shopping at Hermes for a number of years, I can tell you straight up that yes there is a system. Any store you visit, it has its own system. Some stores may make it easier for you to get a Birkin/Kelly while others make it tougher. One time I watched a YouTuber VLOG her attempt to get a Kelly and she had no luck. Another time I watched a YouTuber and she was able to get one just like that, no fuss, it was as easy as snapping your fingers. So it’s really hard to say what the system is like at each specific store, but there is definitely a pattern on how you score a bag.
What is this so called system?
To put it simply, it is a rule set in place to ensure you qualify for a bag. This qualification is pretty much determined by you shopping history. Thus, to answer all your questions on “I heard you need an extensive shopping history in order to get a bag”, it is in deed true.
I have shopped at Hermes before, why am I not offered a bag?
How much did you buy? Did you buy it in one go or throughout multiple trips? How long did it take you to buy all these things? What did you buy? What kind of clientele does your SA have? Do other clients have priority over you? You should answer all of these questions before you think about getting the bag. Hate to break it to you, but there is a threshold on how much you need to spend before they consider you qualified (this obviously will vary from store to store and sales to sales). I’ve also heard that at some stores, they don’t like it when you buy everything at once and prefer to see a build up of spending; while at other stores, they may offer you your bag of choice if you spend enough on the spot. As for tougher stores, not everything will count into this “qualifying spending”. The tales are endless. You can only find out from your SA.
How much shopping history do I need?
From what I’ve heard and have experienced, the general rule is pretty much a 1:1 ratio, especially on your first bag (exotic bags are more, but not to a 1:1 ratio on exotic pricing). These rules may ease up on your future purchases, based on your relationship with your SA or which store you visit (a lot of stores may not require such high spending). Once you get to know your SA, you can indirectly ask or they will indirectly tell you. If you have a friend that already shops with a SA, then it’s probably easier for you to find out from him/her.
What qualifies as spending?
Depending on the store, a lot of items will not count as spending. Occasionally, once you have a relationship with your SA and you become a repeat customer, they may ease the rules on what qualifies and what doesn’t. Most of them time, they want to make sure that you “are a good representation for their bags” a.k.a. live a lifestyle that’s up to the Hermes customer standard. Thus, items that are likely to be one-time purchases or are easily sold do not qualify in a lot of the tougher stores (i.e. leather goods is a pretty common item that does not count, this may include bags, belts and wallets). Items that they would like to see you purchase and can get your SA excited are furniture, home décor, jewelry, clothing, etc.
I want an exotic bag.
These are a bit easier to get since most shoppers don’t have that kind of budget. If you have the budget and you want one, your SA will most definitely be able to help you get one. These do require you to spend more money than getting a regular leather bag, but if your goal is getting an exotic, I’m sure this won’t be a problem.
I want something other than a Birkin/Kelly, but it’s not on display.
Popular bags such as the Herbag, Picotin, Lindy, etc. are often not on display due to the high demand. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for it. They may or may not bring it out; it really depends on the SA. I have successfully bought a Herbag from the Hermes flagship in Paris before without any purchase history (then again the flagship store is a story on its own). You can also ask them to contact you if they have one in the future.
Is it important to find a SA?
This is the first thing you need to do. Find a SA, buy something and build a profile. If you bought something and they did not make you a profile…then it will never be in the system for them to qualify you. Always shop with the same SA. Get their contact so you can visit when they are there, don’t randomly show up and expect them to have time for you. Use the same profile to shop and make time to connect with your SA so she/he remembers you.
My SA offered me something I don’t like, if I don’t take it will it jeopardize our relationship?
I had similar thoughts and worries when I was buying my first bag. Whether it’s random items that they offer you or the “bag”, stay strong and only buy things that you won’t regret. This is not going to affect your account or status, it is perfectly normal to reject something and it will allow your SA to get to know your preferences better. Be warned though, don’t reject Birkin/Kelly too many times. No one wants a difficult customer.
I think XXX is a better SA, would it be weird if I switch?
In all honesty, it will be rather awkward because you will still see your old SA and your old SA might give your new SA a hard time thinking that he/she stole his/her customer. If you really don’t like your SA though, by all means switch! You are the customer and don’t let them make you think otherwise.
SAs are humans too.
Human beings have feelings and I’m sure all SAs will have their preferred customers. Whether it’s because you connect well or because you are a big customer to them, if you are “friends” with your SA, I’m sure they will be more lenient on you and offer you better things.
Are Birkins and Kellys really sold out?
Unless you are offered one, they will always be sold out. Many years ago when I was still on Facebook, I saw a senior post “so many Birkins and Kellys” along with a picture of the stock room. She was an auditor and they were auditing the stock room of Hermes, counting all the Birkins/Kellys. There are always bags in stock but they may or may not be stocked for you.
Someone else got offered the size and color I want.
Maybe this person waited even longer than you. Nothing is worse than going back to the store and complaining. Like I said, there is a system. If you qualified, they will work to eventually get you your bag of choice. If you did not qualify yet, then you won’t get your bag no matter how many times you complain. I’ve heard of many stories about clients going in to complain and it rarely had a positive outcome. However, being too specific can often lead to a very very long wait time, as they simply may not have what you want available (and I deeply stress the “very”). Some SAs will work extra hard to offer you exactly what you want if they think you have “potential” to be a good client, but don’t count me on this. Either be patient or give them more options.
What stores are easier to get bags from?
This can be answered in two ways. One, if you don’t want to spend the money then Paris flagship, Dallas, and stores with less demand and/or more supply (these are all based on what I have heard; often people have spent minimal to none at the stores before getting a bag). Two, if you have money and want a bag quickly then any store will do. But Asia is probably where you want to go if you want to pick the bag of your choice. The systems there are very direct and you will get your bag in a jiffy. Bigger stores are great as they have more inventory, leading to higher chances of getting your dream bag and more offerings. But at the same time, larger cities equal wealthier clients; so you really have to find a balance that suites your budget and time.
The Paris Flagship store.
This store deserves a blog post of its own. I shall expand on it in the near future.
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I never thought I had so much to say about shopping at Hermes. I hope you found this article either helpful or at least interesting.
My Final Piece of Advice. Be patient and wait for the bag of your dreams. If you SA tells you that the bag you want is pretty much impossible to get, maybe consider opening up your choices or buy on the resell market.