The Ultimate Guide to Buying your First Hermes Bag

By Luxe Du Jour
February 29, 2024

An Hermes bag is a huge purchase and if you aren’t sure which one to invest in here are some tips!

There are 2 important things to consider when deciding to purchase your first Hermes bag and that is would you like to buy it brand new in the store for that brand new experience or would you rather buy it on the resale market?

Here are the things you should know and the pros and cons between buying a Hermes bag in the boutiques or on the resale / secondary or consignment market.

(Photo source: WWD)

Pros of buying brand new in the boutiques:

– You get to start building a relationship with a sales associate

– You get to experience the whole unboxing your brand new bag feeling

– You get the chance to buy the item at retail price instead of what the price may be on the resale market (this can be a pro or a con because there are some styles that can be found cheaper on the resale market and some styles such as the quota bags aka Birkin, Kelly, Constance etc which will often sell at a premium price over retail on the secondary market if it’s new condition)

– You get a return policy up to 30 days as store credit as long as the item remains in brand new unworn condition

– You have the reassurance that you are receiving an authentic Hermes bag

– You have access to the newest styles or colors Hermes may release that might not be available on the resale secondary consignment market yet

Cons of buying brand new in the boutiques:

– You will need to build that relationship with your sales associate and often feel the need to stick to one to ensure you are getting offered a quota bag

– You will need to play the Hermes profile building game and if you aren’t sure what the Hermes game is we highly recommend you research and watch other clients stories on what it’s like to play the profile building game at Hermes. To summarize, you need to buy a lot of other things at Hermes and spend a lot of money before being even offered a quota bag (Birkin or Kelly).

– You are limited to 1-2 quota bags a year and this can vary depending on the boutique and their rules can change even though you spent all the time and money into building your profile.

– You don’t always have access to or get offered the exact bag, color or size that you were asking for

– You need to be put on the waitlist and oftentimes you never know when you will be called or if you will ever be called and offered your bag. Hermes is very relationship based and tries to be very exclusive.

– You won’t be able to buy the discontinued styles or colors

– Your only option to pay is through credit card or debit. There is no flexible payment plans or alternative options that you could find on other online platforms

– You only get store credit as a return policy not a full refund the same method you pay

Pros of buying on the resale market:

– You can find and get the exact bag in the style, size and color that you are looking for as long as you’re willing to pay the resale price

– You do not need to wait or play the Hermes profile building game

– You have the option to pay in different methods such as bank transfer, buy now pay later options such as affirm, Splitit, Afterpay, or layaway. Most luxury consignments or resellers are very accommodating when it comes to different payment methods

– You are not limited to buying 1-2 Hermes birkin or kelly bags or any quota bags in a year and can buy as many as you can afford

– You could save hundreds to thousands of dollars off retail price on certain styles and pre-owned Hermes items when buying it on the resale / consignment market

– You can find the rare, discontinued or vintage styles and colors that the boutiques may no longer carry

Cons of buying on the resale market:

– You may be paying a premium price that’s higher than retail to get the exact bag you want because of how hard it is to get but that higher price means no profile building, no waitlist, no limit, and the convenience

– The potential risk of buying a counterfeit and being scammed if you do not use due diligence and buy from a trusted reseller or source

– You won’t get the full Hermes brand new unboxing experience like you would in the boutiques and you won’t have a strong relationship with your sales associate unless you are buying from the boutiques as well

Once you have determined whether you want to pursue getting your first bag from the boutiques or on the resale market then you want to consider the following:

    Learn more about the brand Hermes first and research the styles, leathers, colors, hardware so that you can feel confident in buying your first Hermes bag.
    Knowing your budget and sticking to that budget is crucial to making the right decision without regret for your first huge Hermes purchase and depending on that budget you will know which styles fall within that budget.
    Knowing your style and how often you want to wear this Hermes bag, consider what your current wardrobe is and your lifestyle to find the best style that suits you.
    Knowing the other bags you may want to add to your collection in the future comes into play in determining which Hermes bag you want to prioritize over the others.

Here are just some of the reasons why our clients love the brand Hermes:

– The craftsmanship, attention to detail and use of the highest end materials and leathers. Hermes bags are all hand stitched and made by one artisan. Some bags such as the Hermes Birkin can take upwards of 40 hours to be hand made by an expert artisan.

– Hermes bags, especially the quota bags, are considered “investment” bags because they constantly go up in price and never go on sale.

– The iconic heritage with a history dating back to 1837, Hermès has a rich heritage and a legacy of creating enduring classics. The brand’s iconic items, such as the Birkin and Kelly bags, have become symbols of status and sophistication.

– The exclusive experience because Hermès often produces limited editions and exclusive pieces, adding an element of rarity and exclusivity to their collections. This scarcity enhances the desirability of Hermès products among discerning customers

– Hermès designs are quiet and known for their timeless elegance. The brand focuses on creating pieces that transcend fashion trends, ensuring that Hermès items remain stylish and relevant for years, if not decades

– Hermès products, especially the Birkin and Kelly bags, have become status symbols associated with wealth, taste, and sophistication. Owning an Hermès item is often seen as a symbol of accomplishment and success

We wanted to hear from another Hermes collector so we interviewed Lana from Luxe Du Jour who has a decent collection of Hermes bags.

Q. When you were considering buying your first Hermes bag, what were your initial thoughts?

“Am I going to regret spending this kind of money on a Hermes bag? Is it going to pair with a lot of the outfits I wear and my lifestyle as someone who works in corporate. Am I choosing the right color and leather. I did a little bit of research on what is considered durable and what colors hold the best resale value so that if I were ever to sell it again and knowing the price in store and on the resale market constantly keeps increasing because I regretted not buying it before when it was way cheaper. I had the chance to buy it 8 years ago in the store for only $8000 when it was more easily accessible but I didn’t have the knowledge I had now”

Q. What is most important to you when it comes to investing in your first Hermes bag?
“The style and knowing I will use it for years to come and it will not go out of style. I picked a style that I know I will use often and in a color thats neutral”

Q. What was your first Hermes purchase and do you regret it?

“It was the Hermes picotin and I purchased it pre-owned in amazing condition from Luxe Du Jour and no I don’t regret it because it’s one of my most used bags”

We wanted to hear from an Hermes collector that has played the Hermes game in the boutiques as well as purchase pre-owned Hermes on the resale secondary market so we interviewed Tammy from Luxe Du Jour.

Q. What was it like playing the Hermes game and how much did you have to spend and wait for your first Birkin to be offered?

“I visited my sales associate every 2 weeks because I didn’t want my sales associate to forget about me so I would come in and always see what’s new and what I could buy because my sales associate did mention to me that I did have to buy other things in order to be offered a Hermes Birkin bag. I told my SA that I wanted a neutral color in black, etoupe or white as my first bag and in a size 30. I ended up spending over $20,000 over a period of 1 year and I was buying things like their blankets, bracelets, sandals, ash tray, wallets, twillies before I finally got offered my first Birkin bag and it was not even close to the combo I wanted. It was a Birkin 35 rose jaipur in clemence leather… complete opposite of what I wanted. However, I was young and I felt I waited so long and spent enough that I jumped the gun and because my SA told me that’s all they had and were offering and to my regret I took it. I didn’t know my profile restarted and I had to rebuy things again before being offered another Birkin. These are not things my SA told me at the time so here we go again… I started rebuilding again to try and get the exact bag I wanted.”

Q. Do you prefer the whole boutique experience or buying on the resale secondary market?

“I would do both! I loved having a relationship with my sales associate (before I was banned) because I truly loved the brand so there are items I couldn’t find pre-owned because they were the newest styles and my sales associate would inform me of certain things that came in like the oran sandals in my size and my color. However, I don’t like to be limited to what I can buy so when Hermes offered me 2 birkins in a year I had to wait until the following year to be offered another one but instead I really enjoyed finding bags on my wishlist from the luxury resale market”

Q. What was your first Hermes bag and do you regret it?

“My first Hermes bag was a Hermes Birkin 35 chocolate with gold hardware which I purchased from a client that I had to ask her if she would sell it to me and she was nice enough to sell it to me for the same price she bought it for even though it was a few years old at the time. I don’t regret it because when I sold it – it increased in value given that I used it for over a year but I did regret the size which is why I sold it. I am petite and only 5’0 tall so the birkin 35 looked very large on me”