Tips You Need To Get Your Hands On An Elusive Birkin Bag

There's no bag currently in the fashion industry with as much mystery and status as the Hermès Birkin bag. Farfetch explains that the history of the Birkin bag is the result of multiple coincidences adding up to one monumental moment. The creation of the Birkin bag began when renowned actress Jane Birkin found herself struggling to carry and fit her tote into the overhead compartment of an airplane. As fate would have it, Hermès executive chairman, ​​Jean-Louis Dumas, was seated next to her and asked her opinion on her ideal bag. Then Dumas sketched a quick design of the Birkin bag, with specifications by Jane Birkin. 

Considering the extraordinary history surrounding the Birkin bag, it's easy to see why it is one of the most sought-after accessories. Hermès has also helped further the popularity by surrounding the bag with mystery. There is no exact number of Birkin bags available, meaning there's no telling what the inventory looks like. On top of not releasing the inventory status of the bag, Hermès keeps the price a secret. These mysteries have added to the luxury of obtaining a Birkin bag. The mission of getting a Birkin bag is not for the impatient, as even the multiple-year-long wait list will test your patience. Thankfully, previous Birkin buyers and Hermès employees have shared various ways you can maneuver yourself to get your hands on this investment piece.

Buy from a reputable independent reseller

Although we would all love to buy a Birkin bag from the Hermès store, the process is very challenging. The easiest way to get a Birkin bag is by purchasing it from a third party. Lara Osborn, vice president of procurement and authentication at reseller brand Fashionphile, tells Byrdie, "Many of our clients are endeared to the Hermès brand and are often seeking a specific color/size/hardware combination that can be quite challenging to find brand new or directly from the boutique. Very often, they have been patiently waiting to be offered the bag of their dreams by their Hermès sales associate, and are pleasantly surprised to see it available at Fashionphile." Reseller companies like Fashionphile are the quickest ways to get your Birkin bag. You can find the exact model you have been looking for with one search.

While it's easy to get scammed when buying secondhand, it's possible not to get robbed when looking for your dream bag. Charles Gorra, CEO and founder of Rebag, tells Elle Magazine, "Researching is the key to making a successful secondhand purchase. If you don't have dozens of tabs open on your web browser, then it's possible you haven't done enough research." You can never do too much research when spending thousands on a bag. Ensure the reseller website or individual has established their return policy, has an authenticity guarantee, and is completely transparent about how they accrue their inventory.

Become well-established with your Hermès boutique

As difficult as the process might be, it's not impossible to purchase from your Hermès boutique. With wait times lasting years, one of the quickest ways to jump the wait list is by establishing a purchase history with one boutique. Baghunter explains that waitlists can often be ranked depending on a customer's purchase history and connection to the brand. This means the more you buy, the higher the chance you'll be offered to look at the Birkin bag, or if you ask, they'll allow you to view them. There are strict rules sales associates must follow before allowing someone to look and purchase a Birkin bag, one of these being previous purchase histories.

Sotheby's adds that Hermes boutiques can only purchase Birkin bag inventory twice a year. The boutiques seldom know the merchandise they will receive, which can even surprise them. With such a small quantity available to them, it makes sense boutiques will hold off on showing off the bags unless they are sure the customer will purchase. Adding to the limited quantity and a lack of knowledge of what bags will be delivered, if you are looking for a specific Birkin bag, this can make the inventory even smaller. Being in the good graces of your local boutique will ensure you are the first the sales associates will call once your dream bag comes in.

Know everything about the Birkin collection

With a limited amount of Birkin bags available in-store, you need to know exactly what you want to be able to complete the transaction. WanderxLuxe explains that one of the reasons why you need to have a purchase history is because sales associates will decide to show you their available Birkin bags if they see your appreciation for the brand. Considering the labor that goes into creating each bag, Hermés does not want this craft to go unnoticed. Therefore, try brushing up your knowledge of the Birkin bags and the variations. Not only will this show your sales associate that you appreciate the craft, but it will also demonstrate that you are determined to have the bag one way or another.

PurseBop adds that this knowledge about the Birkin bag will help you to get along with the Hermés sales associate. Having a good and productive conversation with your sales associate about the various components of the Birkin bag will let you build a connection with them. Additionally, background knowledge of the Birkin bags will allow you to have a backup in mind if your first choice isn't available at the boutique. While it is possible to wait for your dream bag to come in stock, having another option will open up your opportunities much more.

Dress up if you plan to go in-store

Even if you don't have an established connection with one specific store, it's still possible to walk out with your favorite large orange box. The Market Herald mentions that when trying to buy a Birkin bag in-store, part of the mission is to convince the sales associate that you are worthy of purchasing the bag. Whether it's fair or not, the sales associate will ultimately determine whether you seem worthy enough to buy a Birkin bag. One of the best ways to form a good impression is by dressing up for your trip to Hermés. Adding a few pieces from the brand along with other elegant-looking details will increase your chances of being chosen for a viewing of the available Birkin bags.

Madison Avenue Couture adds that this game of having to impress Hermés sales associates is merely part of what makes the allure of the Birkin bag much greater. Dressing up to try and obtain a bag showcases respect for the brand, and it is part of the markers Hermés looks out for when deciding to sell to you. When dressing up for a Hermés trip, you don't need to wear formal attire; simply consider the brand's elegance and classiness when picking out your outfit.

Have a connection with or around the brand

Going through a sales associate at Hermes isn't your only option when buying a Birkin bag. Although equally slim, plenty of companies will act as a middleman between you and Hermes. Using another company as leverage will help increase your chance of securing your very own bag. Vox reports how one consumer went through their credit card company's concierge service to get hold of multiple Birkin bags. "I bought three for my mom using the American Express Platinum Concierge. I called and told them what I wanted and they put me on hold, called a few stores and within an hour each time I was in the store picking up the bag."

If the idea of doing all this work seems daunting, there is a hidden option in obtaining a Birkin bag. Observer explains that bag concierge services will charge you an extra fee and track down your dream Birkin bag for you. Companies like Baghunter will charge you around $99 plus the bag's price, and find the exact color and hardware of your choosing. These services are also starting to pop up by individuals who have access to Birkin bags and will go into stores to track down your dream bag. When using these services, always ensure you purchase from a reputable company before paying any fee.