The Price of an Hermes BirkinTweet
Can you afford the ultimate handbag? If you are too shy to drop by an Hermès boutique and actually ask for a price list, don’t worry – we have done all the embarrassing parvenu work for you. Below is a meticulously compiled little record showing how much the Hermes Birkin costs depending on the leather, size, and hardware used.
Many Hermès boutiques in the US and UK stock entry-level 35cm Birkins in more common colours for a starting price of about $8,300 (£5,000). Yes – you can walk in and buy a bag outright if they have it in stock. The recession seems to have caused a surplus in inventory, making these handbags a little more accessible.
Unfortunately, you can’t always just walk in a store and buy a Birkin. After all, this iconic purse is handmade for weeks, and in most cases, and the supply simply can’t keep up with demand. For a higher price, you can purchase these bags brand new from reputable resellers – fashion experts who have made a career out of wheeling their way into the Hermès backrooms and finding the best and the latest for their rich and impatient clients.
Mike Tonello, the author of the best selling book, “Bringing Home the Birkin,” is one such expert. He peddles 100 original brand new arm candies (direct from boutiques) in his website, travelling to Europe to source "same day" Birkins to cater to wealthy women who simply don’t want to be in the “wait list.” His prices are a bit higher than the store prices, but the bags are also far from basic. They’re mostly hard-to-get colours and exotic skins that are not normally stocked in the stores, unless you’re extremely lucky. This price list is a summary of the items that were available in his website in 2011. The values of may have gone up even further by the time you read this, but these figures should give you a pretty clear idea how much they cost after taxes and duties, as resellers do have to clear customs.
Here is a summary of the price list, from the cheapest to the most expensive. To see the entire table complete with hardware and colour details, go to the end of the article.
So, can you afford an Hermes Birkin? Here’s the gist:
Before you max out your credit card on one of these coveted handbags, make sure you are buying original. Don’t be fooled by fakes! A brand new Hermès Birkin, no matter what size, comes with a lock and key, a clochette (the bell-shaped leather cover for the key), a “sleeper” or dustbag to keep the bag in, and an iconic orange box with a ribbon. The words “Hermès-Paris” should be embossed on the inside of the bag. The ink used should be the same colour as the hardware; if the hardware is silver palladium, the mark should be silver, and of the hardware is gold, the mark should be gold. The same “Hermès-Paris” mark is embossed on each of the four “feet” on the bottom of the bag. Look for the stamp and the craftsman ID number. All sizes come in exotic skins like Ostritch, Alligator, Lizard, and Crocodile, as well as cheaper classic leathers like Togo, Clemence, Epsom, and Barenia.
You should see: Hermes on Sale
The Birkin never goes on sale, but you can find discounted garden totes, beach bags, travel bags, small accessories, and apparel from luxury resellers like BlueFly, mostly from a couple of seasons ago. Click on the link above to see some of these marked-down items.
One last tip…
If you are not an EU resident and happen to be in France, you can try your luck in any of the many Hermès boutiques and simply ask if they can sell you a Birkin. Not all boutiques do. The airport stores, for example, only carry summer bags. If lady luck is on your side and you actually get your hands on the holy grail of purses, take advantage of the tax refund (detaxe). Don’t forget to fill out the form (bordereau de détaxe) before you leave the store so you can get your money at the airport, before you go home.
Here’s the full price list complete with details on hardware and colours, if you’re not yet dizzy:
Published December 07, 2011 by Ingrid Cudia