Hermès Quota Bag System: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Hermès enthusiasts love discussing the finer details of Hermès premium leathers, colors, and hardware choices. Today, however, we’re talking about something very different. Let’s explore the enigmatic world of the Hermès quota bag system. This program is a fascinating key to the exclusivity of the most coveted luxury handbags on earth. We’ll demystify Hermès quota bag rules, which can be as quirky as they are stringent. Finally, our Hermès quota bag guide will help you navigate the path to securing your treasured Birkin or Kelly bag

birkin and kelly bags

The Allure of Hermès: Beyond Just a Bag

Every Hermès bag is the final result of decades of experience, premium materials, and the skilled handiwork of a single artisan. Each is meticulously assembled from the world’s finest leathers and boasts timeless style. Yet the exceptional quality of the materials and artisanship does not fully explain the powerful allure of an Hermès bag. 

People often ask, “Why are Hermès bags so expensive?” The traditional answer is that the bags are highly exclusive and represent the finest materials and exquisite artisanship. What many don’t realize is that Hermès crafts the scarcity and exclusivity of their bags with the same deliberate attention to detail they use to make the bags. Thus, the Hermès quota bag system was born.

Why Are Hermès Bags So Elusive?

Hermès has created several products coveted the world over, namely the Birkin and the Kelly bag. Where most brands in this position scale up production to meet the high demand (hello, Apple iPhone), Hermès strictly limits the number of luxury bags produced in any given season. This engineered scarcity drives the demand (and prices) ever higher. Additionally, the Hermès quota bag system prevents collectors from purchasing more than two of the most exclusive bags in a single year, further supercharging the demand for them. 

Decoding the Hermès Quota Bag System

The Hermès quota bag system is a strategy that ensures the exclusivity and extreme desirability of the premier Hermès bags, the Birkin and the Kelly. Not only does the company severely limit the production of these coveted bags, but it also restrains buyers from purchasing as many as they want. This artificially drives demand higher. 

The Hermès quota bag system is simple. No one is allowed to buy more than two quota bags in a given year. So, what is an Hermès quota bag? Strictly speaking, any Birkin or Kelly bag, including the Mini Kelly II, is considered a quota bag, and its purchase is restricted. However, some boutiques also include the Hermès Constance among their quota bags. Even if you jump through all the necessary hoops to buy an Hermès bag, the boutique still limits the number of Birkins, Kellys, and perhaps Constance bags you may purchase within the year.

You may wonder how the company can stop you from buying as many Hermès quota bags as you’d like. Each boutique keeps impeccable records of your purchases. This is essential, of course, for tracking the pre-spend that qualifies you to purchase a Birkin or Kelly bag and the type of bag you are entitled to purchase. It also alerts the boutique when you have purchased your allotted quota bags. So, does that mean you could buy additional quota bags at other boutiques? 

Tips to Navigate the Hermès Quota Bag System

Are you wondering how to get an Hermès quota bag if you have already met your quota for the year? Not that long ago, it was fairly common for fashionable women of means to buy their two Hermès quota bags for the year at their home boutique in New York, then travel to Paris with the intention of buying two more. Now, however, the Hermès boutiques are networked worldwide. They track your spending at all boutiques to better control the Hermès quota bag system. 

If your usual boutique considers the Constance an Hermès quota bag, shopping with a different boutique can help you buy a Constance without using up a quota bag. Also, some collectors have found success by re-registering under another name. The downside to this approach is that you then face purchasing qualifying “pre-spend” products for two profiles, and your payment method must match the profile’s name. Some use a sister’s name and credit card or a friend’s to make their purchases.

We know only one other strategy to beat the Hermès quota bag system and buy the bag you want when you want it. Purchasing an Hermès bag from a reputable dealer like Madison Avenue Couture provides several benefits over shopping with a boutique:

  • There is no wait for the bag you want. All our authentic Hermès bags are in stock and available for immediate shipment.
  • You can select the exact bag you want in terms of style, color, size, etc.
  • There is no pre-spend required to purchase even the rarest, most coveted bags.
  • Limited edition bags, exotic skin bags like alligator and ostrich, and even the special order Horseshoe Stamp (HSS) bags are all available.
  • We do not use the Hermès quota bag system to restrict your purchases.

If you cherish the individualized support of the Hermès SA, contact our concierge service. We will be happy to assist you in finding the luxury bag of your dreams without waiting months or years.

kelly bags

Making the Most of Your Hermès Investment

Always choose your Hermès quota bag wisely, whether you are purchasing it for the love of the bag or its investment value. At Madison Avenue Couture, we believe these glorious bags should be worn and enjoyed. So, we encourage you to buy the style, size, and color that best suits your wardrobe and sets your heart aglow. For some, this may be a baby Birkin in black, while someone else may swoon for the Picnic Kelly 35 in handwoven wicker. However, we fully recognize the investment value of these collectible designer bags

If you’re purchasing an Hermès quota bag as an investment, it’s critical to recognize that some Hermès colors hold their resale value better than others. These include several sophisticated neutral Hermès shades, like Black, Gold, Craie, and Etain, as well as some fun fashion colors, such as the lovely Rose Sakura and Vert Criquet. And the smaller sizes tend to hold their resale value better than the larger bags.

Even if offered a quota bag, selection in terms of color, model or size is typically limited. Product offerings are often based on your prior spending level. Therefore, the SA will often offer a bag that is not of interest to you.

If you are fortunate enough to be offered a quota bag you do not want but feel obligated to purchase due to your relationship with the boutique, you can immediately turn around and sell it for a profit. Madison Avenue Couture purchases quota bags fresh from the boutique above retail, giving you an immediate profit on your purchase. 

Find Your Hermès Bag at Madison Avenue Couture

If you cannot get the bag of your dreams at the boutique or find it frustrating to work within Hermès’ policies, you can always purchase the Birkin or Kelly you want at Madison Avenue Couture. So, freely explore our Hermès collection, and shop to your heart’s content!

Judy Taylor

CEO & Founder of Madison Avenue Couture
Judy Taylor, the CEO and founder of Madison Avenue Couture is one of the most respected authorities on luxury bags and accessories. Her entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering commitment to quality have cemented her as an expert in luxury retail, inspiring fashion enthusiasts worldwide
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