How to Buy an Hermès Bag: The Hard Way and the Easy Way

Detail Image of Hermès Storefront Logo
"Our business is about creating desire.”
Axel Dumas, CEO and sixth-generation Hermés family member

And what an insatiable desire the House of Hermès stoked with its (in)famous Birkin and Kelly bags – the most lusted-after objects by handbag aficionados the world over.

Beloved by celebrities, high society, and fashion elites, these iconic bags are coveted symbols of unrivaled style, status, luxury, and exclusivity.

It’s no secret among those in the know that getting your hands on these prized bags is no small feat for the mere mortal.

Forums obsessively discuss rumors and stories on the near-impossibility – not to mention the sheer amount of luck needed – to acquire these legendary bags.

So how, exactly, does a Regular Jane get to buy a Birkin or Kelly bag?

If you’re on the quest for a Birkin or Kelly and want to know how to obtain your dream bag, read on.

First, you’ll learn the reality of what it takes to buy one directly from the Hermès boutique. You’ll find that it’s a long, arduous, and costly gamble with no guarantee that you’ll get your hands on one of these bags – let alone in the style and specs that you want.

Then we’ll show you the easiest and fastest way to claim your very own Hermès bag – in the exact style, size, leather, color, and hardware of your choice – as soon as… today!


Can you buy a Birkin or Kelly bag at the Hermès store?

The short answer is, yes, you can buy a Birkin or Kelly directly from Hermès.

In fact, you can only buy brand new Birkins and Kellys from the Hermès boutiques or its licensed stores such as select duty-free shops, Harrods in London, and Chips in Cleveland.

Also, whereas you can order many Hermès products from its website, Birkins and Kellys are never sold online.

So if you’re looking to purchase a brand new Birkin or Kelly, you must make a trip to the Hermès store or to its authorized dealers.

That said, here’s where things get tricky…

Because it’s not as simple – or easy – as that.


Can you walk into Hermès and buy a Birkin or Kelly?

Unfortunately, no.

You won’t be able to stroll into an Hermès boutique, ask for a Birkin or Kelly that you want, ring one up on the spot, and happily walk out with it.

Sadly, it’s not that simple.

The fact is, you may never be able to buy a bag directly from the store.

First, there’s the perception of scarcity, which most will say isn’t a perception at all but a reality.

Hermès intentionally makes limited quantities of both styles and distributes only a small number to each of its boutiques worldwide. Also, these bags are delivered in irregular schedules and in varied styles and specifications, making it hard to predict what’s in stock from store to store. 

This means that almost no one, often not even the SAs (Sales Associates), knows in advance when one becomes available – in what style, size, material, hardware, or color – until it reaches the store.

And when a bag arrives, it’s not publicized nor displayed on the sales floor but kept hidden in the back.

You’ll either have to ask for it or, if you’re an important client, they’ll invite you for a showing for a chance to purchase it.

This secretive air around the bags’ availability is, unsurprisingly, all part of the company’s marketing and sales strategy.

It heightens exclusivity, which then only intensifies demand for these rarest of bags.


Is there a waiting list for the Birkin and Kelly?

There is no waiting list to buy a Birkin or Kelly.

Hermès doesn’t keep a list of random individuals on a waiting list to call when a bag arrives.

Although the bags are sold on a first-come-first-serve policy, your chances of being on the shortlist are next to nil. Especially if you’re not deemed important enough, like being a celebrity or a VIP high-spending client.

Unless you have star power, special connections, or an unlimited budget to place you ahead of the line, you may have to wait months or even years or… forever.

So waiting list or not, there’s still a wait… a very long, expensive one at that, if not an all-out impossibility.


Assortment of Hermès Accessories at One of Their Stores  

Okay, then how does anyone buy a Birkin or Kelly at the Hermès store?

Hermès doesn’t sell these iconic bags to anyone who naïvely strolls in and asks for one.

There have been known instances where some have succeeded as random walk-ins. But these occasions are extremely rare and require tremendous luck and timing.

It’s not an option you should count on because it almost never happens.

You can try, but short of being immediately turned down, prepare for a runaround at best, with no clear explanation on how to actually buy a bag.

To uphold the perception of exclusivity, the company has strict unwritten policies on who is eligible to purchase the bags.

The most important thing is that all future customers must earn the trust of the Store Managers (SMs) and the Sales Associates (SAs) at the boutique(s) they wish to shop at.

This means developing a long-standing relationship as a loyal and passionate fan of the Maison.

To accomplish this requires a series of merchandise purchases in different categories (e.g., scarves, shoes, bracelets, etc.) which are registered at the boutique.

This purchase history builds your Profile.

Your Profile can be seen at other boutiques throughout the United States and around the world.

However, it’s best to develop a relationship with the SM and one SA at one boutique. They will know your Profile and the bag you want.

At some point in building your Profile, you’re likely to be offered a hard-to-find Hermès bag. It may be a bag other than a Birkin or Kelly, such as a Lindy or Constance, or it may very well be a Birkin or Kelly.

Unfortunately, even after a consistent purchase history, chances are that the bag that’s offered isn’t one that you desire.

For example, you may be yearning for a black Birkin in 30cm with gold hardware. But you may be offered a geranium Kelly in 35cm with palladium hardware or even an etoupe Lindy 26cm with gold hardware.

You can, of course, decline the bag offered, but you run the risk of never being offered another bag again.

And even if you’re given another chance, you may have to wait months or even years until you’re summoned back to the boutique for the opportunity to buy another bag.

Which, again, may not be the black Birkin of your dreams.

And while you keep waiting for your dream bag, you’re expected to continue building your Profile. This means spending thousands of more dollars on items you really don’t want in the hope of getting the bag you want.

At some point, though, the quest will likely be over, and you’ll finally be given that bag!

But by then, you’ll have spent a lot of money on unnecessary merchandise, like a few bags you didn’t want. Not to mention all the hours spent at the boutique(s) and the endless wait you’ve endured for it.

All that. And yet… the process never ends.

To get additional bags, you have to continue buying and building your Profile.

Plus, there’s always the waiting… and waiting… and waiting.

And if you think spending thousands and thousands of dollars to amass a collection quickly will get you your bag faster, forget that.

Hermès limits the purchase of their Birkin and Kelly to two a year in total.


Window Display of Various Items Offered at an Hermès Store


How much do you need to spend at Hermès to get a Birkin or Kelly?

Hermès needs to know that you’re a true, lifestyle customer of the brand, not someone who only cares for its bags.

That means building your Profile.

To prove your intent, you’ll need to personally visit your chosen store to buy a well-rounded assortment of Hermès products consistently over time.

Generally, you’ll need to spend 1.5 to 2.5 times the retail price of the bag you’ve got your eye on.

Your purchases can go toward small leather goods, select handbags, costume and fine jewelry, watches, silks, clothing, belts, shoes, homeware, furniture, perfume… anything they offer at the store other than your desired Birkin or Kelly.

Certain items being higher value than others, it goes without saying that you’ll be able to build a more robust Profile with big-ticket items such as fine jewelry and watches.

What you buy and how much you spend influence what kind of bag you can get and how fast you’ll be invited to own one.

Having said that, the harsh reality is this:

There is no guarantee that you’ll be given a chance to get the bag you want. And no set amount of spending will increase the odds of getting that bag.


Your BEST option to buy an Hermès bag

Now that you know that buying a brand new Birkin or Kelly directly from Hermès is a near-impossible and costly pursuit, are there other options to purchase them?

Yes indeed!

In fact, there’s a more direct path to buying the same store-fresh bag…

A path without the long wait, frequent visits to the boutique to purchase expensive, unnecessary items just to up your odds of getting a bag…

And that’s the secondary market.


Model on the left is holding a black Birkin bag and the model on the right is holding a red Kelly bag


The fastest, easiest way to get your Birkin or Kelly bag

For most of us who long for either – or both – of these treasured bags, the easiest, fastest, and most realistic option is to shop with a highly regarded dealer like us.

At Madison Avenue Couture, you can immediately purchase that new black Togo Birkin in 30cm with gold hardware.

You can go to our website, search for the bag, and purchase it with a credit card or bank wire.

Purchase in the morning and receive the bag the next business day.

No Profile building or extensive wait is required.

You can also visit our New York showroom or FaceTime with us to view the actual bag in person.

We promise you the most straightforward and seamless way to own a Birkin or Kelly – in the style and specs of your choice.


The best part about shopping with us?

You never need to wait for months or years – or forever – for a bag.

You don’t need a single cent of purchase history.

You can choose the exact style, size, leather, color, and hardware you want.

We don’t limit how many bags you can buy – have as many as your heart desires!

If we have the bag you want in stock, it’s yours – express delivered to you within 24 hours of payment.

If we don’t have the bag in stock and it’s available elsewhere, we’ll find it and get it for you.

With us, you don’t have to be famous.

You don’t need special connections.

Who needs luck when your bag is ready to be yours now?

We’re here to make your near-impossible handbag dream possible.

Own your fantasy Birkin or Kelly – or both! – today.

Shop for your dream Birkin or Kelly now.

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