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Buying an Hermès Bag Can Be Tricky—Here’s What an Expert Says You Should Know

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As much as we’d love to fill our closets with every designer label we can think of, luxury fashion is just that: a luxury. But when the moment comes along for you to finally get yourself a chic investment piece, it’s worth reading up on everything you need to know before you take a deep dive into your bank account. Of course, when you’re looking to buy a piece from Hermès like its iconic Birkin bag, the rules of the game can be a little different. Luckily, we got the inside scoop on how to buy an Hermès bag straight from an expert, so you can go in confidently with all the facts.

Thanks to the high demand that comes with Hermès, getting your hands on a bag from the label can be trickier than most. To make the purchase easier on you, we asked Sarah Davis, the founder and president of the luxury resale website Fashionphile, for everything you need to know from where to buy them and what makes them so special. See what she has to say below.

Hermès has established itself as the ultimate in luxury accessories. If I tell you to picture an Hermès scarf, belt, or handbag, an iconic image instantly comes to mind. You may have seen a royal in a scarf, your favorite basketball player in an H belt, and celebrities of all types with a Birkin on their arms. But relative scarcity along with high price point has created an insatiable demand for the Kelly and Birkin bags in particular.

Absolutely, an Hermès bag is an investment. The minute you drive your new Birkin off the Hermès lot (or walk out the front doors of an Hermès boutique with your new bag) it goes up in value by thousands, depending on the specs of the bag. It’s important to remember that some investments are better than others. When buying and selling houses or Hermès bags, you can make or lose money. Success depends on timing, the scarcity of the style, condition and age of the bag, and your purchase price.

There are quite a few smaller Hermès handbags readily available on its website, like the Aline mini for $1875. A standard Birkin 30 runs over $10,000 or significantly more, depending on the type of leather or material. The same bag in crocodile or alligator retails at three to four times that. The problem isn’t only that Hermès makes it very difficult to get your hands on a Birkin, but it also limits the number you can buy per year. This hyper-limited supply and pent-up demand have created a robust resale market.

While it may sound fun to start an investment portfolio of Birkins, most people just don’t have the money to jump in, ten grand–plus at a time. And lots of people who are interested in buying a bag they love aren’t banking on a huge return. You don’t have to go in for a Birkin or Kelly to get both! The Hermès Constance or Evelyne are elegant, iconic styles in classic shapes and they really keep their value.

Obviously you can buy most Hermès bags straight from Hermès. It may take you a while, but you can buy a Birkin straight from the boutique. You just can’t walk into an Hermès boutique and buy a Birkin immediately. It must be ordered, and there is a waiting list. You also can’t buy the Birkin or Kelly, or most of its more iconic styles, online. So if you want a Birkin or Constance, for example, and you live in Biloxi, Mississippi, you will need to drive to Atlanta, Georgia, or Houston, Texas, to buy your bag from Hermès. But there are no waiting lists, and everything is available online when you buy from Fashionphile.

Now, scroll down to see some of the chicest Hermès bags you can buy right now.

This color is bound to stand out against all of your outfits.
Could it get any chicer than classic white?
This color has an undeniably vintage feel to it.
When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with black.
The argyle detail on this makes it feel truly unique.
Even a Birkin bag looks cooler in crocodile print.
This is the perfect embodiment of casual polish.
Say hello to your new everyday bag.
Without a doubt, you’ll carry this with you everywhere you go.
You can’t deny the timeless quality of this Toolbox bag.
Unique and luxurious.
Like Davis said, this style feels as classic as a Birkin or a Kelly and will maintain its value.
If you want a smaller style to wear for everyday occasions, opt for the Mosaïque.
This ’70s hobo silhouette is quickly coming back into style right now.
Now, this is one cool bag.
If you aren’t getting a Birkin but want one of Hermès’s most sought-after styles, get the Kelly.
Another one of Hermès’s iconic styles, this ostrich material is the definition of luxury.

And now, see the designer bags that will be everywhere this year.

This story was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

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