I got a call the other day from a husband wanting to surprise his wife for their anniversary with a Hermes bag. It’s obviously an iconic bag and has great resale value but definitely not something you just get. First of all, there’s the price. Hermes bags retail anywhere from $12,000 to upwards of $300,000. Price depends on style, leather, color, hardware etc. Often times the second hand market is a great resource, I know Portero and TheRealReal carefully authenticate bags before selling them. I’ve also seen a variety of fakes, good ones can sell for $4-6,000. The replicas of Hermes belts are all over Ebay. I would definitely advise not to purchase from Ebay but use an online store that hires experts and guarantees the authenticity.
Purse Blog has a great article on how to buy Hermes bags overseas.
Photo: purseblog.com, Hermes Etoupe
Now, I talked that husband out of it. I had never heard his wife even mentioning wanting an Hermes and however beautiful the bag, I feel like it is less about the bag and more about showing that you can spend this much $ on a bag. But if you have the money and love the design, go for it. If you can, shop around and go to the stores, research the leather and hardware options. Clemence and Togo leathers are textured and hold their shape much better than Swift. Since I carry everything but the kitchen sink with me, weight is important as well. Chevre is the lightest I think and all the exotic leathers are very light but consequently, most expensive as well. Here’s a good comprehensive guide into types of leather used by Hermes.
And much to my surprise, Saks Off Fifth is selling vintage Hermes bags, both Birkins and Kellys, (discounted by 3 cents, seriously) but it’s not the price here that matters, it’s the ability to buy one online and get it delivered without dealing with stores and sales people. Make sure you know what size and color and leather you are into before buying as these are final sale and not returnable. Great selection of colors, IMHO.
Screen shot from SaksOffFifth.com