Desperately need help from the Hermes experts, please!!!

  1. Hi all, I am new to the forum (love it !!!:heart:), and new to the world of Hermes, and could really use a little help. :confused1: I have always admired their beautiful bags , but never thought it would be possible to own one. But, now I have come into some money, and would like to set a portion aside for this special purchase :yahoo:. I have been obsessively reading the threads for info, but I'm still lost. First, it seems substantially less expensive to purchase a bag at a boutique than what I thought, based on ebay and tv shows (it seems as if the Birkins start around $6000-$7000, please correct me if I'm wrong?) Also, I've ready several posts where people have received their bags in far less time than what I had been led to believe, or actually walked into a store and bought one off the rack (I thought it was nearly impossible to get a bag, or even to get on a list). Is this true? Perhaps it depends on the city you are in? I'm American, but currently living in Italy -- anyone have experience in this country? Last, I am trying to decide on what type of bag/color/leather to order if I ever get the chance!!! Many members seem to have a wealth of knowledge on exact colors and types of leathers available -- are the different options published somewhere? I know it is not available on the Hermes website. Is there some kind of book or catalog I should be aware of (I would like to be a little more knowledgeable before going into my local boutique, especially since I look very young and expect that I won't be taken very seriously by the SAs ). I think I've decided on the Hermes orange, but don't know the leathers, and would love to know the subtle differences between the HAC and the Birkin, as those are my top choices. Sorry for so many questions! So much to learn, but I'm anxious to get on that list so I can start waiting!!!! Any bit of help is really appreciated!!! thanks!!!
  2. Hi kln!

    OK, I'll tackle the HAC vs. Birkin question.....

    The main difference is the HAC is "taller" than the Birkin, and comes in different widths - for example, Birkins are available in 30, 35 etc; HAC's on the other hand are available in 32cm...see?
    The turnkey on a HAC is also different, I believe...some of the members here who own them will let you know....

    Hermes Classic Orange is a fabulous colour! Another great Orange (and a very popular one) is "potiron" can see some coloue samples in the sticky thread at the top of the forum main page.

    Depending on the size of bag you are after, the leather is a consideration because of weight, and personal appearance preferences. Chevre is very popular, but can be glossy, togo is very popular in larger bags, too....a grainy leather.....have a trawl through the sticky's again, and you'll get the idea.....
  3. Welcome kln!
    Another plug for potiron!!! :graucho:
  4. Welcome, pull up a chair and just start reading the reference library above.
  5. Thanks ladies, for the welcome and the great help!!! Grands Fonds, thatnks for that link to the leather thread, it is very helpful. Of course, the more I read, the more varieties I find mentioned, and it is very confusing,! Also found your color charts, which are great!! What an undertaking! I had just been wondering why Hermes does not do something like that themselves, when I ran across it. I've heard about the leather book, but judging on what I've also heard about snooty SAs, doubt if they would even show it to me!! So, I'm diligently reading all the info in the reference libraries, and will hopefully be a little better educated soon, and back with more questions.

    Before I decide that I want the most expensive bag they make, however (I would loooooooooovveee the birkin in the classic orange, crocodile :love: I think it is just the most beautiful, classic bag), can someone help me out a bit with prices? I know ebay and other online stores are wayyy inflated. I don't mind waiting for one from the Hermes boutique, if I can get a better price (also, more fun!!!!). I can't afford the crocodile, unfortunately, and would like to keep my bag close to the entry-level prices. Can anyone tell me a general price order amongst the leathers: togo, clemence, fjord, chevre, etc., and of course the exotics being the most expensive. I am thinking of togo (I like the bumpy, hardy grain), or possibly chevre, although I have suspicion this one costs more. Anyone have recent retail prices? I've seen alot on posts, but some are years old, and I'm finding it hard to gauge! US dollars or euros -- will end up buying in euros, probably, since I'm in Italy (too bad, the exchange rate now is awful! :Push:smile:

    Thanks again!
  6. Welcome KLN. A Togo 35cm retails for $7,400 currently w/o sales tax. I would figure about $1K more for Chevre or Vache Liagee. Prices have gone up. At the end of last year, a 35cm Fjord went for $6,500 pre-tax. A sellier (rigid construction w/outside stitching) Kelly in Chevre (goatskin) currently goes for $7K pre-tax. Hope that helps.

    Please definitely check out this thread below that dianagrace has so lovingly and wonderfully put together as a wonderful resource.

    And of course post more questions so we can help answer them!
  7. Hi KLN: welcome! I'm new too!! ( though I am only new to the PF) not new to the wonderful world of hermes!!!:graucho:
    ok. A crocodile Birkin 35 will cost you approx 30 K for porosus ( plus tax) and 25 K for niloticus.
    Your best bet, if you'd love an orange crocodile, is to go to your local Hermes and ask to order a Aligator Mississipp[ian in the Hermes Orange color, you'll save at least 10 000 and it's just as beautiful! Also you'll be buying american:smile: because that is the only skin Hermes uses that's born, bred and raised in our country! It then obviously gets sent to France and treated and colored by Hermes, then fashioned into a birkin and sent BACK to the US to be sold.. but that's what I'd do. Also if you're open to sizes, get as small a size as possible. On ebay resellers seem to sell 30 cm Birkin for as much as the 35s ( because they are probably harder to get) but in the STORE the smaller the bag the (much) LESS it costs!
    So if you were to buy say a 25 cm or 30 cm Missisissippian alligator you'd be getting it for a great price. Dont' be shy! :P Go into the hermes store nearest you and ask about placing a special order!

    If you go to europe, sure the price is a little less, like a 35 cm porosus is $ 26 000- $ 28 000 right now in euorpe - depending on the country, but then you have to declare it when you come home and so you'll be made to pay duty and it comes out the same or more if you figure in the cost of traveling there..
    Best of luck to you!:smile:
  8. Thanks everyone for all the help, and the great links! This is such a great community!!! :smile: I am busy reading, reading, reading. I am determined to be (somewhat) educated when I go into my Hermes store. I must admit I am somewhat nervous to do this, because I have heard so many stories about people being told flat out no, that they cannot be on the list, etc. when they ask about Birkins. Also, although I am 30, I look about 18, and sales associates usually look down their noses at me, also because I am not dripping with expensive clothing and jewelry. One would hope that Hermes would have more class than to snub someone not uber wealthy or with society status, but sadly, this happens in all upscale stores, it seems. But, anyway, I am in a smaller city in Italy, not Rome, so not even sure what my store would carry.

    Sorry for that little rant, I am very thankful for all the advice, and, lucyinthestars, despite your fabulous info on the alligator, i still think its a little rich for me at the moment, but i will keep it in mind for the future, when I will hopefully have more money! For now, I am thinking a classic everyday bag in something sturdy that will (hopefully) last forever. Probably a 35cm orange in togo, or, possibly, chevre (it would be helpful if i could see the leathers IRL). Anyone have any opinions on the kind of wait for orange, not potiron (lovely color, but bright classic orange is the only color for me! bag will match my espresso machine :lol: )???
  9. I wish I can look 18!!! People don't even card me anymore!!!:crybaby: I know how intimdating it can be to go into Hermes. I've bought a good amount of stuff from them and I STILL feel intimidated everytime I go in. Sometimes I run into bad SAs as well. However, don't let that deter or discourage you. Being persistent is very imporant. I am sure you'll find your dream bag in orange very soon! Oh btw, I envy you! I wish I can pull off the Hermes signature color but it just looks so awful on my skin tone!
  10. Kln, I would walk into the H store and ask to see the swatch book. That would help you in many ways--you could see leathers and colors--although not all will be in the book, it will give you a good idea as to availability, and it would sort of establish you as someone who knows what they're looking for as not everyone knows about the swatch book. Try and develop a positive rapport with an SA at your local store. I've only seen Potiron in the recent swatch books--haven't seen original orange for a bit but others may have. Colors that are not in the swatch books are harder to come by and may increase your wait-time if you're able to get on the list or get your order in. And you may also find yourself pleasantly surprised--so many PFers here go to the store thinking they want one color but then see another and just know that it's for them! In the meantime, keep checking out the great photos of the members' items in the reference library and those awesome color swatches that Grands Fonds put together of colors and leathers!

  11. WELCOME!!! The best way to get a Birkin is to find a SA that you like and become a regular customer. If you walk in and just ask for a Birkin, you may not get far. Just play it cool and become a "regular" at your closest H boutique. You don't always have to buy anything.
    THEN, once a SA knows you, he/she will help you find a Birkin that you love. It does take some time and patience but it's worth it.
  12. Hi kln, and welcome..

    Since you are in Italy, perhaps it is a good idea if you try to find a birkin in France. In which city are you staying in Italy? I assume Milan is the closest to France (?), please correct me if I'm wrong though. I got lucky last time I went to France, I managed to buy me 2 birkins (1 in Paris, 1 in Lyon). Me and mom each wore 1 bag, so custom wasnt a problem when we got back here (to Indonesia).

    If you are looking for an entry level birkin, perhaps I can recommend clemence or togo for you. You are right, chevre is slightly more expensive. Clemence and togo are very similar, easy to maintain and virtually scratch/worry free imho. You can find further info on both of these leathers at the sticky threads others have mentioned above. Those threads are a fountain of knowledge, since there are so many great info there.

    If you wanna try to get a birkin thru one of the local H shop in Italy, like Greentea mentioned above, you gotta develop a relationship with a SA over there by becoming a regular. I have no idea about the availability or the waiting lists in Italy though.

    And so, like I said earlier, if you arent very fussy about the color/leather/hardware, wanna get the birkin quick and have some spare time to go to Paris, then by all means try that way. My experience proves that the chances of getting a birkin in Paris is def very high. Did I also tell you that I was offered 2 ostrich birkins while I was there? So, I could like purchase 4 birkins if I had the money, LOL!

    As for prices, a 30 cm ebene clemence birkin with palladium h/w costs me 4500 (euro), and a 35 cm chartreuse clemence birkin with palladium h/w 4850. I got to claim the tax (roughly 10-12%) back since I was a foreigner.

    HTH and looking forward to chatting with you more :smile:
  13. Sarah - everytime I read how much you paid for your Birkins, it makes me want to get on a plane to Paris!!