The three Paris H stores & My Journey to a Kelly - October, 2012

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  1. We were just in Paris last week and I would like to share with you my experience shopping at the three different Hermes stores there.

    Just a warning - it is a long story. So if you don't have much time, it's best to wait :smile:

    Wednesday - Rue de Sevres

    It was 15:00. The store was not busy. There was only one couple talking to one of two SAs in the leather department. The other SA was cutting some labels for the small leather goods while standing over one of the display counters. I went and stood close to SA #2, giving him plenty of personal space while ensuring that he had seen me. He continued to do his paper cutting as I stood there. Then a middle age man showed up right behind me, and SA#2, completely ignoring me, went directly to the man with a broad smile asking if he needed any assistance. Just to give you an idea, I was dressed smartly (black long vest with boots) and I wore a smile on my face. I thought it was absolutely rude of him to do that! The least he could do was acknowledge my presence and instruct me to wait for SA#1 if he was busy doing other things.

    When I finally got to talk to SA#1, before I even mentioned which bag I was looking for, he told me they have no purses at all.

    I left the store feeling awful, not because I didn't score a bag but because I felt mistreated. That night, I came back on TPF and vented on the thread "Paris Trip for a Birkin". Thanks to our fellow members, I felt more reassured and was encouraged to try George V.

    Thursday - George V first

    14:00 The store was a lot smaller and I was told by one of our members that the SAs there tend to be more helpful because it is a smaller store. As soon as I went in, I greeted by one of the female SAs. She was nice enough to follow me around the store, waiting to help me out. When I asked her about purses, she told me that they don't have anymore coming in that week. She suggested that I check the main store though and reassured me that it's not too far from here.

    Thursday - FSH

    15:00. The place was a zoo!!! Apparently they now have a system where there is a hostess who will assign you to the next available SA. I came across a male SA, Mr. P, whom told me that there were no Kellys left. I mentioned in passing that I saw some people trying out the Birkin and he said they actually are out of Birkins too. The ones I saw, he told me, are floor models. He asked me what size Kelly I was looking for. When I told him I was looking for a 32 or 35, he offered to let me try out the "floor models" to see which one I would like better. He also told me that they usually do not get shipments on the weekends. If I wanted to try my luck again, I should come back on a weekday.

    Friday - FSH

    11:30. This time, I was greeted by a different female SA. When I told her that I was looking for a Kelly, she went to check on the computer first. While she was checking on the computer, the male SA, Mr. P. , from the day before showed up next to her and waved to me. He said something to her while she was working on the computer. When she was done checking, she told me that they haven't had any stock come in that morning yet.

    At this point, my 4 year-old son, who has been travelling with me the whole time, wanted to go to Bon Marche (a department store in Paris) to shop for toys. Since it was only 2 minutes away from the Sevres store, I decided to try my luck again. I figured the rude SA was only one person. So far, all the other SAs that I have come across in the other stores were decent.

    Friday -Rue de Sevres

    12:00 I saw SA#1 there helping out some other customers. So my son and I sat on the couch, waiting for him to be free. While we were sitting there, a man walked by and greeted me with a "Bonjour". Seeing that he walked into the leather department, I approached him and asked if he worked there. Apparently he was one of the SAs that worked there! When I told him that I was looking for a Kelly, he immediately went over to the computer and asked me if I had my passport. After verifying my identity, he said that he was going to the back to check and see if there was anything available. He came back empty-handed and reassured me that they have deliveries everyday, even on weekends! He asked me how long I was staying in Paris for and encouraged me to come back tomorrow (Saturday) and Monday. He even told me that he would be working the next day.

    After that, I felt much better about the Sevres store. I wasn't too disappointed about not finding a Kelly. After all, we were in Paris! There was so much to do and see! My son and I went to Bon Marche and got some Pokemon cards.

    Then I thought we might as well try FSH again. Some people have said that things can be different in an hour or two at the same store with a different SA.

    This is when the unbelievable happened!! I still cannot believe the type of treatment we got that day at FSH!!!

    When my son and I went in, we stood around for a bit in the leather department, waiting for an SA. After a while, one of the employees there asked my son if the cards he had were Pokemon cards. She had a phone in her hand so I don't think she is one of the SAs. She was so nice to him that they actually started laying out his Pokemon cards on the glass counters in the leather department. Then another female employee stodd next to us, watching their interactions. I casually asked her if she worked in the department and she said yes. Then the employee that was playing with my son asked if it was okay that she brought him somewhere else while I dealt with the SA. I gladly pawned my son off and the SA started asking me what kind of purse I was looking for. When I told her that I was looking for a Kelly, she asked for details like the size, colour, leather and type of stitching (sellier vs retourne). I mentioned that I was looking for either a 32 or 35(preferably the 35), neutral colour, and more resistant type of leather. She went off to look for it while my son was given his own Hermes colouring book with some crayons. Unfortunately, the SA came back empty-handed. I thanked her for her time and efforts anyways. Just as I turned to walk away, I asked her, "Are the 32s and 35s the most popular sizes?". Then, she said, "Oh yeah, I forgot to check for the 32s. There might be one 32 left. Would you like me to check?"

    Are you kidding? Of course I wanted her to check. So there she went again. Minutes seemed like hours when she returned......empty-handed!!!!

    "I did find a black hard leather 32 Kelly. I wasn't sure if you would like to see it."

    "Yes, please!"

    She then brought me to the back and showed me the 32 Black Epsom Sellier Kelly. Before I had seen it, I didn't think I would like a black purse. But this black Kelly, with the type of leather and stitching, looked stunning!!! She also told me that there was only one 32 Kelly. While she was showing me the purse, another SA was showing a 35 Kelly next to our table. I casually inquired about that and my SA said that when another SA is showing a bag, it may not appear on their computer. When the other customer didn't take it, my SA went over to the other SA and asked if we could look at hers. The other SA reluctantly left my SA the purse. When I looked at it, it was a 35 togo reddish-orange (I forgot the name of the colour) retourne. Now I can finally tell the difference between a sellier and a retourne. The red 35 retourne looked so much more slouchy than the black sellier. It didn't take me long to decide on the 32 Black Epsom Sellier Kelly. Then the other SA brought another customer back and showed her a grey 32 Kelly!

    After I decided on the 32 Kelly, my SA brought me back to the front of the store to pay. I saw my son's Pokemon cards on the table with his colouring book and crayons but he was nowhere in sight. Then I heard a familiar voice crying and saw this big burly security guy guiding him while talking every so gently to my little guy. I waved at my son and they both walked over to us. The security person said that my son was walking towards the door, so he just grabbed him and started walking him back.

    While this was all happening, Mr. P. showed up and asked my SA what I got. He smiled and told me that he was very happy for me that I finally got the bag. Then he proceeded to tell my SA to carry on with the next customer while he helped me with the VAT return form and a customer information form. While I was filling out the papers, he asked my son if he wanted some orange juice and brought us back drinks with glasses. When the people at the desk called me up to pay, he reassured me to go ahead and that he would look after my son.

    After I had sorted everything out and was ready to leave the store, Mr. P. offered to have my package delivered to our hotel! He said, "Would you like me to sent the package to your hotel? It would be terribly difficult to carry around the bag with your son."

    After reading about the bad treatments people get at Hermes and experiencing it first-hand at Sevres, I was shocked at the "royal treatment" I was receiving at FSH.

    Even when we went back the following day to pick something out for my husband, a different SA gave my son a set of Hermes Knotting cards (with its own box) after seeing him with his Pokemon cards.

    So my conclusion about the whole Hermes experience are the following:

    1) Even if you dress well and smile, you may still not be treated well.
    2) There is no rhyme or reason as to when and what is available
    3) No store is better than any other store
    4) It really is luck which SA you get
    5) Don't give up! The bag situation can change within hours at the same store
    6) It may help if you have an adorable child to bring along :P

    I feel so fortunate to have gotten a Kelly on my trip.

    Thanks for allowing me to share my story with you!
     
  2. Such a wonderful story BarMax. I am thrilled that you found your Kelly in Paris and that you did not give up! It should be an encouragement to others. You really never know what will happen. Congratulations and hope you do a reveal.
     
  3. Wow, this gives us all hope! Persistence is the key to unlocking the mysteries of Hermes!

    Congrats on your stellar find!
     
  4. Such an inspiring story to share! Congrats for getting your black kelly. I guess what you mentioned about clothings is indeed true. Even if you are wearing lots of designer clothing, it doesn't really ensure you to get a rightful treatment. I guess, it is part of your son's luck as well! Big congrats for you and enjoy your new kelly! :smile:
     
  5. Wow, this is a great story! Very encouraging :smile: Congratulations on your Kelly!
     
  6. It helps to have an adorable child. It has melted many SAs n unlocked the Birkin vault! ( plus the extra H colouring books n crayons, drinks, samples etc)
     
  7. Wow! So happy for you!
     
  8. Wonderful story! It's indeed encouraging and now I am wondering if I should start planning for kids. :giggles:
     
  9. Congrats!! Wonderful story~
     
  10. super congrats on your new Kelly ...........and thank you for taking your time letting us know your experience in Hermes Paris stores ..........

    I now need to borrow my sister's little girl to charm over the SA in Paris then.........he he he.......
     
  11. What a nice story! I'm also hoping to score a Kelly in Paris in November. Hope I'll be as lucky as you.
     
  12. congrats... sounds like Paris was fun !!!
    Please show us this beauty!
     
  13. Congrats on getting the lovely K! Yr wish has come true!!:biggrin:
    Too bad my DS is 12 years old and not 4, but do hope have your luck when I'm there.
    Pics pls!
     
  14. What a wonderful story..
    Thanx a lot for sharing..
     
  15. Congrats on ur new bag.. I do agree that Persistence and manners is the way to go!