So, you have laid eyes on the work of art that is a Hermes Birkin or Kelly bag and decided you must have it. But, where do you start? There are a variety of factors to consider from the type of leather you desire on your bag to the size required to the long waiting lists from the Hermes boutique. Each of these factors can contribute to your decision of whether to purchase a new or a pre-loved Hermes bag.
However, it is not these factors alone that must be considered. There are pros and cons to both methods of acquiring a Hermes bag. Below we look at these pros and cons in an attempt to help you make a more informed decision when making that once in a lifetime purchase.
New Hermes Bags
The biggest and most obvious advantage to purchasing a new Hermes bag is that you can be assured of its condition. Even the most pristine pre-loved bags may have slight wear, but a new Hermes bag will smell, feel, and look pristine from the moment you receive it.
Another big advantage is the ability to completely customize your Birkin or Kelly. Placing an order at a Hermes boutique allows you to select the size, exterior and interior leather color, hardware color, and stitching on the bag. If you have an image in your head of your perfect Hermes bag, buying a new one from the boutique allows you to create a bag that matches that image.
However, these advantages are offset by the epic journey one has to embark upon to obtain a new Hermes bag. The journey begins in a Hermes boutique, as Birkin and Kelly bags aren’t sold online directly from Hermes. It is possible for anyone to walk into a Hermes boutique and simply alert the sales associate of their interest in a Birkin or Kelly. But, this method offers no guarantee.
Hermes clients with extensive and hefty purchase histories at the boutique as well as the rich and famous receive preferential treatment on the waiting list. That isn’t to say they don’t have to wait months for their Birkin or Kelly to be crafted. But, they are much more likely to receive a call in advance of someone with little or no purchase history at Hermes.
These long waiting lists have driven women to look elsewhere for their dream bag. Some go to auctions arranged by Hermes where they can pay a premium of up to 15% for a new Birkin or Kelly bag. Again, this isn’t the most reasonable option for all women leading to many turning their attention towards pre-loved Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags.
Pre-Loved Hermes Bags
The market for pre-loved Hermes bags has exploded in recent years and for good reason. Many women are turning to vintage Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags primarily due to the long waiting lists at Hermes boutiques. But, they are also favoring pre-loved Hermes bags because of other advantages.
Although complete customization isn’t possible with pre-love Hermes bags as it is in the boutiques, these vintage bags offer something else – uniqueness. There are leathers, such as the Dalmatien and Gulliver, and colors, such as etrusque, which have been discontinued by Hermes, making bags in these styles impossible to find unless purchasing them pre-loved.
Another, and often overlooked, advantage of purchasing vintage Birkin and Kelly bags is the rising value in the second-hand market. Hermes bags steadily increase in value, with many bags actually overtaking their original retail price only years after they have been sold. This is due to a combination of factors including the discontinuing of leather and colors, the quality of the craftsmanship in the bags, and the steady rise in demand for Birkin and Kelly bags.
The only real drawback to purchasing a pre-loved Hermes bag is the risk of authenticity. There are countless fake Hermes bags circulating the market, with many of the replicas incredibly hard to identify as such. However, using a service such as Baghunter, which employs a team of experts to authenticate every bag eliminates that risk and provides peace of mind.
What is the Best Option for Me?
As you can see above, there are pros and cons to buying both new and pre-loved Hermes bags. Choosing the right option for you primarily depends on whether or not you are willing to wait months or years for a new Hermes bag from the boutique. The rise in status and value as well as the long-lasting quality of pre-loved Hermes bags makes this the more realistic option for many women. Purchasing a vintage Hermes bag doesn’t reduce the quality, but does reduce the waiting time and allows you to hold an icon in your arms within days, and not years. For many of us, this is what sways the decision.