There was once a time when you had to line up for hours to get your dream bag...
Fortunately, Hermès has moved to an online appointment system for its leather bags department. Shoppers must now book their appointments using their mobile phones here, one business day in advance, and only between the hours of 10:30 to 6:30 PM. And if these rules didn't seem rigid enough, you'd better make sure that you play by them! Dr. Bagz has heard of numerous horror stories involving those who tried to cheat the system ending up on the dreaded Hermès blacklist...never to get a bag again.
If you're lucky, (congrats!) you will be notified of your appointment time via text and email. This is what a successful appointment confirmation should look like:
Here are some of our tips to make you best prepared to buy your dream bag:1)
- Preparation: Dress appropriately. For ladies, we'd suggest a nice short dress or a high end casual look. Chanel jackets, classic dresses are a plus. And be sure to add that touch of Hermès to your outfit and to NOT wear a bag from a competing brand (no Chanel flap bags, please!)
- Arrival: Arrive 10 minutes before your appointment time. Head towards the center of store, by the landing of the marble staircase. There, you will confirm your arrival with the hostesses, and the will redirect you to to a sales associate.
- Request: Typically, those who've had the most success buying the Birkin or Kelly clearly define the reason for the purchase, who the bag is for, and what else they want to purchase besides the bag. Typically, it is better to save the words "Birkin / Kelly / Constance" until the very end of the request. Here's an example of a good request: "Good morning, ma'am, I'd like to purchase a classic bag for my wife for our 10 year anniversary present. She's an executive at a bank and typically wears neutral colors for her dinner meetings (then proceeds to show the SA a photo of the wife). She's around 5 feet 7 inches, so I think a medium or larger size bag would suit her well..." By this time, the SA would probably ask to clarify the type of bag, in which case, you could say Birkin 30, 35 or Kelly 32 for example.
- Closing: At the end, remember to also mention that you want to buy other items along with the bag. Hermès sales associates make their commissions on non-leather items, so it is imperative that you imply a purchase of other goods to "tip" them for their good service. You can say something like, "I'd like a nice clic-H bracelet and a twilly scarf to go with the bag."
- Post Interview: The sales associate will typically spend about 15 minutes in the back room to check your shopping history. Keep in mind that each person is limited to 2 quota bags (Birkin, Kelly, or Constance) per year.
Hopefully your sales associate will return with a large orange box with your dream bag! However, if you're not successful, do not fret! You can try again the next day or try even at the other two stores at George V or Rue de Sèvres.
Dr. Bagz wishes you the best of luck to you on your Paris quest to shop for Birkins!
If you want detailed testimonials about Birkin buying in Paris, you can read the PurseForum thread here.
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