First the story of my first authentic Hermes bag purchase. I was quite ill 9 years ago, and in between frustrating appointments with doctors and doing some online medical research, i knew i needed a pick me up...and a MAJOR one at that! I coveted, of course, a birkin but thought that the it would be impractical without the strap, so i set my sites on a Kelly, and then I did the shopping; eBay, consignment stores, Portero...and nothing was in my price range. As I continued to research, I found alot of Hermes bags that I was unaware of, and many of them spoke to me. These were not the iconic Birkin and Kelly and therefore were less recognizable, but these became increasingly more interesting to me. The Bolide and the Plume became favorites,... but still out of my price rage. AND I WAS IN LOVE with the Macpherson bag which is the Bolide with an added "trunk" for jewelry.... Still, all of these were way too pricey. Below a pic of the Macpherson an authentic Hermes bag from Portero that is available now.
The Macpherson is $11,000.00 . Portero only sells authentic bags, and has a good selection of authentic Hermes bags.
Needless to say eBay and I were very good friends. ( we still are!) I somehow birthed an inspiration... Maybe I should try ebay France... certainly the country that produces them, lovingly by hand. may have a better selection. My hunch was good. I found a much better variety of bags and the prices were better.. Some models were only made for the European market and this appealed to me too. I should say that the dollar and the euro were roughly equal at this time, if memory serves..and it may not...
So in my searching for an authentic Hermes bag, i came across two bags in box calf, the most coveted skin by those in the know because it can be completely refurbished. It was the same model, one in blue fonce and one in marron. I found and purchased the blue one and I treasure it to this day, and it has appreciated nicely, i should add... It is the one pictured below, and i bought it for $800.00, in excellent ( near pristine) vintage condition.
My photo does not do it justice, but here goes:
Now this was no easy task, mind you, buying on eBay France. The seller's conditions were that sales were only to be in France and Europe, and the listing was in French, which i have never studied. I did quickly learn that sac a main was French for handbag! Sooo I used google translate and asked very nicely, in French, if he-she would consider selling to me, that i had an excellent feedback profile ( !00%), and that i was set up with Paypal that would pay instantly for the bag and take care of the currency issues. The seller agreed!
Ten days later it arrived at my doorstep, and i was thrilled to see it: it was better than pictured and the size was just right, taller than a Birkin or Kelly, more tote like, but a rather refined tote, no? I whisked myself back to google translate and left the seller a personal thank you and proceeded to leave glowing feedback.
Does the happy news end there? NO!. I decided i would have the bag buffed a bit so i took it to Hermes in Manhattan, and the man in charge of restoration looked dubious. My heart sank, I was sure this was the real deal! BY the way--- this s a good tip- so listen up!- Hermes will not authenticate bags, but they will ONLY work on bags that are genuine, so if they take your bag in for repair or refurbishing, you know it is an authenic Hermes bag.
A brief conference ensued between sales people, and then heads were nodding all around. It was Authentic, but it was vintage, and it was one of the bags only produced for Europe, so only one of the Hermes staff knew it, as he had worked in the Paris store for a time. So a gentleman promptly wrote me up a ticket for refurbishing, which i still keep to verify its authenticity. Happy me.
Now before i published this post, i went to eBay France to see if anything has changed. It seems there is still a better selection, especially of the lesser known models. However the euro-dollar relationship has changed, and not in our favor. I still think it is a good way to go if you have the patience to learn a bit of French, the selection is very good. When i was looking this morning....I found my bag. Well, almost, it is smaller and has a strap, but the same model and color, and here it is for $3500.00 EUR but one can make an offer. Please know that is about $4641.00 UDS.
My bag looks just like this, but without the strap. Mine was $800.00! Yay!
I also made a nice profit on a vintage Kelly in lizard, and that tale is told in my first post "Flipping up for Hermes". I do realize that these bags are incredibly expensive. And one must be aware of counterfeits. Let me say this though; if you buy a bag for say, $1500.00 and then sell it for $3000.00, you were actually PAID to carry that bag. The Authentic Hermes Bag: Seem less expensive now?
Closing with a pic of my favorite all time bag. Now THIS is frightfully expensive, but i could not post about Hermes bags and leave it out. This photo is of a shiny crocodile Kelly. (32mm). photo from Pinterest: I believe it runs about $26,000. Gulp. Gush. Swoon.
Happy Monday !