Signs of Authenticity
If you are in the market for a Birkin bag, it’s important to know the signs of authenticity. First of all, you should check the stitching of any bag that you are considering purchasing. A genuine Birkin will have very straight, even stitches that have a bit of a tilt to them. Fakes, on the other hand, usually have crooked, sloppy stitches that are a dead giveaway. Look at the interior leather zipper tag as well, since in the real deal, it is parallel to the hardware, compared with the fakes that are sometimes perpendicular. Also feel the leather to assess the softness and the weight, since these are important identifying factors of a real bag.
Further, you should know that all of the real bags have a gilt or blind stamp that says, “Hermès Paris, Made in France.” There is also a craftsman id (usually with the first letter of the maker’s name and date) that is included on the bag’s handle. In addition, the locks and keys are also identified with a special code on them. Finally, the handbags made of exotic skins come with their own certificates.
What Such High Style Costs
The cost of a Birkin bag spans a wide range. They start at $5,300 and go on up to about $50,000 or even more.
For the price of a new bag, you not only get the prestige of carrying a piece of fashion history but you also can go into any Hermès store in the future and for a few hundred dollars, have your bag sent to Paris to be reconditioned at an Hermès purse “spa.”
If you are in the market for to make such an investment on a new Hermès bag, you should know that the size of the bag affects the selling price, as does the exclusiveness of the materials used. In fact, one of the most expensive versions of the Birkin is made from porosus crocodile skin. Further, the smaller the scales on the skin, the more the bag will cost.
It is also worth noting that one of the most expensive Birkin handbags sold in the past few years was a special edition black crocodile Birkin bag with the clasp and luck encrusted in diamonds that went at auction for $64, 800. Quite a hefty price to be stylish!
If the price of even a more basic Birkin bag is well out of your range, you can look for a vintage or used one online (but understand that Hermès doesn’t sell to other retailers, so these will be from private sellers or re-sellers). You can also check at local couture consignment shops. Keep in mind, though, that Birkins are considered classic investment pieces and as such, hold their value quite well. Therefore, even a used version will usually sell for least 50 percent of the retail price of what it was new.
Further, with the wide range of imitation Birkins that exist, if your budget is tiny but you are determined to get a tiny piece of the action in whatever small way you can, you can find a replica bag online for about $200. Keep in mind, though, that some of the popular fashion magazines regularly expose the negatives of buying replicas (such as supporting terrorism and also cheating designers), so if you do go this route, proceed with real caution.
With Beauty Comes Pain
If you are ready to take the splurge to add your very own authentic Birkin to your purse collection, you should be aware that the high cost of a genuine Birkin is not just in the money or time you will need to invest in this purchase. Many people who own Birkin bags find that the weight of the leather, which is much heavier than a regular purse, can cause real arm and shoulder pain. But if you love fashion and feel that the privilege of having a Birkin is well worth the expense, then take two aspirins and be prepared to wait a long time to ultimately write a very large check.