This page can contain affiliate links – we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using links on this page. This has no extra cost for you.
11 Tips to Score a Hermes Birkin or Kelly in Paris without a spending history at Hermes. Find out all the secrets below.
Even if you’re new to Hermès, you know certain bags, specifically the Birkin and the Kelly, are incredibly hard to purchase. Demand for these coveted bags far outstrips supply, to the point where getting your hands on one is referred to as “scoring.”
There are a lot of tips out there about how to score a Birkin or Kelly in Paris, but which ones actually work? This guide covers everything you can do to maximize your chances of adding a new bag to your collection.
Why is it better to buy a Birkin in Paris?
We all know that buying a sought after Hermes bag is all about the games you play. While it is possible to buy some Hermes bags directly from their website (see our guide about it), you cannot do that for Birkins, Kellys or the Constance bag.
Usually how it works is that you establish a relationship with your Sales Associate at your local H boutique. Although it’s not official, most people believe that you need to buy thousands of dollars worth of Hermes accessories and ready-to-wear to be able to buy a quota bag.
This is why many people are trying their luck at the Hermes boutiques in Paris – as there is no purchase history necessary to be able to buy any of the sought after bags. That does not mean that it’s an easy task, and you can just walk into the boutique and demand a bag!
However, we hope that our guide on how to buy a Birkin in Paris will help you be prepared and increase your chances of getting your dream bag!
Top 11 tips to score a Kelly or Birkin in Paris
1. Time Your Visit Right
Most advice about scoring a Birkin or Kelly in Paris assumes that you’re already in France. While there’s nothing wrong with that, planning your trip dates carefully might improve your chances of purchasing an Hermès quota bag.
For instance, you should avoid shopping before, during, and after Paris Fashion Week. Dates change every year, but they usually fall between mid-January to early March. Avoid this period it possible. Sales Associates (SA) are overworked and stressed, meaning they might not be as helpful as they are during calmer periods.
Summer is another time to avoid shopping at Hermès in Paris. Many of the brand’s artisans go on vacation in July and August, meaning production slows down. Less production equals fewer available bags, it’s as simple as that.
2. Book an Appointment
Booking a leather appointment is an essential part of scoring a Birkin or Kelly in Paris. The Georges V and Sèvres stores used to operate on a queuing system but now all three Parisian boutiques manage leather appointments through an online system.
To book an appointment, head to Hermès’ online portal the day before your desired shopping day. You’ll be asked to provide your phone number and passport number for verification. Once your information is accepted, you can request a slot any time between 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM.
The system allows you to select a specific boutique or you can choose “no preference.” We recommend the latter option as it potentially means more chances of getting an appointment. Another way to improve your chances is to have a friend or partner apply for an appointment.
The next morning, you’ll either receive a message saying your appointment was either accepted or rejected. More often than not, you’ll have to try several times, and even then you might not get a spot.
3. Schedule an Appointment In-Store
If the online scheduling system has turned you down several times, try your luck scheduling an appointment in-store. Shoppers have had mixed experiences trying this technique, but you may get lucky, so it’s worth a shot.
4. Establish a Purchase History in Paris (Maybe)
You’ll hear this tip a lot when researching how to score a Birkin or Kelly in Paris. However, not many shoppers are convinced that buying lower-ticket Hermès items in Paris improves your chances of securing a leather appointment.
This myth exists because Hermès registers your name and passport number when you make a purchase. Some people believe that when you enter your information for a leather appointment, the company’s system filters out people who don’t have a purchase history.
The truth is that no one really understands how the lottery system works. Some people have succeeded in buying a quota bag with no prior purchase history, so we don’t recommend buying an Hermès item just to get a leather appointment.
There are a couple of things worth noting. One, if you’re already planning on purchasing another Hermès item on your wish list, then by all means, go ahead and purchase it in Paris. Doing so might allow you to schedule an appointment in-store, but again, that’s not a guarantee.
Another thing to be aware of is that some stores won’t allow you to purchase a quota bag if you purchased another Hermès bag (even a non-quota bag) within the past six months. Keep that in mind when making your purchases.
5. Know Which Bag You Want
Get clear on the colors, leather types, and sizes you’d be happy with prior to stepping foot into an Hermès boutique. Sales Associates aren’t mind readers, so without some guidance, they may refuse you a bag out of sheer frustration.
6. Be Kind to Sales Associates
Be kind and friendly to SAs, ask them about their day, and share what you love about the brand. Establishing a human connection, however simple, may encourage an SA to offer you a Birkin or a Kelly.
7. Wear Hermès Products
Wearing an Hermès item, even something as small as a bracelet, shows the SA that you know and appreciate the brand. This isn’t a make-or-break moment but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Plus, any Hermès pieces you’re wearing can serve as conversation starters, something that helps with the previous tip.
8. Dress with Care
On top of wearing any Hermès you own, pay attention to how you’re dressed. Paris is a very fashionable city and being put together is important to the French. One successful Birkin shopper recommended wearing a neutral-colored monochromatic outfit and natural makeup.
9. Show Your Knowledge of Hermès Products
You may improve your chances of getting offered a Birkin or Kelly if you’re able to show the SA how much you know about the brand. That could include information about leathers, colors, sizes, or hardware. As with wearing Hermès products, having extensive knowledge about the brand’s offerings shows you’re a dedicated customer and may encourage an SA to work with you.
10. Be Flexible
Flexibility is key when trying to buy your dream bag in Paris. You may have to move your plans around to fit in an appointment, try another boutique in Paris, or accept a bag that’s slightly different than the one you were imagining. It may sound like a lot, but if you’re committed to getting a Birkin or Kelly, you’ll make it happen.
11. Be Persistent
Unfortunately, trying to score a Birkin or Kelly in Paris takes a lot of persistence. From trying to schedule an online appointment to getting your dream bag, you’ll hear “no” quite a bit. It’s important not to get discouraged. Keep trying to book appointments, go into different boutiques, and don’t give up until you get what you want.
Buying a Birkin or Kelly in Paris
There you have it – 11 tips for scoring a Birkin or Kelly in Paris in 2023. All of these tips are valuable but we believe being knowledgeable, persistent, and flexible are essential when it comes to scoring your dream bag.
And yes, we agree that is slightly crazy that we have to go through all this trouble for a bag. And you don’t have to, you can choose to buy pre-loved and remove this stress. However, some people really enjoy the thrill and hunt of trying to buy a Birkin or Kelly new from the boutique. We really hope you can apply our tips on “how to buy a Birkin in Paris” and score your dream bag! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram we you do.
OUR FAVORITE FINDS