Renowned as one of the top luxury brands in the world, combining exceptional quality and craftsmanship with a price tag to match, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that an authentic Hermès bag cannot be purchased at any basic retailer.
The process for buying luxury goods has changed over the years, with a renewed focus on authenticity – something we will touch upon later in this blog. However, for the most part, what interested buyers (and indeed sellers) need to know is that, when handling brands like Hermès and others, there are a handful of specialist outlets and retail paths you need to follow.
But, before we talk about the buying and selling process for luxury brands, and how important it is to receive a professional authentication check, let’s first share a little about why the Hermès brand is so expensive, coveted, and hard to buy.
What Makes Hermès Such a Valuable and Hard-to-Buy Brand?
Hermès specialises in handbags of exceptional quality, but it was not always a luxury handbag brand. Back in 1837, when the brand was first introduced to the market, it was done so as a leather goods and equestrian accessories supplier by Thierry Hermès – who then followed market demand and positioned himself and his brand as one for the wealthy and the nobility.
Despite being founded back in the 1830s, it wasn’t until the 1920s that Hermès produced and sold its first handbag – which means that the Hermès that we know today has only been around on the market for the past 100 years or so. During this time, Hermès has held onto its luxury and high-value status via a series of smart branding moves.
Firstly, it only ever releases a limited number of each new handbag model, ensuring that, while demand is high, supply remains very low.
Secondly, the story behind some of the brand’s most recognisable and famous bags means that it garners attention from a wide segment of the market – both among handbag lovers and other potential consumers. The story behind the Birkin, which recently made headlines again in 2023 with the death of actress Jane Birkin, is a great example of how this works.
And then we have the incredible quality and craftsmanship which lies at the heart of every bag that is produced. An Hermès handbag is a labour of love made using the finest materials, elevating the value and the price tag far beyond the reach of many prospective buyers.
All of this adds up to create a brand that is not only expensive but, even for those who can afford it, remarkably difficult to get your hands on. Which is why knowing the best places to buy and sell in your local area is key.
Why Authentication Is So Important
One thing that you will notice about all reputable buyers and sellers of luxury goods is that they support their services with an inhouse authentication model or additional service. What this does is allow customers to ascertain the authenticity of any piece that they are buying, regardless of its value and brand – using the known authenticity indicators shared by each brand.
Easier said than done – and here’s why.
Fraud and fake goods have become such a problem in the luxury goods market that brands have had to adjust and upgrade their own inhouse authentication checks to protect both their pieces and their customers.
If, for example, you want to authenticate an Hermès handbag, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the authentication steps that the brand has taken to ensure that fakes can be quickly and easily identified – without the fraudulent manufacturers catching on and replicating the new inhouse system.
Authentication cards are no longer a part of the Hermès system – something which a reputable buyer and seller in London will know and will use to quickly identify any fake bags. Instead, serial numbers are stamped inside genuine Hermès handbags, with reputable sellers knowing where to look and how to read these numbers.
Other signs of a fake bag include the shape and structure, the stitching, and minute details that can be difficult to spot unless you know what you are looking for. This is why seeking professional advice and always visiting a professional reseller is so important, because they will be able to match your bag preference and budget with a genuine piece that passes all of the up-to-date checks.
How to Find a Reputable Reseller / Buyer
With all that in mind, where can you find a reputable reseller and/or buyer for your Hermès handbag, and is it ever possible to pick up a brand-new bag directly from the retailer?
Let’s start with the second question – because, in reality, the answer is no. Most of the brand-new Hermès handbags that get released to market are backed up with extensive waitlists, with most pieces going to those with connections or past relationships with the retailer.
By far the best and easiest way to secure an Hermès bag is through a local reseller who buys and sells authentic luxury handbags. These sellers tend to be located in large cities, like London, and often benefit from a rolling collection of stock that changes daily based on what is brought in and sold to them.
What this means for those looking to buy is that you never know what you might find or what might be available. From classic and vintage handbags to limited-edition collections and one-off pieces, your perfect handbag could well be waiting in one of London’s top luxury resellers.
And, for sellers, the beauty of a professional reseller is that they will provide all the authentication checks and a full valuation service as part of your experience – ensuring that you secure the best price for your handbag based on its quality and status on the market.
Get in touch with your local reseller to find out more about buying and selling your Hermès, or to browse other luxury collections available.