How To Spot A Fake Hermès Birkin Bag

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We had to do this. I mean we don’t want people starting a nuclear war over this particular topic when there’s plenty of information out there and we wouldn’t want you spending good money on a fake when you can be saving towards the $14,000 to buy a real one.

Hermès Birkin (Hermès is pronounced er-mez by the way!) bags are like the prime real estate of bags. They keep appreciating and just recently, statistics showed that buying an Hermès Birkin bag was a much better investment than buying stocks and shares or even buying gold.

Researchers at Baghunter, compared the S&P 500, gold and Birkin bags to see how their value changed over the past 35 years. The stock market had a return of a nominal average of 11.66 percent, with a real return average of 8.65 percent; gold had an average annual return of 1.9 percent, with a real return average of -1.5%. And those numbers assume that you don’t buy or sell within that 35-year time period.

Birkin bags, on the other hand, increased in value by 14.2 percent over the same time period. Gold and stocks can be volatile, increasing and decreasing in value all the time, but the Birkin bag only became more and more valuable over the time period. The value really shot up in 2001, when it increased in value by 25%, but every year has shown an uptick. And just last year, a Birkin bag was sold at auction for a record price of $223,000.

And why are they so expensive? Because they are scarce – you just don’t find them available to purchase while roaming around on the streets of wherever and there are waiting list that can be months or even years long.

Marissa N. Stempien, the fashion editor of JustLuxe.com had this to say about the Birkin;

“The Birkin is an extraordinarily well made bag. Each one is handmade by trained craftsmen and can take over 18 hours to make, and that number can be doubled if working on exceptional pieces such as those accessorized with diamonds. Because of the slow manufacturing process and difficult task of procuring the best textiles, only a limited number of Birkins are made each year, adding to the exclusivity that can drive up prices, particularly those in the resale market. Rare colors, hardware in precious metals or personalized touches can also add to the high price tag of the Birkin,” 

The long waiting time for a new Birkin has led to a booming resale market. Fortune reports that you can get them repaired for life, which means you can pass it down to children and grandchildren—or you could just sell it on eBay for as much as six figures.

Birkins range in price from $12,000 to $223,000 depending on the material used. According to the Birkin Wikipedia page, each bag is hand-sewn, buffed, painted, and polished, taking several days to finish. An average bag is created in 48 hours. Leathers are obtained from different tanners in France, resulting in varying smells and textures. Because of varying individual skills, other details of the bags may not match with other bags. The company justifies the cost of the Birkin bag, compared to other bags, based on the meticulous craftsmanship and scarce.

So want to know if you’re buying a real Hermès Birkin bag? We got a few clues from various sites like Wondermika, Town and Country Mag and Luxury Online store, Portero.

 

1. Look at the entire picture.

All Hermès Birkins are entirely hand-stitched. It takes many hours to cut and sew the leather together. A fake Birkin will not be hand-stitched and will have symmetrical machine stitching throughout the bag.

Fake Birkin bags are cheap because they are mass produced so the stitching will always be bad to average. A real Birkin is handmade by an artisan. Look at how the stitching is at a perfect angle. The stamp on the authentic Hermes is also clean despite the rough surface. The stamp on the fake Hermes is just messy.
Fake Birkin bags are cheap because they are mass produced so the stitching will always be bad to average. A real Birkin is handmade by an artisan. Look at how the stitching is at a perfect angle. The stamp on the authentic Hermes is also clean despite the rough surface. The stamp on the fake Herms is just messy.

 

2. Handle with care

The handles should be nice and round, and not have a break or a dent at the point of attachment. If pre-owned, they can be slightly stretched and longer, but will still have a smooth line connecting to the bag.

3. Twist and turn

The Birkin toggle should have a nice smooth turn, similar to a watch’s movement. Fake toggles tend to be light in weight and have a sandy like grain to the turn or a stiff turn. Real Hermès Birkins have a toggle that turns as smoothly as butter!

An authentic Hermes fastening is smooth around the edges. Check for stitching as it should be at an angle and not dead straight. Check the engraving. An authentic Hermes will have extremely thin yet super clean engraving. A fake will have a fat engraving which can sometimes be clean.
An authentic Hermes fastening is smooth around the edges. Check for stitching as it should be at an angle and not dead straight. Check the engraving. An authentic Hermes will have extremely thin yet super clean engraving. A fake will have a fat engraving which can sometimes be clean.

 

4. Feel the leather

Fake Hermès Birkins are usually produced with synthetic leather and stamped calf grain. This material is readily available to counterfeiters, but is not the real deal. They can really look amazing from far away, but once you touch them you can immediately feel the difference between leather and synthetic.

5. It’s in the details

Zippers made by Hermès have very specific details and have been recreated by counterfeiters, almost to a tee. They may look alike, however, quality craftsmanship does not come cheap and a fake zipper will not have as smooth uniform pull to it as an Hermès zipper. Think of it as a zipper on an inexpensive coat. It gets stuck and is not easy to zip shut without some work. Et voila! Same story here.

See how the “Hermes” word is engraved upside down on the fake Birkin zipper? Also, the edge of the leather zipper pull must be neat and secure and not just a piece of cut leather.
See how the “Hermes” word is engraved upside down on the fake Birkin zipper? Also, the edge of the leather zipper pull must be neat and secure and not just a piece of cut leather.

 

6. Buy from a trusted source

Their a few select stores that offer 100% money back guarantee on every Hermès Birkin sale. Find out the stores on the brand’s website to ensure guaranteed products

 

These pictures also illustrate more differences between the fake and the real.

Spotting a fake or real hermes bag 1
A real Birkin stands tall but not puffy along the sides. You are paying for perfection.
Spotting a fake or real hermes bag 2
Check that the hole to the side straps are sewn close to the edges unlike the fake.
Spotting a fake or real hermes bag 6
An authentic Birkin is perfect inside out. You do get what you pay for.
Spotting a fake or real hermes bag 7
The real Birkin does not puff up all around the seams and the corners are sewn tight.

 

This YouTube video also basically explains it all.

 

So what do you think, is a real Hermès Birkin is worth the time and money?

 

 

Images – purseblog, wondermika, harpersbazaar.com

 

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. With the market being flooded with fakes, it is harder to tell which an authentic Hermes Birkin is and which isn’t. However, if you know what to look out for, you may be able to spot a fake immediately. That’s why you should be aware of the things mentioned here before buying the bag.

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