“A Birkin bag? It’s a handbag, a piece of art, and an investment all rolled into one”. That’s the statement given by Caroline Bui, founder and owner of The Birkin Fairy, a second-hand retail platform focused on Hermès’ accessories. From 2014 to now, she sold used Birkin bags for a total value of almost 2 million USD. She states: “The pandemic has driven more interested buyers online and helped grow my business due to inventory shortages, production delays, and store closures”. Here is her story.
Experience with Hermès retail
The relationship between her and Hermès started in 2002, when Caroline becomes a staff member in the brand’s Chicago boutique, specifically selling leather goods and scarfs. “It’s almost impossible to be able to walk into a store and buy a Birkin off the shelf – she tells Business Insider -. You can put in a request for one, but no one knows how long you’ll be waiting. They’ve even placed a limit on how many Birkins a client may purchase each year. All of these factors have caused a thriving resale market. For example, Caroline had to work 10 years for the brand and still, she had to wait for confirmation by their superiors, before she could get herself a Birkin to celebrate her maternity.
Used Birkin bags
Caroline was looking for more flexibility in her work schedule and, after a few interviews with other brands, she decided to open her company in 2014: “I invested $2,000 to launch The Birkin Fairy, a secondary luxury marketplace selling pre-owned Hermès products”. What were the results? “o date, I’ve sold nearly $2 million of Hermes products online through my website and Ebay”. Caroline Bui takes a commission between 18% and 30% on each bag she sells. “The resale market for Birkin Bags has always been strong. That’s because there is a lot of inventory online and readily available. The pandemic has driven even more interest”. Her clients include more normal individuals than VIPs or stars. Some have even gotten to own 505,000 USD worth of Hermès’ bags. As of lately, Caroline sold bags worth 50,000 USD and bought 6 more for 98,000 USD.
- Hermès’ bags grew in value by 17% in 2020: more than diamonds
- Birkin leather + Birkenstock sole, a collective forges Birkinstock