Totally understandable - but having a receipt does not, in any way, shape or form, guarantee authenticity.
Just as lacking an original receipt does not, in fact, make a bag 'fake'.
Many people purchase their Hermes bags, particularly the hard-to-find models (ie: exotic skin or Birkin) from resellers - and it's very rare for them to include a copy of the Hermes receipt. Not impossible, mind you, but rare.
Also noteworthy - receipts can be counterfeited.
Here's some other factoids:
Box leather - one of the most expensive non-exotic skins sold by Hermes - scratches easily. The good news? It's one of the only Hermes leathers that can be reconditioned by Hermes to buff out those surface scratches. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 and up for this service, and depending upon your location, it can sometimes take up to 60 days to get your bag back from the *spa*! For those of us on the East Coast of the US, bags are typically sent to NYC for this service (they have their own master craftsman on hand...lucky them!). Hermes can also polish hardware to remove surface scratching (particularly noticeable on gold plated hardware).
- Fact: Bags are regularly handled by both potential customers and SA's at the boutiques.
- Fact: I've yet to see any SA handle a new bag with gloves on! And I've been to boutiques in Vegas, Bal Harbour, West Palm Beach, Atlanta, London and even Argentina!
- Fact: Yep - bags fresh from the boutique will have sometimes have some minor scratching from handling...it's inevitable, particularly with the softer leathers like Box.
I've had a few buyers ask me why the pre-owned bags seem so expensive (their rational: the bags are *used*).
Well, that's true...Hermes is one of the few brands that retains value. A lot of it, of course, depends on the style (is it a rare skin or model?). Also important - the condition. Yeah, you can pick up a vintage Kelly for about half of what a newer model would cost, but you should always, Always, ALWAYS know about the condition before making your purchase. Ask these questions:
- Is the leather dry?
- Is it cracked?
- Has the bag ever been to Hermes for conditioning and cleaning? (I don't know about you but I just can't see spending more than $2000.00 on a bag with leather that has rubbed corners, or is dried up and cracking.
The same is true for the newer bags. Make sure you ask the seller how the bag was carried (was it an every day bag?), how it was stored, how long they've owned it for, if it's ever been serviced, etc.
If you are new to the Hermes brand, make sure you do your homework on pricing, too.
- Understand that Hermes has at least ONE price increase per year - sometimes two per year.
- Try to get a sense of what a model retails for - and understand that certain leathers, certain colors, certain construction types (rigide vs souple, for example), brushed versus flat hardware - can make a difference in pricing. You can find this information on the internet (The Purse Forum, for example) or you can call Hermes directly and ask. Obviously, you can check *completed auctions* on eBay, but be forewarned that you will most likely see the results from both real and counterfeit items. It's a snapshot that will give you a sense, but I certainly wouldn't base all of my research on the eBay completed auction function.