According to the Chief Executive Officer of Hermes, 80% of the items sold in the internet with Hermes brand are fakes. With the high prices that each Hermes Birkin command, Hermes syndicate rings are getting more complex these days. In the middle of June 2012, Hermes International publicly said to the media that French police cracked specialized manufacturing, distribution and selling of counterfeit Hermes bags. It was an insider job where Hermes internal employee were implicated. According the authority, the ring that has distribution outlets in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, with one branch generating as much as US$22million. As a result, this has caused a serious implication to the confidence and trust of the consumers to the brand in comes to buying the item in a store or an online classifieds. Even though the iconic Hermes Birkin is one of the most popular replicates from the Hermes label , accessories such as belt, bracelets are scarfs are also widely replicated and sold as counterfeit.
It is no surprise that Consumers have also expressed concern that some of these counterfeit Hermes bags, belts, bracelets and scarfs may have already flow into some reputable Hermes retailers and resellers in American, European and Asian markets. One consumer said that after buying a large volume of Hermes items in European, American and Asian stores, only to found out that some of these Hermes items bought are counterfeit products that range from the common A products to super A ones. One buyer who recently bought from a “reputable” retailer only to get slapped that is a counterfeit only after sending it for cleaning. (See Below)
Due to the high demand in Hermes Birkin bags but the lack of supply, some buyers are turning to some of these Super 5A grade counterfeits which can cost up to USD2 to 5K per piece. Such counterfeits are hand-made with material that is almost similar to the original. One of such counterfeit is brought to a reputable 2nd hand bag shop and the expert there was not even able to tell that it is fake. Other than replicating the bag, counterfeiters are even replicating the receipts these days, making the deal even more convincing.
Fake goods can be classified into four types:
- Super A grade or 5A – Handmade that is close to perfection, ranging from $USD3K to 5K per piece
- Common A
The higher the grade the more expensive it is and the better the quality. There is even a forum that openly dedicated to selling these replicates these days.
Even wonder how is it ever possible a prestigious brand like Hermes have so many of its popular Birkin bags circulating and reselling in the market today? Taking into consideration Hermes is limiting their production to maintain its reputation as a premier label. The long waitlist to get hold of one and an estimated time of 3 to 8 months to even hand-made one.
Next time, if you are planning to buy a Hermes bag or any luxury goods online, make sure you check the authenticity of it before buying. The last thing you wish to do is to pay a premier for a fake handbag.