The Hermes Birkin Bag Wait List Hoax: Michael Tonello Dishes On His Own Birkin Pursuits

We uncovered there was no longer a waiting list for the Hermes Birkin bag, and then the story got even jucier, with Hermes Australia admitting there never was a Birkin bag waiting list. Michael Tonello, author of “Bringing Home The Birkin” helps shares some of  his insider experiences scooping up Birkins around the world with SHEfinds:

What do you think about Hermes Australia confirming a Birkin wait list never existed:

“I truly think this is scandalous…think of all those women, for so many years languishing on the ‘waiting list’. Honestly, this borders on unfair and deceptive business practices.  I, and many people who worked for me, were on what they thought was a wait list in many Hermes stores, and none of us were ever contacted (as well as all of my previous clients).”

How did you get so many Birkin bags?

“Me and my associates walked into Hermes stores all over the world, dropped a couple grand on non-Birkin items, then asked for a Birkin, and we always (99% of the time) got one. So what about all those people waiting? Wasn’t the bag that they just sold me already spoken for? Riddle me that, Batman.

From your experience, how did you believe the Birkin “wait list” worked?

” If you walked into Hermes and simply asked for a Birkin bag, they did one of a two things:

a) told you they had none

b) told you there was a waiting list and offered to put your name on it.

Hermes knew that they could sell Birkin bags all day long, but they also knew that they had like 40,000 SKUs in the store which they wanted to sell. So, if you bought something in the store, were a ;good client,’ then they offered to sell you a Birkin. People who were put on the waiting list were people who didn’t buy anything in the store, just people who wanted a Birkin and did their actual clothes shopping over at Chanel or Prada, etc.”

You’ve said the process was unfair. What were your experiences with store clerks like?

“There was also the time I went into the Madison Avenue store and asked for a Birkin and was told they didn’t have one.  I hung around the store for a few minutes thinking about whether I should buy a Kelly bag or some other bag. While waiting, a young Russian couple was very busy buying several Hermes travel bags and belts.  As I was deciding to leave, I watched as a salesperson came out from the back room with two Birkins to show this couple.


“On more than one occasion I have been in an Hermes store when a person walked in the store and asked for a Birkin and was told ‘no Birkins; sorry.’  Within minutes, a woman who was already in the store, buying clothing, was told ‘we have a very rare situation today, where a client of the shop had ordered a Birkin a year ago and it came in earlier this week; for one reason or another she is not going to buy the bag, would you like to see it?'”

Check out the Birkins on Ebay and Portero, and get all the best deals from our online sample sales, check out our guide to summer dresses, oxfords, blazers and skinny jeans.