Lately we've been slinking around the web in search of used Birkin, which can cost anywhere from $6800 to $18,000 if you're not looking for exotic skins, and we came across this great guide on eBay written by a former Hermès employee:
First and foremost: You will NEVER get an authentic Birkin on eBay (or anywhere else) for an unreal price. Most of the authentic ones are selling well into the $10,000 range simply because that is what they are WORTH. Even a well-used Birkin generally sells for approximately $7,000 and up!
Some basic hints to help you determine if the listing you are viewing is authentic:
1) Hermes bags NEVER come with a paper hangtag on them. If you see this in a listing, it's a fake.
2) An authentic Hermes Birkin or Kelly has an engraved lock and key set. The lock will say "Hermes" on the bottom and the keys will be numbered to match the number of the lock and some sets with vintage bags also say Hermes on the reverse side.
3) Hermes uses a very specific series of embossed markings on their bags. They will NEVER use a metal nameplate inside the bag. If you see this, it's a fake.
4) Current Hermes dustbags as of mid-2007 are tan herringbone toile. Previously, the dustbags were orange heavyweight cotton flannel, however older bags (vintage) may come with a tan velour dustbag of a slightly different design. There is NO such thing as a "vintage Birkin" as this style of bag has only been around since 1984.
6) A legitimate seller should be able to send you additional pictures of the bag at various angles, including closeups of the blind stamp, the embossing, the hardware and the feet. Pay careful attention to the accents over the e in Hermes, as well as the placement of the feet. Also, be aware of the background shown in the pics; beware of stolen images!!! If a seller will steal pictures of someone else's item, there's a good chance they are dishonest about other things too. Image theft is against eBay rules and may in some cases be illegal as well. In addition, plenty of listings feature images that look authentic, but the seller sends you a horrible knockoff.
7) Take a careful look at all of the stitching, the quality of the leather, and the finishing details. Remember that Birkins sell for $10,000 and up. Does the bag you are looking at look like a ten thousand dollar handbag? If not, don't buy it.
Read more Hermes Goddess tips on eBay here: http://reviews.ebay.com/How-to-buy-an-AUTHENTIC-Hermes-Birkin-or-Kelly-Bag_W0QQugidZ10000000000110367