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on 14 April 2015
Loved it. Great story based on author's experience. Well written and very funny. The books reveals that Birkin bag can be bought without any lists. Enterpreneneural spirit of the author is highly enviable. The book is a must read for any fashion aficionados.
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on 3 March 2010
I thought this would be a great read for a recent holiday, as the subject matter certainly appealed. It started off quite sweetly and I enjoyed the entrepreneurial spirit the writer promoted. It started to fall apart when the guy has been buying Hermes products for a while for both himself and his new clients and is therefore obviously a guy who knows an Ulysse notebook from his chaine d'ancre bracelets, is surprised to hear about something called a 'Birkin' handbag. Probably their most famous product (along with the Kelly of course). It made the whole book then appear a work of fiction with staged items and anecdotes and I became incesantly annoyed by small descriptions of things aimed at a reader in the mid-West rather than readers who, if they've bought a book with this subject matter, will know how to pronounce Capri. I gave up around halfway through, despite looking through the rest of the book for some interesting parts. It stayed in my hotel room when I checked out as it wasn't worth the extra weight in my bag.
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on 23 July 2013
Really enjoyed this bit of light reading in a busy work week. Have now gifted it to a fashion conscious friend with full recommendation.
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on 24 February 2014
Easy read but funny and entertaining. Perfect for any fashion and specially Hermes lovers. Quite informative too. Great poolside book.
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on 19 October 2015
Great book, excellent read!
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on 22 March 2011
This book is incredible! It outed the company's marketing strategy so cleverly, that now the authour's name could not even be allowed to be mentioned among what he called "fashion-victim" circles! The book has uncovered an apparently unfair business tactics (in my opinion), and showed the public how companies can create artificial desirability and false rarity for a fashion item. Highly recommended.
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on 18 September 2013
Well written and entertaining. The guy is clearly a smart cookie with a sense of humour. I really liked his honest writing style too.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 November 2008
Many of us probably have an idea of what a dream job would be. How about one that takes you to some of the most beautiful cities in the world where you stay in the finest hotels and dine only at 5-star restaurants? Plus, when you're not in Paris or on Capri you don't even have to go to the office, you simply work at home in your pajamas.

Sound too wonderful to be true? Well, it surely is for most of us but not for Michael Tonello who tells us all about it in the highly amusing, can't-believe-he-really-did-this memoir Bringing Home The Birkin. As the affluent know a Birkin is a handbag made by Hermes with retail prices in five figures and more than difficult to obtain. Evidently the two-year waiting list makes a Birkin even more desirable.

Tonello had already seen a good bit of the world as a beautician
who traveled about prettying up the already pretty for commercial photo shoots. He was happy with his current home but had grown weary of the unfriendly Cape Cod winters. A recent assignment has taken him to Barcelona where he found he loved the people, the food, the sunny clime. When an opportunity to take a job there surprisingly appeared, he packed his designer duds and moved to Spain.

His euphoria was short lived because almost as soon as he had unpacked his job vanished just as quickly as it had appeared. What to do, how to make ends meet and keep wine at table? On an impulse he listed one of his Hermes scarves on eBay and it sold - at a nice price. Further, he was the recipient of emails from those who had lost out on his auction and wanted to know if he had more. Tonello soon realized that these were "serious collectors," and that there might be a great deal of money involved.

As he writes, "I didn't let my ignorance get in the way of my avarice. I intimated that this was only the tip of the iceberg. Well, I've always been a strong believer in the power of positive thinking - I really wanted it to be the tip of the iceberg."

For Tonello wanting made it so. It wasn't a great leap from scurrying around, finding and buying older patterns of Hermes scarves for his burgeoning list of clients to buying and reselling (at a healthy profit) the extravagantly priced, impossible to get Birkins. How could he possibly climb to the top of the daunting two-year waiting list? Where would he find the funds to purchase these more than pricey handbags?

He is one dauntless, determined fellow and his story is a carousel of chuckles, costly cuisine, and luxurious lodgings. Michael Tonello really brought home the Birkins and lives to tell his fascinating story while still enjoying Spain where, as he puts it "excuses to celebrate include getting out of bed in the morning and the ability to breathe for long periods of time."

This reader doesn't need an excuse to celebrate the refreshing honesty, wiles, and wit found in this memoir .

- Gail Cooke
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 March 2010
...purses do exist and lots of people seem to own lots of them, you'll enjoy this book. Michael writes a fun story of a time in his life when he "played" Hermes in order to make a living. That the women in the book - I assumed he changed names - spent so much money on purses, scarves, and other "name" items were the ultimate "Fashion Victims", is maybe what they deserved to be. But, well, it's their money and if that's what they chose to spend it on...Michael just helped them in their quests for the ultimate "croc".

I enjoyed the book.
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on 28 January 2010
This is a fascinating romp through Europe in search of the 'not so elusive' Hermes Birkin bag.
Michael Tonello writes well and with honesty and answers all the questions one could possibly
have about how to get a Birkin, if you've got the money! I loved the 'Hermes Store Employee Roster'
and cartoons, most customers and even retailers could identify these. A perfect gift for all those 'bag girls'
out there.
Mary Lewis
Bag End Bags
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