Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tonello became an Hermes expert

Undeterred by what some would consider a bizarre retail custom, Tonello became an Hermes expert and world traveler as he climbed to the top of every Birkin waiting list in countless Hermes stores using his own secret buying technique. Tonello goes into an Hermes store dressed to the nines and finds a certain type of sales person (he has developed several "types" of Hermes salespeople and describes them in the book-replete with cartoon-like drawings of each type) and begins picking out small items (scarves, silver bracelets, etc.) to buy. Once he has accumulated a pile of about $1,000 in merchandise, he asks the salesperson whether the store has any Birkins for sale, and inevitably the salesperson will dig one up for him to purchase. In all, Tonello ends up buying more than $1.6 million in Birkins and other Hermes items and re-selling them to his eBay clients. Along the way, he discovers true love, loses his mother to cancer, and comes face-to-face with the superficial nature of conspicuous consumption.

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