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Live at the Hermès Sample Sale: The Line

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Today, destiny brings us face to face with one of New York City's most serious bargain hunts—the once-a-year, lock-up-the-kids Hermès sample sale. Racked is reporting live from the scene all morning. Buckle up.

9:25AM: Reports our correspondent, "I'm walking along 18th Street towards the Metropolitan Pavilion, where the sale takes place [at 123 West 18th, between Sixth and Seventh Aves]. This sale only happens once a year, so expect a crowd—everyone wants a little piece of Hermes. They're not specific about what's going to be there, though they do say men's and women's; a lot of people probably want to get a scarf. Might be some foolish enough to think there are Birkins there, but there won't be. There will be a lot of little accessories, and definitely some clothing."

9:31AM: "Line just came into sight. It's already really long. It's pouring, so everyone's got their umbrellas. Ugh."

9:39AM: "The crowd is different from most sale crowds. Everyone looks very, very wealthy. There are a lot of businessmen in suits. There's a guy in front of me reading the Wall Street Journal. It's raining pretty hard, but I'm under a construction shed. But most of the front of the line is standing in the rain."

9:44AM: "Talked to the guy reading the WSJ. Says he's 'hoping the tie collection remains relatively untouched because there aren't that many guys ahead of him' in line.' Huh."

9:47AM: "It's getting down to the wire. I'd estimate there are 400 people in line. Guys in front of me talking about Obama now. A lot of people are taking business meetings to go to this sale. A lot of corner offices that are empty. I'm really impressed how many people have turned out."

9:48AM: "Strategy time. I'm assuming they'll let everyone in at 10, but they might let people in in small groups. But once inside, I'll make a beeline to the women's section. I think the womens' sale will be all about the accessories. Anyone can definitely afford, say, cufflinks. Or an umbrella. Even a keychain will be worth it at this point."

9:57AM: "So, get this, the guys in front of me counted how many men were in front of them; tally: five. So it's a good sparse scene for men. But I figure the women's section will already be picked over by the time I'm inside. Shit."

9:59AM: "We just moved up. Looks like they let a group of about 50 people in. It's on! Though now our section of the line is out from under the shed and standing in the rain. Looks like there will be at least one more group to go in before us. It's a bit ridiculous, but it does say something about Hermes understanding that some people here waited three or more hours. They get to shop in peace for five or 10 glorious minutes."

10:06AM: "They just let another group in. We're still outside. This is torturous—it's cold and rainy, and it's probably going to be another 20 minutes before we get in. My toes are cold. And people keep asking why we're standing out here. There are no answers."

10:13AM: "Just moved up. But we're still not close. I've never stood in line like this with umbrellas. You keep hitting people with them—it's not a good scene. And the masses are growing restless."

10:20AM: "Moved up again. We're close. There's a security women counting people off at the door. Anticipation!"

10:26AM: "Here we go!" [live coverage continues here]