Have you ever purchased a pair of Christian Louboutins only to realise you weren’t using them as much as you would like? Or perhaps you want to purchase a handbag from Louis Vuitton but cannot afford the ones in store. Considering the frequent price increases, it has become difficult for consumers to purchase luxury items without letting their bank account take a significant hit. However, there is now a solution for buying and selling second hand luxury goods without feeling so guilty. This solution is called the pre-loved market.
These days, many consumers are purchasing and selling second hand luxury goods online. These online shops are lead by international brands such as Yoogi’s Closet, Fashionphile, Vestiaire Collective, Portero and Eurotrash. What’s great about these sites is that it guarantees authenticity on all their products. Therefore, you will not have to worry about purchasing counterfeit items especially at an authentic price.
Although the pre-loved market has many great points, it may not work out for everyone using it. We will look at the reasons for purchasing luxury goods second hand as well as the obstacles that may stop consumers. Furthermore, we will talk about how you as a buyer or seller can get the best value from this market.
Why Should I Buy?
A lot of high-end designer goods are heavily reduced from retail price when it hits the pre-loved market. Brands, which do not hold its value, include Marc Jacobs, Tods, Chloe, Moschino and Michael Kors. This is because these brands discount 30-50% around twice a year.
Consumers can also find significant discounts on discontinued items. Let’s use the Chloe Paddington bag for example. Back in 2005, this bag, which cost $1300 USD at the time, became coveted among fashion lovers when it sold 8,000 volumes before it even hit stores. Taking a look at it now, sellers would be lucky to get $300 for it second hand. Therefore, it would be a good idea to check out these pre-loved websites if you are looking for a great deal.
Limited Edition Items
Certain luxury brands offer limited edition collections to their customers. The most famous brand to do this is Louis Vuitton, which releases two limited edition collections each year. In order to get these products, customers are put on a wait list. Unfortunately, there are often too many consumers for the volume of items created. Due to this, consumers who want these items must do it on the second hand market. However, it is important to note that limited edition items cost more to purchase than from the original fashion house so expect to cough up a few extra dollars if you’re looking to purchase.
Why Shouldn’t I Buy?
When you purchase items from the second hand luxury market, you may run into people who disapprove of your choice. This is because luxury goods target a certain customer base. This customer base sees exclusivity as a point of purchase. Therefore, items that have been purchased on the resale market reflect negatively on consumers, which have purchased it full price. This is because items on the resale markets are often discounted and also probably have been used. So when a consumer finds out that your bag was purchased second hand, it loses that exclusivity for them. Also, they may see consumers who purchase second hand as less because they had to buy items that were used. Since exclusivity is a major factor for many people to purchase luxury goods, the stigma of purchasing second hand can over shadow the discounts it delivers.
No matter how much we try to stop counterfeit products coming into our closets, it always finds a way to trick us. These days, the counterfeit market has become so sophisticated, producing luxury goods that we may confuse for the real thing. These products are called super fakes. Due to their deceiving nature, these super fakes cost more than your usual counterfeit bag and can probably trick the average person in believing that it’s authentic. Considering this, it can be dangerous to purchase second hand even if it’s a reputable website. If they can trick us, what’s stopping them from tricking others?
Why Should I Sell?
A product’s resale value is imperative to consider if there is any chance you may sell in the future. These items such as jewelry, handbags and shoes fluctuate depending on the item. However, there are certain determinants that can help you get the most value out of your purchases.
Whilst buyers are ecstatic are discounted luxury, sellers of these second hand goods need to be careful about the item they choose to sell. This is because products that slash its prices after six months are not considered ‘investment’ products. An ‘investment’ product is something that is produced annually for many years which increases in value over time. Due to its hot demand, consumers are willing to pay retail price on the second hand market. On the other hand, products that have been discontinued or are discounted items have trouble fetching anything near the price it was paid for.
Another factor is the products history. I say product instead of brand because evidently a brand’s history does not play a significant role in resale value. Let’s take Hermes for example. A Birkin or Kelly bag is two most coveted handbags in the world. Its history of status and exclusivity causes the prices to skyrocket to astronomical heights. However, not all Hermes handbags have this perception. For instance, a second hand Hermes Bolide bag cannot be sold close to retail price because it does not have the rich history that the Birkin and Kelly have.
Other handbags with rich history include the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag (only in canvas print), which was made famous by 1960’s actress Audrey Hepburn and the Chanel 2.55 Classic Flap bag, which was Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel’s original creation in 1955. Therefore, sellers must take into account the longevity of their purchases so they get the most value out of it.
The condition of luxury product need to be close to perfect if the seller plans to make all or even more money then they paid for. Due to the huge demand for deluxe brands such as Hermes and Cartier, these brands are able to significantly raise its prices without losing its customers. For instance, a Chanel Jumbo Classic Flap bag retailed for ‘only’ $6000 around three years ago and now it cost $8250. The only thing you have to do is keep it in perfect condition and I don’t just mean the item itself.
Other important parts include the packaging, the smell and the receipt. When the prices are this high, consumers are not just purchasing the product but the whole package. Would you purchase a retail price Tiffany and Co. bracelet if there were scratches on it? Or if it did not come in that coveted blue box and ribbon? Probably not so it is imperative that sellers do not cause any damage to the package if they want to make a profit.
Finally, what makes a luxury product more expensive? It’s social media influencers of course. In fact, social media influencers are far more influential than mainstream celebrities because of their interaction with their fans. For instance, a consumer wanting to purchase a handbag will most likely listen to a Youtuber because they will give a thorough review of the product and even give a tutorial of what fits inside and how to wear it.
Even though there are some negatives from purchasing pre-loved luxury goods, the discounts you can get on some items is too good to pass up. In addition, selling second hand luxury goods can be quite profitable as long as you take care of the items. The most important thing I want you to take from this is that you should only purchase from reputable sites so you don’t find yourself owning a counterfeit product no matter how authentic it happens to look. Of course if that’s not enough for you to pull the trigger, I suggest going into the store and have peace of mind.