I’m not too sure if it is because of the pandemic and its inevitable lockdown and our new consciousness about the environment but the fashion industry has slowed down for the past year and consumers have became more aware of the impact of their beloved shopping addiction on the planet.
They’ve also became savvier and after a year of shopping hiatus, most understand the power of timeless personal style and a capsule collection – more of my thoughts on this here
Vintage and high street second hand shopping is called thrifting and luxury second hand items are called preloved.
It quickly gets more complicated and sometimes confusing as preloved items might be brand new, with or without tags and their value fluctuates depending if their original packaging is available ie you would pay extra coins if you buy a luxury item in the same packaging than from the store… although there would still be a huge discount compared to retail price.
For instance, a brand new Chanel bag with box, dust bag and authenticity card resell at around at least £1,000 less than in store … That’s nice amount to save, or for most fashionistas that’s 2 brand new pairs of Hermes Oran sandals, a pair of Amina Muaddi begum shoes and so on …
It is all about making the most of your budget to build up the perfect wardrobe that suits your personal style and allows you to splurge on that trendy item of the moment without feeling guilty.
Now the key question is what are the best preloved shop? The answer is the same for everything, it is all a balance between risks and rewards. If you go for the safe you will understandably pay a premium and you will equally be able to make amazing good deals when you are ready to take an informed and calculated risk.
The safest options are sites that also offer authentication services such as Vestiaire Collective, Sellier Knightsbridge, Bagista etc… now obviously this comes with a premium so you might not be able to make the deal of the century there although I bought a Gucci watch for £80 and 10 designer pairs of shoes (yes 10!) on Vestiaire Collective including Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Gianvitto Rossi, Barbara Bui and Jimmy Choo for £500. The cheapest ones were £25! It is all about research and making bold offers.
My favourite newcomer to the market is Lovemeagain. It is discreet and Instagram based only so a bit more risky from the outset. They have the best inventory and the bestest prices.
It is owned by Cara Kilbey, ex-TOWIE so her public status gave me the confidence to buy several Chanel items at the best price ever. Cara is always available via DM, ships the items super fast and offers the best customer service!
Now if you want to go for hardcore bargains Depop and EBay are your go to as these are the platforms with the lowest commissions for sellers and are the ones used by people who want to cash in fast.
I bought my brand new Bottega Veneta bag for a few hundred pounds (retail value £1900), a pair of brand new Bottega Veneta sandals for £130 (retail value £590) and a brand new Dior purse for £40 (retail value £650) on Depop. It’s the platform where ladies sell the gifts of their “ex-boyfriends” for a tiny fraction of the price because the commission is low and they want their money fast. The platform is also mainly popular for high street items which keeps prices low, even on luxury items.
EBay is another gold mine, but an equally dangerous one due to the amount of replica sold on the platform. On Depop replica are always labelled as such whereas they are not on EBay so always make sure to ask first and to educate yourself on how to authenticate luxury items, here’s an example here.
The last piece of advice would be to, make a list of what you have, what you need and to keep track of what you buy – no need to buy 5 black handbags even if they are a bargains and to only buy what you will wear, yes these Tom Ford stilettos are only £150 on EBay but how often will you wear sandals with 11cm heels?
Last but not least, keep an eye on the country of origin of the item. With Brexit, transits of goods are more than £150 and subject to an eye watering 30% on tax and duties. Always select UK as country of origin for expensive items and keep an eye on Vestiaire Collective who are currently charging custom and duties on all European items irrespective of their value. Chose direct shipping when available and non risky (shoes and clothes) so the goods do not transit via Paris for authentication and won’t be caught in post Brexit duties.