The arrival of pre-owned luxury shopping in India is making news and changing wardrobes, if not lives. It is no secret that India is a lucrative market for the prominent European and American luxury brands, with most of them—like Louis Vuitton, Dior and Gucci—opening multiple boutiques in the metros. But fashionistas across the country are left wanting more for less, bemoaning the high-duties levied on luxury goods, the late arrival of new designs and the lack of vintage keepsakes. “Pre-owned luxury shopping is no longer déclassé. India is a price-sensitive and demanding market, so there is definitely reduced stigma to pre-owned luxury,” says Anvita Mehra, 24, founder of Confidential Couture, a popular e-commerce boutique for high-end labels. With prices starting from Rs 3,000 to several lakhs, here’s all that you need to know about why, how and where you can shop and sell confidently for authentic
previously-loved luxury goods.
Launched last July, Mumbai-based Luxepolis was started with the vision of making ‘value luxury’ accessible across India. With over 500 international luxury brands to choose from, co-founder Vijay KG shares how Luxepolis was conceptualised. “We observed that in India, the three luxury categories that taste immense success are real estate, jewellery/gold and luxury automobiles,” says the 35-year-old, adding, “And the one thing that connects them all is the resale value and the vibrant resale market that exists. Similarly, every luxury purchase from us is an investment.” In the nine months since its inception, Vijay reports that 40 per cent of their customers are repeat clients and that the same percentage of their shoppers hail from tier-2 and tier-3 cities and towns. “We are focussed on providing accessible and authentic luxury products,” he adds, referring both to price and to the pre-loved venture’s reach. Other perks to shopping with Luxepolis is the packaging. “We provide a certificate of authenticity. Our 20-member strong global authentication team collectively has over 150 years of experience in culling fake luxury products,” he concludes.
We especially liked the selection of handbags and shoes from classic American brands such as Coach, Michael Kors, Tory Burch and DKNY.
Style steal: Luxepolis has a small but stylish selection of Miu Miu minibags and wallets.
Delhi-based Anvita Mehra turned her passion for fashion into a business when she launched Confidential Couture in June, 2014. “The fact that we are able to cater a realistic luxury shopping experience to a style-savvy clientele is our ultimate takeaway. High-end luxury items are extremely aspirational in India lately and there is a visible surge in demand,” she says. Mehra pays heed to the authentication process, too, offering a money-back guarantee if any purchase is proven to be counterfeit. “Our in-house team reviews every product and its accompaniments (receipts, authenticity cards), hologram codes and heat stamps. To ensure authenticity, we also draw on the advice of our partners, Authenticate First, a US-based authenticating agency.” With handbags, shoes and sunglasses from the usual French and Italian luxury suspects, as well as a few niche brands such as Celine, Chloe and Sophia Webster, buyers have plenty to choose from.
Style steal: The new handbags from Celine Details: confidential couture.com
Former interior designer Chitra Goenka confesses to discovering the seeds of her pre-loved luxury business, LabelCentric, over brunch. “I stumbled upon the idea over a casual lunch with my girlfriends. The conversation revolved around not knowing what to do with our last season designer handbags and accessories, and while I was still working on interior design at the time, this stayed with me,” she begins. Launched last August, the Mumbai-based venture even ships their products to customers from tier-2 cities like Faridabad and Ranchi, who impress Goenka with their fashion and brand knowledge. Shopping for pre-owned goods, however, does not come cheap, warns Goenka. “A client can pay up to Rs 1.5 lakh for a pre-owned Lady Dior bag, which retails at Rs 3 lakh at the store.”
We liked their express delivery service, the dustbag, lifetime authenticity guarantee and, of course, the limited but carefully curated repertoire of handbags, belts, sunglasses and other luxury products Style steal: It’s raining Dior here! The discounted prices on the classic Diorissimo lady bags are hard to resist.
Need to know
? You may have found the deal of a lifetime on a classic LV ‘Neverfull’, but if you aren’t familiar with the brand, its current showroom price, availability and authenticity, then educate yourself before pulling
out your credit card. Visit the brand’s official site or
the store, talk to a retail assistant, a stylist or a friend who is a current owner.
? Chances are that shoppers will find more vintage and classic designs and less
of the latest ones.
? All pre-loved luxe platforms categorise their products based on the amount of wear-and-tear a product has been through, says Valecha. Read up on the rules of engagement
of each platform before
purchase. Ask to see close-up photographs of a handbag’s straps and zipper, the soles of a shoe, etc, that may be worn
out the most.
? When in doubt, ask for more photographs. Ask for the product to be placed on a model to determine size, and close-ups for colour and