The UAE has become a major player market for second-hand luxury shopping with many customers warming up to the idea that previously owned luxury is still luxury especially in times of recession.
Buying pre-loved luxury items has become the new normal; from shoes, bags, wallets, clothes, whatever you need, you will find be it from this season or previous ones so don’t go throwing away your items as the market is ripe and flourishing with many retailers and etailers popping up all over town.
Names likes Reem’s closet, The Closet, Luxury Closet, Bagatelle, Garderobe, Seconds and many more are catering to the high-end market or what is more accurately called “authenticated luxury consignment,” and competing with international sites like the RealReal and Vestiaire Collective due to their better understanding of the local market and what customers are still looking for.
They do that by flooding your feed in Instagram Story and Snap with their new arrivals, highlighting the price and condition of the items and making you want pieces for their discounted value.
They are also winning the trust of their customers and trust is very important when buying a pre-owned luxury item; most of these stores have in-house experts rigorously checking the items and authenticating them by their serial numbers, leather, stitching, and others details in order to limit the number of fakes to zero. Private sellers are even charged a fee if the bag they are trying to sell turns out to be counterfeit.
But that’s not all, in order to have a successful platform the retailers also need a consistent and constant supply of merchandise and in a market like the UAE, sellers are having a field day as they get to exchange their old bags for a monetary value in order to purchase the newest edition.
Second-hand platforms make their money by taking a cut of the resale price of an item, anything from 10 percent to 50 percent depending on the product and how much the seller has been loyal them.
It is also important for stores to have a healthy variety of prices from YSL card holders at 250AED to Hermes croc leather bags at 225 000AED, prices and discounts vary considerably, with determining factors including the condition of the item and how in demand a brand is at that moment.
On top of that, these stores offer the unique opportunity of acquiring certain limited edition pieces that sell out in stores or pieces that you cannot find in stores, special leathers or designs that are so limited that only VVIP clients can buy.
Many of the customers’ shop at Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier, and Prada but it does not mean that they are not looking for a bargain on a certain bag or simply looking for the piece that “got away”, the one they wanted and sold out before they were able to buy it.
So next time you see yourself lusting over a bag, check out these stores and compare prices, this is the new normal, and remember, pre-loved luxury is still luxury.