Going with the Preloved Market is the best option if you want to try the brand’s quality without breaking the bank. Your handbag’s leather can be amazing at brand new, but it would also come with a hefty price tag. When my mini J’adore perfume was accidentally opened inside my brand new metallic gold Balenciaga Motorcity purse, I cried and wanted to kick myself for being so ignorant keeping a perfume inside a leather purse – I’ve realized it wouldn’t be so painful if my purse were pre-loved (definitely a lesson learned the hard way!).
I used to stalk preloved sites, and Instagram accounts such as The Closet, Style For Less, Bagatelle, Garderobe, and Luxury Closet in Dubai. Access to the preloved market is not common here in Europe (or perhaps I just haven’t explored them yet). I’ve got two notable sites that always pop up on my adverts (Thanks, Google!) Rebelle and Vestiaire Collective. Curious, I’ve tried Vestiaire Collective services for my purses; hence this is a brief review for those who would like to know.
I will not go into detail about Vestiaire Collections company profile, since it’s readily available within its website.
It is very easy to create an account at Vestiaire Collective, here are the 4 simple steps.
4 Simple steps to start selling your luxury items on Vestiaire Collective:
- Download the App.
- Sign Up – you can also log in with your Facebook, Apple, or Google log-in.
- Create your profile – don’t forget to add the payment details to get the payment.
- Start selling – click the sell button: add the required details of your item, and upload as many pictures you want to showcase your item. If you’re selling a designer dress you’ve hardly worn, you’ll get the option of uploading an image of the dress being worn (some dress looks better when worn anyway, unless you’ve got a mannequin to dress up with). The Vestiaire Collective Curators will review all images, and they will not accept images taken from the internet. (which is great because as a buyer, you’d want to see the exact picture of the item you are buying) Once your item is sent for review, the Vestiaire Collective team will change the first uploaded image with white background.
Vestiaire Collective will also make pricing suggestions based on similar items that have been sold – it’s up to the Seller if he/she will accept it or not; the decision is for the Seller to make on how he/she prices the item. The lower the price, the faster the item will sell. I have added below the current commission scheme of Vestiaire Collective for easy reference. Please note that this can change at any time post-release of this blog.
As the Seller sets up the item pricing on the VC app, it will automatically calculate the amount of money he/she’ll get. Pricing is something that Sellers can take control of at VC, it’s very straightforward, and everything is manageable on the app.
You will notice that some brand new items from high-end luxury brands will sell higher than the original price from the store, often this is because the Seller prefers to receive the exact amount of money they’ve paid for the item, leaving the extra amount as the commission that Vestiaire Collective will take.
To ensure that you are not getting ripped off, check the price and availability of an item first from the store and on other preloved platforms, so you’ll know how much is acceptable to negotiate! Yes, you can, and it’s best to negotiate the price with the Seller!
Will people still pay for an amount higher than its actual price from the store? YES definitely! Especially if the brand item has already been discontinued but still very much in demand, or if the item is hard to acquire, i.e., Goyard St. Louis tote or any Hermes collection from the previous season, collections are rarely available in-store and/or its website.
Why Vestiaire Collective, you asked? Let me break down the details shared from the VC app.
A team of dedicated curators – They claim that they have a team of dedicated curators, yes, these are the team who engages with the Seller as the items are uploaded to be sold, they will assess the item, suggest the price, and remove the background of the first image to make it look presentable on your VC profile page.
Authentication and Verification – When buying an item, authentication and Verification only applies if the Buyer opts to pay it as an additional service (the item will be delivered directly to the VC warehouse first for verification and authentication before VC sends the item to the buyer), it’s a better way to ensure that the item is authentic. The Buyer also can have the item directly sent to him/her (from the seller directly to your home address, if you’re the buyer). This may save the Buyer a little money and time for having the item; however, it includes many risks.
For example, I have seen an ‘odd’ Hermes Bearn Compact wallet on sale that (I know in my heart!) is not authentic, but it’s still being sold online. Therefore – even though they have the verification and authentication option, considering the huge amount of items being sent to their warehouses for authentication, it will not hurt to conduct your own research as well in what to look for based on the pictures posted online! Keep yourself informed. As a Buyer, you can also reach out to the Seller and ask for more pictures; the Seller will then upload additional pictures on the item profile on Vestiaire Collections.
Guaranteed Refund – It’s a bit complicated than ‘Guaranteed Refund’ hence let me break it down for you.
Direct Shipping from Seller Direct to Buyer: Once the Buyer receives the Sellers’ item, he/she has 72 hours to review the item and point any red flags to Vestiaire Collections. As a Seller, he/she must ensure that the item is described accurately to avoid having the item rejected by the Buyer. If the Buyer is satisfied with the item after 72 hours, VC will pay the amount to the Seller within 5 working days, timings depending on the seller’s mode of payment. If the Buyer declines and flags that he/she is unsatisfied with the item within 72 hours, the Buyer will have the option to relist the item on his/her VC profile with the value of the amount paid, VC will not take any commission. It is a good option, but it will not return the Buyer’s money immediately, leaving him/her an additional item that he/she wants to get rid of… I meant – sold.
For items purchased from a Professional Seller like Luxury Closet, Brandeer, and Viteenvogue, the buyer will get an option to relist the item within 72 hours or return the item within 14 days to get a full refund.
An International Community with a Passion for Fashion – For the Buyers, the keyword here is ‘International’; if you are new to buying luxury items overseas, be aware of customs fees or VAT and Import Duties. You’ll have to pay for these yourself. In some cases – independent customs authorities may contact you to request payment. If you don’t pay these and your item is not released (kept with customs), Customs will ship this back to Vestiaire Collectives, Vestiaire Collectives will post the item under your account for reselling, and only once sold – the proceeds will then be returned to your bank account. (see Vestiaire Collective FAQ from the app.)
Customer Care at your disposal – I found their chat option very helpful and responsive. You need to be aware, though, that all conversions are not kept within the app. Once your conversation with one Vestiaire Collective assistant is over, the app will delete your conversations. Therefore, if you’ve been asked to ‘wait a moment as they check or verify whatever query you may have, save a screenshot! Because after some time of no activities within the chatbox, you will need to reach out to them once again to follow up and explain to another person what you need help with. I haven’t had any queries or issues that have not been resolved, so overall I can say that they are super responsive and good, in my opinion.
Congratulations Seller! You’re item has been sold!
Once your item is sold, Vestiaire Collective will notify you and send you a link to download your shipping label; depending on the shipping label, you can either drop your item in the post office center where the shipping label originated, or you can schedule a pick up from your home or office.
In my experience, I’ve got to drop off one package at the DHL pick-up station near me and have scheduled a UPS collection for another package. VC will also send you step-by-step details to guide you on what needs to be done. Hence you don’t have to worry about being lost. The app will notify you in every single step thereafter. Shipping could be direct to the Vestiaire Collectives’ warehouse or directly to the buyer, depending on the buyer’s preference.
Please note that you can still change your mind! There’s an option to notify VC that you don’t want to sell your item anymore saving you from not having a seller’s remorse.
Naturally, as a buyer, you won’t get your item immediately if you choose to use the VC authentication and verification services. A safer route is often harder. Still, it’s better to be prepared and get your money’s worth.
Keep yourself informed, Do your research.