Recycling Luxury: How to Sell Your Designer Items
| By: Tiffany Perez
To designer-obsessed fashionistas,
Cleaning out one's closet to find items to resell can sometimes feel like giving up your first child. It’s guilt-ridden (I can't sell this, it's a gift!), full of indecisiveness (Yes, sell this! No, put it back!) and struggles with the fear of missing out on fashion revivals (What if this becomes trendy again?). Given all the emotional roller-coaster rides that come along with downsizing and reselling, the obvious question is: Where do you even start? No need to pop open the vino out of frustration, here are quick and easy tips on how to sell designer items.
1. Learn the art of emotional detachment.
As tough as this may sound, the only way to declutter your closet and completely let go of designer brands for resale is to assess things objectively. In order to help you put personal emotions aside, consider asking yourself the following questions:
• When was the last time I wore or used this?
If the answer to this question is less than once in the past six months, it's time to let go.
• Does this still fit me?
There’s no point in keeping that fabulous Stella McCartney or Alexander McQueen dress no matter how stunning it is if you can’t wear it because it no longer fits you.
• Is this "so last season" for me?
If you are the type who wants to constantly be at the forefront of fashion trends, last year’s collection may no longer fit your style preference. If you are ready to move on to the next trend, it’s time to sell.
2. Find a reputable resale designer shop.
Because fake designer goods are a prevalent concern when selling and buying online, the most important thing to consider when shopping for an online designer resale shop is the company’s credibility. How reputable is the online store in exclusively accepting and reselling authenticated luxury designer products? Couture USA, for instance, has an in-house team of authentication experts that extensively reviews designer products for authenticity before accepting them for resale online and in-store in Tampa.
If you get an anxiety attack from the thought of shipping thousands of dollars’ worth of designer items out of state, consider searching for local designer resale boutiques near you. As a consumer, there’s a certain level of comfort of being able to walk into a shop, speak to someone in person, and know exactly where your designer product is being sold.
3. Research about the brand and product you plan to sell.
It pays to be educated and understand how certain brands command higher resale value than others. Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton are three of those that retain their resale value the best. Although the resale value may help you assess the fair price for your item, it is also important to keep in mind that there are many factors that determine the resale price. These factors include the condition of the designer item, current retail price, and how fast it may likely sell based on market demand—so resale value alone is not a single determining factor.
4. Ask the important questions.
Before pulling the trigger, ask yourself the following questions:
• What brands and items do you generally accept?
Some luxury resale shops have specific brands that they choose to carry. Couture USA, for example, has a dedicated online page for easy reference on which brands are accepted, as well as which ones are eligible for upfront purchase or exclusively for consignment.
• What is the application and shipping process?
Unless you are selling to a local boutique where you can walk in and conveniently drop off your designer items, the first step to online resale is requesting a quote. Be sure to describe truthfully and in detail the condition of the item as this would help determine the actual price of your designer product. It is also best practice to include high-quality images that show in detail condition or flaws.
Follow this link to more information about selling and consigning with Couture USA!
• Is there a seller’s fee and how much is the commission percentage?
Some online designer resale stores may or may not require a seller’s fee, but most offer varying commission structures. Couture USA, for example, offers a tiered commission structure, which means the higher the price point, the higher your percentage of earning. By having this structure, the online resale shop ensures they provide you the most competitive pricing. In fact, you could earn up to 75 percent for designer items that resell for more than $3,000!
• How will I be paid?
When it comes to payment, leave no room for surprises. Some stores provide you the option to receive payment via mailed-in check or through Paypal, so inquire about your payment options. In addition, ask how long before you’ll likely receive your payment. By having a timetable, you’ll know when to follow up just in case you do not receive your payment within the agreed period.
• What happens if you decide not to accept my product for resale?
There are many reasons why a designer resale shop would refuse an item. It may be that there were authentication concerns, too many flaws in the item condition, or simply, the brand or style is not currently in demand. Should this happen, refrain from feeling offended but take advantage of the opportunity to inquire about brands and styles that sell the best. The last thing you want is for a resale boutique shop to accept your product even if they don’t think it will sell. After all, that is a loss of earning potential for you.
Inquire how an online resale shop will safely return your item and whether this would cost you a shipping fee in the process. Ultimately, if there’s one critical tip on how to sell designer items, it’s this: Get everything in writing. Having a signed and written contract protects your luxury investment and, more importantly, you as a consumer.
Do you have concerns or questions about how to sell designer items? Ask in the comment box below—we’re always here to help!
[Updated May 2020]
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