My Top 10: President and co-founder of Vestiaire Collective Fanny Moizant's checklist to purchasing vintage
It’s not exactly a walk in the park when it comes to purchasing luxury products online. Sites like Carousell and eBay aren’t exactly credible. In fact, they aren’t credible at all – ICYMI, the Yeezy Boost 350 “Turtle Dove” scam that broke the Internet in 2017.
That said, not all e-commerce websites aren’t trustworthy – Vestiaire Collective (VC) is one where you can safely put your money at. Co-founded by Fanny Moizant with five other business partners in 2009, this French resale maven prides themselves on reselling luxury products, such as Chanel and #OldCeline, that are 100 per cent authentic.
This is made possible as they have a team of 16 authenticators to quality check all the products that comes into VC. All authenticators have to go through a six to 12 months training process (depending on the role) at their in-house school called the Vestiaire Academy, which includes shadowing a senior expert for three months.
Furthermore, VC signed the Fight Against Counterfeiting Charter in 2012, an agreement made mandatory by the French government for luxury brands and retail platforms to sell genuine products. Hence, it is safe to say that you’re getting your money’s worth when purchasing from their wide selection of over 4,000 brands at an international scale – 50 countries to be exact.
So, how does VC exactly benefits to buyers, sellers and the environment? For that, you’ll have to read more about it in our June issue. But, if you’re keen to learn more about purchasing vintage (without getting scammed), as well as tips on how to shop on VC, click on to find out.
“Basically, you need to know what you’re buying. If you don’t know about the brand, model and size, you’ll be fooled very easily. So, you’d really need to know if a particular bag exists in that particular size or leather.”
“If you do manage to get the bag in your hands, one thing that our experts do that’s important is to close your eyes. By closing your eyes, you’ll have to do two things: 1. Touch the leather and 2. Smell the leather. When you don’t have your eyes open, it enhances your other senses. It’s a very good indication to tell whether the leather is genuine or not.”
“Details, such as the metallic pieces, the quality, the stitching and the engraving, will ensure that there’s nothing weird about the product. Then again, you’ll have to know the product. If you’ve never touched nor seen a particular bag, how can you compare?”
“Knowing the price point of the product that you’re buying is important too. A few years ago, you could find a pair of Christian Louboutins at €50. However, you can’t find one that’s priced that low today. Be realistic with the price that’s offered because it says a lot about its authenticity.”
“Setting up an alias makes your life way easier when it comes to online shopping, particularly for vintage products. An alias on VC basically means it’s a profile of yourself — your shoe size, your height, what product you’re looking out for, etc. If you have this profile set up, the site will send you a message if they have received the particular product that you’re looking for, and in your size.”
“On VC, you have a “make me an offer” feature. If you’re a buyer and you’ve found something you’d like, but the price is a tiny bit too high for you, we have this function for you to make a reasonable bargain. You’ll be brought into a negotiation room with the seller to discuss on the price point.”
9. Purchase “ready-to-ship” products if you’d want them ASAP
“If you’re in a rush and you’d want to have the product over the weekend, there’s a section in VC that’s called “ready-to-ship”. These are the products that are consigned at our offices, and you are guaranteed to receive them quickly. For those that are not in this category, the items are with the sellers themselves. Hence, it might take quite a while for the items to reach to you as we’d need to authenticate them prior to shipping it to you.”
“When you buy on VC, you’re unable to make a return as we’re a second-hand platform. However, you can resell them easily. Let’s say you’ve just purchased a pair of shoes and the size doesn’t fit, all you have to do is to click on a button in your account.”