I've been a luxury handbag reseller since 2014. I buy and sell bags every day. Thousands of sold (and purchased) bags allowed me to be
Recently I've been asked a lot about how people become luxury resellers. That interest made me share some tips and tricks for anyone who's thinking about diving into the reselling business.
Are you fascinated by luxury bags and your heart jumps out at a thought that you could earn a living by doing what you love? Read this first.
How Luxury Resale Works
Let's start with the basics.
Luxury bags resale business has two large parts, finding/buying items and selling them.
Buying is divided into 2 categories.
Reselling New Items
First, you can buy brand new items and sell them for more. There are highly coveted items like Hermes Birkin bags or Louis Vuitton Multi-Pochette which are hard to get. If you manage to get it even at retail, you'll resell for much more. Just by getting a Birkin, you can make up to $1,000-3,000 for just one bag. Isn't that fascinating?
Depending on the brand, you can get such items at official stores or outlet malls or on private sales. Most often these people call themselves buyers and they specialize in finding items that are hard to get.
Reselling Preowned Items
Second, you're buying pre-owned items from people and selling them to others. If you have a friend with a lot of bags - perfect, then you can also do consignment.
To do this business, you need to understand the trends, the demand for each designer item. If you know what sells and what's not, you buy out the good deals and sell them for a little more. That means that you have to either have some trust for people to give you their valuable bags ask to sell them, or you have to have funds to buy out the good deals right away.
The second step is setting the price and finding a place to sell the item you have.
Here are some pros and cons of the reselling business compared to a traditional good business.
|Traditional goods business||Resale business|
|Supplier||You have a supplier and you can ask for 100 pieces||Each item is hand-picked and normally getting it involves a lot of negotiation|
|Pictures||The manufacturer will offer marketing materials like descriptions, pictures||You have to take your own pictures describing all the signs of wear|
|Negotiation||You have to negotiate once when you're buying the goods||You have to negotiate every time as every seller and item is unique|
|Authentication||You get a certificate from the manufacturer, that's it||You have to authenticate every single item unless you already have reputation|
|Ads||You can easily advertise on Google, Instagram, Facebook||You'll feel like criminal cause you're selling copyrighted goods and most places where you can purchase ads will reject you because of that|
All in all, the resale business is tricky. It's much more complicated than a traditional business. Nevertheless, doing what you love compensates for all the difficulties.
Ready? Steady! Go!
Steps to Take to Become a Luxury Bag Reseller: Buying
At some point, you'll be ready to buy an item on the market and try selling it for more.
1. Start Reselling With Your Own Closet
The basic idea is when you're starting out, in most cases, you don't know the demand for this or that brand/item.
That's why I'd recommend starting with the goods that you have at home.
If you have a Michael Kors bag that you're not wearing, try to sell it. List it on free ad boards like Craiglist or in social networks. This way you won't have to spend money on items that will probably never sell.
If you have a friend who is a luxury addict, you can help her sell her items making some profit. A normal profit for a consignment store is 30% (minus the fees, taxes etc) but in the end of the day, it's up to you.
You'll learn a lot about demand and the decisions you'll take from here will be much wiser.
2. Authenticate Each Item
If you don't have a wide selection of luxury items at home, I don't blame you. You'll have to find the items and buy them. And here comes the most important questions: how to make sure that the items you're purchasing are authentic?
When you're starting, your experience is limited.
In the first two years of being in the reseller business, I lost about $3000 on fakes. I was so sure I can tell replicas from the real deal. I was wrong and apparently it cost me a lot.
Authenticate each item you buy. That's obligatory. It doesn't matter if you miss out on good deals, there's time for everything. The main goal of the first stage is not to lose money.
You can always turn to me in terms of authenticating Louis Vuitton, Chanel or Gucci items.
3. Act Fast!
We're not alone in the resale business. Hundreds of people have the ability and resources to earn extra on reselling items. That's why if there's a person selling a brand new Neverfull for $500 (they usually go for $1,000), a lot of people will try to get this steal of a deal.
Three years ago whenever I found a good deal in my city, I drove through traffic jams to the seller to be the first on this item. It helped me to get incredible deals. I once got a Watercolor Speedy for $100. It was in poor condition but it was a Watercolor Speedy!
Bottomline, if you are constantly monitoring preloved luxury sites and have the ability to act fast, this will give you a great advantage.
4. Ask the Seller If She Has Something Else to Sell
A trusted supplier with reasonable prices will make your life much easier. Whenever you're buying an item at a good price, ask the seller for other items that she might have.
5. Practice Negotiating
A lot of people I know are afraid of negotiating the price. It's uncomfortable and sometimes makes you feel bad.
I never negotiated. I thought that's just rude.
However, in the resale business negotiating is normal. My potential customers always negotiated with me. Some of them asked for a $50 discount, others were offering $2,500 instead of $2,900 (over 10%).
I try asking about discounts whenever it's appropriate. I've recently bought a preloved Givenchy and the seller agreed to a price 40% lower than the original asking price.
Eventually, our society is about negotiation. We all want the best life, best conditions, best prices and it's understandable. It doesn't hurt asking. It's all about us talking to each other. Just be polite. Ask for a small discount first. $10-$50 on a designer bag is not much but you'll increase your profits. Here's what I usually ask:
'If I pay in full today, would you be able to offer a reasonable discount?'
What if the bag was a gift and the seller is willing to take an offer? What if he or she needs funds urgently? What if you buy several items?
6. If You're Buying Remotely, Protect the Transaction
Never - I'll say it again - NEVER pay directly to the seller before you have an item in your hands. Use any kind of protected transaction that guarantees that you'll receive the item and if something goes wrong, you can always get your money back.
Steps to Take to Become a Luxury Bag Reseller: Selling
Understanding Reselling Pricing: How Do I Know What to Buy and How to Set the Price?
A valid question is how to we define if the pricing is good and it's time to buy?
What's a good discount for you? If you can buy a purse for $2,000 at the official store, will a price of $1,700 make you want to opt for secondhand? Not sure. Would you buy this very bag secondhand if it's $1,000 and in excellent condition? Definitely.
In general, good secondhand prices are less than 50% of the retail price. That depends on the item of course. However, if that's not a highly coveted item, it's usually below 50% from the original retail price and the item must be in good condition.
When you'll be setting the price, don't forget to take all the payment provider fees, taxes, shipping fees etc in the account as the price you're asking for will not be the amount of money you get. Ebay takes 10-15% depending on the category. Platforms like Poshmark, Tradesy and Vestiaire Collective take 20%-30%.
The price you want to get for your item and the listed price are two completely different options especially if you're selling overseas.
Find the payment solutions you're comfortable with and find out the rates for your country.
How Much Will You Earn as a Luxury Reseller?
As you know, there's no fixed amount. It really depends on how lucky you are, how much time and effort you put into the business.
I'll tell you everything about my business in personal coaching. If you're interested, message our FB page and ask for a quote.
Subscribe to my YouTube to follow authentication tips and insights from the reselling business: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkltmNVxyBlfuZc3-eOGfzA/videos
Remember that I also have an LV authentication course that will teach you authentication basics on how to tell real Louis Vuitton bags from fakes. You can purchase it here.
What other questions do you have regarding becoming a luxury reseller?
Do you think it's an interesting job?