Branded Bargains specialises in the sale and purchase of pre-owned expensive brands, catering to discreet buyers and sellers. Its store in Mumbai’s fort area stocks second-hand products – anything from handbags and shoes to belts and sunglasses – from brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Venetta, Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Versace, and Louis Vuitton. Images Retail takes a first-hand look at the unique concept.
For aspirational luxury buyers in India who save for years to buy a Louis Vuitton handbag, the launch of Branded Bargains – a store selling second-hand luxury products in Mumbai – has been something of a godsend. While consignment stores that specialise in high-end, pre-owned goods have been in existence for over a decade in the Western markets, such as Japan and Hong Kong, they are a novel concept in India.
Branded Bargains is positioned as a one-stop shop where you can buy, consign, and sell pre-owned branded products. An innovative, chic store set up by Fatema Lokhandwala, it allows you to not only sell your most-loved designer brands with a chance of getting some money back on them, but also to buy those luxury products you have always wanted.
A unique shopping concept, Branded Bargains offers an opportunity for anyone to sell last season’s designer goods which are not in use anymore but are otherwise in perfect condition and occupying precious wardrobe space. It provides the seller with a chance of recovering a portion of the amount spent on these expensive luxury items. At the same time, the authentic pre-owned luxury brands can be bought by people who aspire to own a designer product without breaking their bank.
Talking about the idea behind the launch of Branded Bargains, Lokhandwala says: “This is a thriving business in other parts of the world like in Europe and America. Brands are finding new lovers in Mumbai everyday. But not everyone has the right wallet size to fulfill their brand-owning desires. Then there are those from the upper crust who are compulsive shoppers of the top-most fashion brands and want to be seen flaunting the newest collections. I started this venture in the best interests of such people.”
The principal format of Branded Bargains is that of a consignment boutique. Pre-owned goods are accepted on a consignment period of three months. If by the end of this time frame an item gets sold, the seller gets paid in cash. In case of no sale, the goods are either returned to the seller or withheld if re-consigned, depending on the seller’s decision.
The typical Branded Bargain customer is a brand-lover. They are divided into two segments: buyers and sellers. The sellers are people from the upper middle class to the crème de la crème of the society. They are very fashion conscious and avid, compulsive shoppers in the age group of 18 to 65. They travel a lot, shop on a whim, and want to be seen with the latest collections or well-known expensive goods from top fashion brands.
The buyer is anyone seeking to own branded goods but doesn’t want to pay the full price for them. They can also be someone who constantly looks for good bargains on expensive things which gives them an opportunity to shop more. Again, their age group falls between 18 and 65. In some cases, the seller can also be the buyer and vice-a-versa.
Branded Bargains stocks handbags, wallets, belts, shoes, sun-glasses, clothing, etc. from brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Venetta, D&G, Tods, Coach, Fendi, Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Versace, Louis Vuitton, and others. The goods are in mint condition, and, although pre-owned, they may sometimes even be unused. The price range is anywhere from Rs 5,000 to over a lakh of rupees, depending on the item, the brand, the size and its condition. Handbags are the most popular category with the clients. Next in line are belts, shoes, and sunglasses. Sellers decide the price they are willing to accept for their items. Lokhandwala then marks up the price to earn a commission on their sale.
The profit margins completely depend on the product, the brand, exclusivity, size, quality, its condition, etc. The high-end brands fetch better margins than the not-so-renowned ones.