Many women wait from one year to the next in order to save up for that luxurious bag, or watch, or even a pair of shoes. We plan ahead, keep our eyes on the target and just go for it when the time (and finances) are right. However, nowadays with the skyrocketing dollar, the value of which is going up everyday, it seems that our savings won’t really make the cut. Do you think that should stop you from buying those luxury items or you would consider purchasing a previously owned item which would be more affordable?
The idea of buying used goods and selling them has been around for a long time. What’s changing now is that there is an actual emerging market based on this concept. For many individuals (read women), scaling back on their favorite luxury items is not an option. Hence the popularity of the idea of consignment stores.
In an effort to change our deeply ingrained Egyptian mentality, which seems to be set in pyramid-stone, Pepper’s Luxury Closet owner took the leap and opened Egypt’s first and only upscale used-goods store. Their collection features 100% authentic luxury fashion brands and includes handbags, shoes, accessories, designer watches, Mink and Fur coats. They’ve also recently introduced men’s accessories to their collection. Pepper’s is on its way to becoming one of the largest consignment stores in the Middle East.
We talked to the owner and managing director of Pepper’s Luxury Closet, May Ezz El-Din, to get the inside scoop of what it’s actually like to be operating a consignment store in Egypt.
“The idea is simple; if you don’t wear it, sell it and reinvest your money in an item that you’d probably use more!” She added, “For the price of one new purse you can literally buy three pre-owned ones and well, the condition won’t give you away, that we promise.”
Pepper’s Luxury Closet owner identified a gap in the market. She noticed that there are only two dominant stores that offer highly priced items and specific designers, so they took advantage of the opportunity to introduce brands into the Egyptian market that weren’t previously available.
“We got inspired by the small consignment boutiques in Florence (Italy) and London…we started four years ago when luxury resale wasn’t as trending. Now, believe it or not, Harvey Nicholas and other high end department stores have a section for pre-owned handbags!”
One key advantage would definitely have to be the amount of money you’ll be saving when you buy things almost 50 percent discounted for almost the same quality you would get if you paid full price. The other advantage would be the installments option. You can acquire the designer item you’ve been wanting for a while, at a discounted price, and you get to pay in installments!
In a store like Pepper’s a variety of designer luxury brands can be found, including Celine, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Hermes, Christian Louboutin, their best sellers being Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Chanel and Rolex.
They even sell jewelry, offering high-end brands, such as Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard and Van Cleef & Arpel. So weather you’re looking for a bag, jewelry, accessories you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for.
Deciding the placement of a bag or any other luxurious item in the store is not a simple process. Authentication is an important step that must be carefully considered. Ezz El-Din explains the process of how an item gets evaluated.
“We are a group of certified merchants and dealers here in Egypt, we have partners in Dubai, Turkey, Beirut and our network is expanding as we speak. Once the item has been submitted, we require to keep it for at least one week, given the long queue of items under authentication. We then get back to the seller with a price quotation. Once we agree on the price, we proceed with marketing for the item on our various platforms; be on our VIP list who are given the first look at new arrivals, or by displaying at the store, participating in events, and promoting it on social media,” she said.
We know that you’ve been eyeing that Chanel Boy, or that Louis Vuitton Neverfull. Well, believe it or not, that’s one of the best investments you could make when it comes to buying a luxury items. According to Ezz El-Din, the best brands to invest your money in are definitely Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton, as these brands never go on sale and are not found in outlet malls so they retain their value and you get a great resale price for them.
“Chanel increase their prices 10% every year. A bag like the classic flap pretty much looks the same with very minor changes over the year. People who bought it 10-15 years ago can sell it now, PRE-OWNED, and make double what they paid a decade ago…what investment appreciates like that? Guess not even real estate or stocks!” she added.
It might be a bit challenging to introduce people to the concept of investing their money in a pre-owned luxury goods, but if you have the passion for making this work, it will work!
“I personally enjoy every single day of working, I found something I’m passionate about and turned it into a successful business concept. There are challenges, of course, but I come from a corporate background. I was once the corporate communications manager of one of the largest Private Equity firms in the Middle East…so I’m very disciplined and capable and I know what work ethics are. We meet amazing people every day and I made so many friends since we started Peppers and I really value my relationship with them! You do meet some despicable people, but that’s just normal in every path of life!”
While it may not be in our culture to buy used stuff, in face of all the changes we’ve been having this is definitely one mindset that needs to change. It’s time to adopt some new habits if we plan on surviving in this ever-changing economy. There’s no better place to start shopping consciously than at Pepper’s Luxury Closet! Pepper’s has sold over 7000 items to date and they note that all their clients are happy with their finds.
Think of all the money you could save on buying your luxury shoes, bags and watches at a discounted price. Your bank account will thank you for paying in installments!
To find out more about Pepper’s Luxury Closet you can check out their Facebook page