Luxury Products at Irresistible Prices

Think of it as your sister’s closet. A selection of pre-loved designer handbags, shoes and accessories from the most popular luxury labels just waiting to be liberated – only now, the quilted, chain-strap French handbag that you have coveted for so long may well be within your price range. But how does one look rich while remaining financially cautious? Ijugaad introduces you to LUXEPOLIS, an innovative Mumbai-based venture that deals in previously-used luxury accessories and apparel.

Online marketplace, LUXEPOLIS brings luxury products to the masses and at accessible prices. On the Luxepolis site, one can get an original Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote for less than half of its hefty 80,000 INR price tag, a Fendi wallet for 15,000 INR less than its steep 36,000 INR price tag, among a plethora of other coveted handbags, watches, sunglasses and shoes. Innovative co-founders, Vijay KG and Namrata Valecha, tapped into the still nascent pre-loved luxury goods market in India when they started the venture in July 2015. While vintage handbags and clothing have been sold in the US, Canada and across Europe for several years, both in boutiques and then later online, the second-hand goods market is still developing in India. While most consumers in India seem to reluctant to buy goods that have been previously owned, the great bargains and the sheer accessibility of such online marketplaces are hard to resist.

Brands for your buck

India is a profitable market for prominent international luxury brands with most of them opening multiple boutiques in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Gucci and Michael Kors are among the most popular. However, in the last ten years, the ever-burgeoning fondness for luxury fashion accessories has created a marketplace where supply has not quite kept up with the demand. Discerning style mavens across the country complain about the sky-high import duties and luxury taxes, limited designs and the lack of iconic vintage pieces. “It’s the perfect time and place for pre-loved luxury,” affirms Valecha (29) of Luxepolis. The online platform promises to solve all of these issues.

Why buy and sell second-hand

The advantages of buying used luxury products are numerous. The prices for pre-owned goods are naturally far below the exorbitant price tags in the showrooms. Most luxury brands do not go on sale so there isn’t much point to waiting for Boxing Day if your heart is set on a Chanel Boy Bag. Trusted e-commerce platforms such as Luxepolis and a few others, including Mumbai’s ‘Label Centric’, Delhi’s ‘Confidential Couture’ and ‘Secret Dresser’, have a team of experts to authenticate the goods. So, you are assured of original, quality products often in their original packaging with proof of purchase, etc. Another fantastic reason to buy pre-loved goods is that you are helping the environment by saving great-quality, timeless goods from the bin. Buying second-hand is sustainable and bound to earn you karma points. Shopping online also offers everyone in India the chance to own and flaunt luxury products. Vijay reports that 40 per cent of their customers shop with them again and that the very same shoppers hail from tier-2 and tier-3 cities and towns. These platforms are also a great way for fashonistas to sell their unused and gently used merchandise to make way for more closet space and, of course, shopping money!

What to buy

Valecha tells us, “This season it’s all about accessorizing it right. Choosing the ‘it bag’, the understated belt or the most coveted watch from the most desirable luxury brands is the way to go. One can choose the most desirable products from various luxury fashion houses such as Chanel, YSL, Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, etc. Women can choose a Miss Dior bag, a YSL glitter shoulder bag a Chanel Boy bag or the Classic Louis Vuitton Theda bag. Men can make a statement by choosing a statement belt or watch such as a timeless Hermes belt or a Rolex watch.”

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Shibi, like the song in ‘West Side Story’, is oh so pretty, witty and bright! Modest too, but we can discuss that later. A Chennai native (34) who now dwells in the capital, there is nothing she loves more than a good story. Except for a good handbag. A self-professed shopaholic with impeccable taste, the young women’s rights lawyer and mother was ‘discovered’ by an Indian Express editor in Chennai at a famous boutique eight years ago and she has not looked back since. Fashion writing allows her to combine her two greatest loves and Shibi has been published in The Hindu, the Indian Express, Femina, Scroll, Bodahub, Hi-Blitz Magazine and many more. A militant optimist, Shibi abhors armchair activism and suggests that everyone ‘Be the Change’ instead of complaining about Modiji. Or run for POTUS – anybody seems better qualified than Trump. She also loves animals and has orchestrated many a doggy/kitty rescue; her most fervent hope is to see the status and treatment of both animals and women improve in India and the world over. Also, she requests you to RECYCLE and to REUSE. Climate change is real, people. Jai Hind!