Luxe brand hunters in India have never had it so good with brands like Jimmy Choos available at price of a Zara handbag, and Rs 25,000 worth sunglasses from Tiffany & Co can be had for Rs 8,000 from Instagram thrift stores. The luxury resale market is proving to be a boon for shoppers with limited budgets. The market has witnessed exponential growth globally and is expected to be worth $64 billion by 2024. In India, search for thrift stores on Instagram records 6.25 lakh posts and over 60 handles deal with thrifting.
Thrift stores selling authentic luxury brands
Amongst the thrift stores that have come up in India over the past two years are, stores specializing in authentic products from high-end brands. They usually source products directly from sellers or physical thrift stores. The products are authenticated, cleaned and photographed before being sold again.
Prominent amongst these stores is the pop-up by Chennai-based graphic designer Sruti Ashok called ‘The Relove closet, so far, the store has gained over 5,000 followers. Ashok sells high-end luxury brands such as Versace, Swarovski, Chanel, Roberto Cavalli, Tiffany, Chloe, YSL, etc priced between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000 on her instagram page and caters to women in mid-20s and 30s.
Higher prices for exclusive products
Ashok says, the price of thrift products often depends on their use, wear and tear and visible defects. Style is also important as a limited edition product often commands higher price.
Kohima-based Jungshi Imti has been involved in thrift business for over two years. His instagram handle @Chichi n Co sells luxury bags, shoes, T-shirts, and dresses from brands like Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, MCM Worldwide, Kenzo, Givenchy, Guess and Balenciaga. He authenticates the products with a certificate. In case, it is not available, he advises buyers to look the product code in the insides of the bags or shoes. This code can help trace the products’ manufacturing date and country of origin from the brands’ website. Brands like Louis Vuttion also provide buyers a date code which helps in authenticating the product.
A fast changing trend
Knowledge also helps thrift sellers determine the authenticity of their products. For example, Riva Rokade, a student of styling and mass communication, scouts through heaps of clothes before making her final selection. The Mumbai-based stylist launched The Vintage Laundry in Feb 2020 but had to shut it for two months due to the lockdown. She visits her suppliers to curate the clothes. However, this was not possible during the lockdown. Even after easing of restrictions, she could sell only five clothes every week. Now, she sells around 30 pieces every week. Most of Rokade’s clothes are sold within two or three days. She mostly sells jumpsuits, flowing pants, sweatpants and baggy shirts. Hoping for fashion trends to change soon, Rokade is geared up to face the challenge.