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Now that you’ve saved up to buy designer goods, where do you go about purchasing them? Vestiaire Collective. It’s a second-hand designer goods online platform that I have thoroughly enjoyed using. I wanted to write a guide about how to use Vestiaire so that you can find your dream designer item (I’ve sure found some great deals on there).
Their website has an extremely large designer selection that sells many things including clothes, bags, jewellery, and shoes. It’s a place where anyone can sell an item as long as it’s one of the designer brands that is offered on the website and the condition isn’t absolutely terrible. If a buyer buys your product, you ship the item to one of the Vestiaire offices, they verify that your product follows the product description and that it’s authentic before shipping it out to the buyer. What do you think so far? Still interested? Great!
I will be talking about the most important features of the website. This one is going to be longer than most of my posts so buckle up and get ready to read.
There are THOUSANDS of designer products on here. Browsing all of them is practically impossible not to mention time-consuming. It’s important to know how to navigate the website so that you can look at products you are actually interested in buying. Vestiaire has a ton of filters which is great for filtering out all the stuff you don’t want to see. Below are going to be the ones I highly recommend you use:
a) Price Points
What’s the maximum price you’re willing to spend on an item? Even if it’s designer, you must have a budget, right? I’m pretty firm on mine unless I see something I REALLY like. I would also recommend adjusting the minimum price too because the absolute cheapest items are usually dust bags. Unless you’re interested in buying those, why bother looking?
Is there any material that is a firm no? Personally, I don’t like patent leather or suede. I won’t even buy a bag with suede lining, that’s how I strongly feel about it (UGGS are the exception).
Are you the type to wear funky colours? Or are you a fan of neutral colours like me? Once in a while, I’m down for a bright coloured shirt but that’s about it. I’m not planning to get a yellow or orange bag ever.
d) Designer Brands
Only a fan of the designer brands: LV or Dior? Vestiaire has an extensive list of brands so looking at certain brands is another way of filtering out things you don’t want to see.
The more used an item is, the less value it has. Depreciation and all. However, I do want to note not to only consider items that are never worn/very good condition. I used to be like that as well. There was a vintage Dior Boston bag that I wanted really badly. Since the style is from the 80s, it’s not realistic for me to buy a bag in completely new condition at a low price. Even though the bag was only in good condition, I was satisfied due to its age. (I took a picture and it’s my featured image aka the image you see associated with this post. Isn’t it PRETTY?) It depends on the style and what you want.
Are there any things you absolutely will not use second hand? For me, it’s shoes and earrings.
f) Hiding sold items
I use this filter a lot because if an item is sold already, it means it’s not available so why do I need to see it? I recommend using this button if you’re a seller on Vestiaire. You can get an idea of how much customers are willing to pay for similar items when choosing a price for yours. If there’s a specific or special item that you’re looking for, you can use this feature to see if anyone in the past has sold it on the website.
2) Creating Alerts
If the item you want isn’t currently available, you can always sign up for alerts. Vestiaire will then notify you through email or mobile (it can be both depending on which option you choose) when a seller does post that item or similar items on the platform. I like to create alerts for items that I want to keep an eye on, aka Chanel wallets.
If you like an item, you can add it to your wishlist. Your wishlist is public meaning anyone can click on and see your it. On each product’s page, there’s also a button that allows you to follow price reduction updates. If you add an item to your wishlist, it automatically follows price reduction updates but if you choose only the price reduction updates option, the item doesn’t go on your wishlist. I use my wishlist for items that I’m really interested in buying whereas price reduction updates are for items that I’m somewhat interested in. I MIGHT buy it if the price is right.
Okay, let’s say you see the perfect item. The only thing is that the price is higher than you’re willing to pay. That’s when bidding comes in. The lowest price you can go to is 30% of the amount. Let’s use the screenshot above as an example. The LV clutch bag is $1,504 so the lowest price you can buy it for is $1,052.80. I can make an offer of $1,200 because I don’t think the seller will accept $1,052.80. The seller has 2 days to respond although it usually takes less than a day to hear back. Some expert sellers may turn off the feature (rebag, elady, etc) but individual sellers usually don’t. Use this feature! It’s one of my favourite things about Vestiaire.
If the seller has had the item up for a while, he or she will more likely accept a lower bid. You can also look at the list of items the seller has for sale. Does the seller keep slashing prices? Are all of his or her products sold closely in time to one another? If you click on a seller’s profile, you can even see the last time he or she is active on the website. These are all hints that the seller is willing to be more flexible about prices. Please don’t forget that they’re wanting to make money too. Find an equilibrium where both the seller and buyer are satisfied about the price.
5) Download the App for More Deals
Vestiaire has had sales exclusively on their app which is why I recommend downloading it to your phone.
6) Front Page Deals
Every day, Vestiaire changes up the front page and promotes different items to their customers. It’s usually theme-based (ex. Spring Deals or Bridgerton Chic) or it can be deals that are only for today.
7) Private Messaging
The chat feature is for when you want to message the seller or buyer privately. If you have a question about a particular item the seller has up, I wouldn’t recommend messaging privately. I’ve done it a few times and the result is my message goes unanswered. Message the seller under the product. If they don’t respond to you in public, it looks bad on them so they’re more likely to respond. Also, I bet some buyers have the same questions as you. Do you want to know what the bag or shirt looks like on a person or mannequin? Ask!
Quick story. I once made an offer on a bag I wanted. I thought it was going to be like any other interaction. The seller could accept or decline and let’s move on. Nope. I received a very nasty private message from the seller. It caught me extremely off guard. A small part of me wanted to be snappy to her in response but I decided to take the high road. My response was, ‘Hi, thank you for your kind words. I have made my decision.’ I then promptly took back my offer.
When I clicked on her profile, I realized that she was blocked from the messaging feature (she has been unblocked now). I did some quick research and found out that Vestiaire actually will block some users if they’re not following the guidelines of participating in a positive community. I will never know if I was the reason or if it was something else but Vestiaire does monitor your messages so keep this in mind. Be nice!
For a while, it even made me doubt whether or not I should keep using this platform. I was a very new user at the time. If this was going to be how people are going to treat me on here, then why should I continue using it? Vestiaire can’t control everyone’s action and words so I wrote it off this once. I’m glad I did because if I had left right after the incident, I wouldn’t have gotten all the great stuff I did.
Have you dealt with a mean seller below? What was your experience like?
8) Look at Product Description and Pictures
I left this as my last point because this one is SUPER important. The product description and pictures go hand in hand. There have been times where sellers barely write anything in the product description. It could be that they’re lazy or that they’re secretly hoping to not thoroughly explain any defects/scratches so more people would make offers. I’m going to give some of them the benefit of the doubt. They might not know that you should include these types of details in the product description.
Vestiaire requires sellers to upload pictures of the product with different angles. They will reject the item if the photos are not clear (I know because I’ve been there). There will be products where there’s barely anything written in the product description but when you zoom in the pictures, you’ll catch things like defects/wear and tear. ALWAYS look at the pictures carefully. I would advise looking at the corners especially because that’s the spot that’s more susceptible to wear and tear. If they don’t include pictures of inside a bag, for example, I would also ask the seller. What if there were stains inside the bag? Or if the interior is falling apart?
9) Product Measurements
Pictures can be quite deceiving. It might look big/small in the pictures due to zooming angles. Many products have their dimensions listed so I would grab a ruler or measuring tape to figure out how big the product actually is. That’s way more accurate than looking at the pictures alone.
10) Customer Service
I hope you don’t have to deal with customer service too often because they definitely have room for improvement. The first time I spoke to a representative was because I had issues with my tracking number. They sent me a link saying my product is coming but when I tried clicking on it, the link said that the tracking number was invalid. It took DAYS before someone responded and the representative misunderstood thinking that I didn’t receive my items in the mail at all. Thankfully, my items arrived with no problem.
The second time I spoke to a representative was because I wanted to list an item to sell except I chose the earring category when it was supposed to be a necklace. I spoke to another customer representative. This time, they replied in a few hours (as opposed to waiting for days last time. I told them in my last feedback so maybe that’s why) and seemingly solved my problem quite quickly. I just had to wait for 24 hours for the changes except it didn’t change in 24 hours so I told them again before it changed. The problem was solved eventually but took longer than I would have liked.
11) Vestiaire Authentication
How can I forget one of the best parts of the company? It’s the verification process. You have to pay the Vestiaire team an extra fee to authenticate the item. I would rather pay an extra small fee for experts to tell me that it’s a real designer product as opposed to paying a lot of money for a fake product.
This extra step does mean your product will take longer to arrive but when it does, you’ll see a little tag confirming that the team has verified your item. Vestiaire has a direct shipping option for items that cost less than USD 1000 meaning that you can skip the part about the product being handled by their team. I haven’t used this option so far but it is available for those who prefer to have your item sooner. Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it. Wait a little longer so you can feel reassured that your designer product is real.
I hope this is helpful for everyone! I wouldn’t recommend websites that I genuinely love and personally shop from. Vestiaire Collective always has some great sales going on so I really do hope you guys check them out.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve shopped from Vestiaire before and what your experience was like. What are your thoughts on designer items?
Vestiaire Collective has a coupon for new customers so go check it out here!
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