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When it comes to shopping for pre-loved luxury goods, Vestiaire Collective is a major player in the market.
They have tens of thousands of bags, clothes, shoes, and jewelry to choose from all kinds of brands. Fashion lovers will definitely be satisfied with Vestiaire’s selection.
It’s not all Gucci or Hermes, as some people might think.
As someone who has found amazing deals on this website, including my Gucci Soho Disco bag, I thought it would be helpful for those who aren’t sure about navigating the website.
If you ever thought about how Vestiaire Collective works, this blog post will answer the question in detail from a buyer’s perspective.
Is Vestiaire Collective Legit?
Since anyone can buy and sell on this platform there are many doubts about whether or not the items on there are authentic.
No one wants to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on something just for it to be fake.
Vestiaire creates a solution by examining the product first before reaching you. For example, if you’re buying from a seller, the item will not ship to you directly. Instead, it will be shipped to a Vestiaire Collective office to have it checked by an expert.
The expert checks that the item is not fake and that the seller is honest about the condition it comes in.
Once that process is done, the expert will attach a little tag verifying your item.
The company allows you to do direct shipping for some items if you don’t want to wait. You can skip the verification process so the item goes from the seller directly to you. Direct shipping saves you money since you have to pay an additional fee for the verification process (see the screenshot below).
Personally, I suggest waiting a little longer and paying a little more just so that you have full confidence the item you bought is legitimate.
How Does Vestiaire Collective Work?
Finding Your Perfect Item
Browsing the entire website can be fun but also time-consuming and overwhelming.
It’s best to decide what you want and filter things out.
For example, you want to buy a Louis Vuitton bag but the website has way too many LV bags to look at.
You can do the process of elimination by thinking about the following:
What’s the maximum price you’re willing to spend on an item?
Even if it’s a designer purse, you must have a budget, right?
Adjust the minimum price too because the absolute cheapest items are usually dust bags (yes, you can buy those on Vestiaire too apparently).
Is there any material that is a firm no?
For example, there is no need to look at patent leather bags if you don’t like that material.
What colours do you like? Are you more into neon colours or neutral colours?
If you’re not into bright colours, there’s no point in even looking at them.
How picky are you with an item’s condition? Some people only look at new items although if you’re on the fence, here are some reasons to buy preloved.
Most items on the platform are in-between good condition and very good condition (it pays off when you take care of your bags).
There is also fair condition. Those with a tighter budget might be interested in looking at those.
Also, it depends on how old the item you’re looking for is.
For example, I had my eye on a vintage Dior Boston bag. The style is from the 80s so it’s extremely difficult to buy a completely new bag. It’s even harder to find an unused or barely used one at a low price so you have to ask yourself if you are willing to spend more for a bag in better condition.
You can filter out by location. There are two main benefits to this: you can receive your item quicker and the shipping fee would also be much lower.
Hiding Sold Items
This filter is mostly for sellers. They want to see what prices previous buyers are willing to spend for a similar product.
As a buyer, it’s not necessary for you to see sold items. However, if there’s a 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.
Look at the Product Description and Pictures
There are quite a few sellers that provide very little detail in their listing so examine the pictures they upload.
When the seller creates a listing, they have to take photos of certain angles like the front, back, and inside. The Vestiaire team has to approve the pictures the seller uploads before the listing goes live on the website.
Experienced sellers know it’s better to provide tons of pictures so buyers can feel reassured purchasing from them.
There have been times when 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 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.
For the best buying experience, check BOTH the product descriptions and pictures. They go hand in hand.
ALWAYS look at the pictures carefully.
When you zoom in on the pictures, you’ll catch flaws.
Pay attention to the corners, especially because that’s where bags are susceptible to wear and tear.
Pictures can be quite deceiving.
It might look big or small in the pictures due to zooming angles.
Many products have their dimensions listed so 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.
Ask Them Questions
Under the listing, you can request for sellers to provide more information like additional pictures, and dimensions if they didn’t provide it or if the product comes with a dust bag.
There’s no guarantee they will reply but it’s worth a shot.
Everyone else will be able to see your question too and the seller’s response, if they reply.
If it’s a question that benefits other potential buyers, message them under the item’s listing. They also probably want to know the answer to your question.
How Does Vestiaire Collective Work?
Buying Your Perfect Item
Shopping from Vestiaire is pretty straightforward.
You either buy the item outright or can make an offer. If the seller accepts, you have some time to purchase the item before the offer expires (more information about bidding later in the blog post).
Other than paying for the item itself, there are two additional costs the buyer has to pay, which are the shipping fee and the authentication fee. Depending on where you live, there might be extra costs as well like taxes.
What If the Item You Want Got Sold?
If the item you want isn’t currently available, you can always sign up for alerts.
Vestiaire will then notify you when a seller does post that item or similar items on the platform.
You can create alerts for something really specific like a black pair of new Gucci loafers size 38 or something broader like Chanel wallets.
How Long Does It Take For My Item to Arrive?
The seller has 7 days to ship the item to a Vestiaire office. It usually takes about 2 days for them to check the item before sending it to you.
The shipping process can take longer depending on where the seller is and how far they are from a Vestiaire office.
In the past, the tracking number Vestiaire provides after shipping from their office is often invalid. This makes it difficult to know where your item is at. Your items eventually do come so I wouldn’t be too worried about this but it is anxiety-inducing.
The whole shipping process takes about 2-3 weeks.
What If The Seller Cancels The Transaction?
For whatever reason, there will be times when the seller cancels the transaction. They might have changed their mind about selling to you or maybe they decide to sell their item somewhere else.
You’ll get a full refund and Vestiaire also provides a coupon (usually 10%) off your next order.
The seller also takes a hit because it will affect their status. Vestiaire gives out badges to reputable sellers. For more information, see their website to read more about it.
When Your Product Arrives
Your product will be inside a plain box which might come with a dust bag (Vestiaire sometimes even provides their own dustbag if the seller didn’t give one).
It’s a good thing that they don’t put the company’s name on the box. If people know about Vestiaire, they might target to steal those boxes.
As I mentioned earlier, your item will have a little tag attached confirming the product has been verified.
Before you remove the tag, check the item yourself. The expert might have missed some details.
If you do not think the quality is the same as the seller’s description or if you doubt the authenticity of the item, speak to Vestiaire within 72 hours.
If there are faults with an item, the seller should clearly state it in the description and/or have pictures.
Vestiaire will send you a FREE shipping label to one of their offices so they can take a look again (you don’t have to pay anything, don’t worry).
If you are happy with your item, remove the verification tag and enjoy it!
It’s yours now.
Best Parts About Vestiaire Collective
Not all sellers have this option but you can bid for an item 30% lower than its asking price.
Okay, let’s say you found the perfect item. The only thing is that the price is higher than you’re willing to pay.
You can try your hand at bidding.
In the screenshot above, the price for the LV clutch says $1,504 so 30% of that is 316.2. The lowest price you can buy it for is $1,052.80.
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.
Unless sellers are desperate to sell (ie. the item still hasn’t been sold after months or years), they usually don’t accept very low offers since Vestiaire takes a commission.
Find an equilibrium where both the seller and buyer are satisfied with the price.
Please don’t forget that they want to make money too.
You can try offering an amount that is 10-15% lower than the asking price. They are more likely to accept your offer.
Once you put in your bid, the seller has 2 days to respond although they usually respond faster than that.
When you bid on an item, it’s still available to the general public so if you found a good deal, buy it right away to secure it, or else it might be gone.
If the seller does accept your bid, the offer also only stands for a limited time so act fast.
Use this feature if it’s available!
It’s one of my favourite things about Vestiaire.
If you don’t want to buy an item right now because you don’t have the funds or if the seller doesn’t have the bidding feature available, add the item to your wish list.
You will receive a notification for price reduction updates.
Almost every month, Vestiaire Collective encourages people to shop from them by offering them coupon codes. Many items on Vestiaire are already at such a good price but during sale days, you can score items for an even lower price.
What a steal!
You have to keep an eye out for them though because sometimes, the company will drop a discount code out of nowhere.
There have been moments where they give out coupons exclusive to their app so I recommend downloading Vestiaire on your phone.
Their front page is also worth checking out because the platform changes the page often. There are never-ending cheap luxury bags you can look at.
The chat feature is for when you want to message the seller or buyer privately.
If it’s a question other potential buyers would want to know, message the seller under the product.
I like that there’s another way of communicating with the seller under than commenting under the listing.
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.
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). Vestiaire will block users if they’re not following the guidelines like participating in a positive community and trying to facilitate transactions outside the website.
Vestiaire monitors your messages so keep this in mind. Be nice!
The company obviously cannot control everyone’s actions and words but for a while, this experience did leave a bad taste in my mouth. Fortunately, it only happened once.
The sellers are usually pretty nice.
If you have questions about how Vestiaire Collective works, they have a chat feature where you can speak to a customer service representative directly. They have come a long way and have improved a lot in this aspect.
You shouldn’t have to wait long for them to get back to you.
Final Thoughts – How Does Vestiaire Collective Work?
I hope this detailed Vestiaire Collective review blog post helps you understand how the platform works.
Browsing Vestiare will give you plenty of things to look at. If you’re a new customer, Vestiaire Collective even has a new coupon for you guys so go check it out right now!
If you’re still saving up for designer goods, you can look at the website for inspiration for what you do wanna buy when you have the money.
Now to You – How Does Vestiaire Collective Work?
What’s your experience like buying from Vestiaire?
Let me know in the comment section down below!
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P.S. If you’re looking for a reputable pre-owned luxury items website, Fashionphile is another good option.