YOUNG entrepreneur Gabriena Lee was still in university when she was inspired to turn her passion for bags into a business after chancing upon a boutique selling pre-loved designer bags in Hong Kong about 11 years ago.
“The demand for pre-loved designer bags in Hong Kong is huge, but it’s not something you hear about in Kuala Lumpur,” she told theSun during an interview.
Confident that many fashionistas here would be keen to acquire pre-loved designer bags or consign them for a good deal, Gabriena teamed up with her brother David to open their very first outlet – Glampot, located in Taipan, USJ in December 2007. As business started to pick up, the siblings opened a second outlet in Kayu Ara Damansara in June 2010.
As a savvy entrepreneur of pre-loved goods, Gabriena shares with us her insights on this growing consumer trend which benefits both seller and buyer.
Why is there a huge demand for pre-loved goods these days?
People love a good bargain in general. If there’s something that can be purchased at a discount, why not? With pre-loved designer items, you only pay a fraction of its retail price and most of the time, these items are well kept and in pristine condition. It’s a win-win situation!
What do customers look for in a pre-loved item?
Price, quality or brand. Of course, you can’t paint every customer with the same brush. Each customer will definitely have a different set of criteria when buying a pre-loved item.
What do you need to know before selling a pre-loved designer item?
Don’t throw away the items that come with your designer goods. For example, product tags, authenticity cards, dustbag, receipt, box. This may increase the value of your items slightly. If you buy a designer item to resell, it’s crucial that you take care of it and store it properly. So, the shape of the item will hold. This will help retain the value of your goods. Also, store the item in a dry and cool place as humidity can cause damage to your possessions.
Some people dislike using pre-loved items. Why?
I think there is a negative connotation associated with second-hand items, especially among Asians. People in Europe or the United States have long embraced pre-loved shopping, but this is a relatively new concept in Asia.
Although more people these days are increasingly open to the idea of buying second hand goods now – it’s becoming the norm. Why pay the full price for a designer item, when you can save up to 70% off on an item in good condition? Most of the stocks that come in to our boutique are in pristine condition – you might not even be able to tell they are second-hand items!
Which pre-loved products are high in demand in your store?
Chanel and LV (Louis Vuitton) are always the favourite. Classics that don’t go out of style usually have the highest demand.
How do you determine the price?
The price ranges from as low as RM100 to over RM70,000. The prices are determined based on the market rate and condition of the item. You can save between 10% to 90% off retail prices, depending on these factors.