To say that the times are bad amid the COVID-19 outbreak is an understatement. As such, many are looking for alternative ways to free up some cash and there is a growing trend of preloved branded bags and luxury items. Those who need money will sell, and those who are looking for good bargains will buy.

You may be one of the people affected, and there's nothing to be ashamed about. According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the unemployment rates rose 2.9% in June 2020, with 79,600 unemployed Singaporeans. The number of retrenchments doubled in the second quarter of the year, seeing 6,700 lay-offs - making it the biggest quarterly fall in employment rates ever.

So while it might be painful to part with your Chanel or Prada bag, selling them can improve your cashflow and tide you over when you have no income. It's time to get practical. Which are the best websites and shops to sell second hand designer handbags, and how should you do it? Here are some great avenues.

Carousell — free to use, but not ideal for luxury goods 

In Singapore, the first name that comes to mind when we think of secondhand goods is Carousell. However, despite having a ‘luxury’ category, it may not be the best place to sell your Chanel or Hermes bags that costs thousands.

Although it is free to use - which means 100% of the cash goes to you - you’ll have to work to make the sale. Carousellers are known to be extreme bargain hunters, and many of them will haggle with you. In fact, there’s even a Tumblr page named ‘Carouhell’ dedicated to these low-baller horror stories. You’ll also need to manage the delivery or plan a meet-up to transact.

But perhaps most importantly, it may be hard to offload your items via Carousell, especially if you did not keep the receipts and authenticity documents of your items. This is because it’s a direct sale, so buyers are more wary of counterfeit goods.

If not Carousell, then where?

Online luxury retailers for secondhand designer bags 

Well, there are quite a few well-known luxury bag retailers in Singapore, namely Reebonz Singapore, StyleTribute, Madam Milan and Vestiaire Collective. The main benefit of selling your preloved designer bags through these platforms is that most of them handle the pesky logistics of the sale, meaning they will pick up the items from you and deliver it to the buyer.

Thanks to their sizeable niche user base and authenticity guarantee, you’re also much likelier to sell your luxury goods.

The biggest downside of using these services, however, is that they take quite a big cut from your sale proceeds (i.e. commission). Here’s how much they charge: 

Reebonz Singapore — from $500 commission 

Reebonz is one of the most well-known discounted luxury bag retailers in Singapore. They have a big base of 3 million shoppers, which could increase your chance of selling your preloved stash. You can either sell your item to Reebonz, or list it on their site.

Reebonz selling services

What it is

Commission

Reebonz sell catalog

Fuss-free sale service, for 1 or 2 lower-value goods

None, but paid out in Reebonz credits

Reebonz White Glove 

Consignment service, for more than 2 items, and/or if the value exceeds $5,000

$500 for items sold at $5,000 to $10,000 or 7% for anything sold above $10,000 

Reebonz Closets

No longer available. Old p2p platform with Reebonz as the middleman.

10% of selling price 

Style Tribute Singapore — 15% to 35% commission

Like Reebonz, Style Tribute is an online secondhand luxury goods marketplace. Basically they’ll pick up your bag, offer you a selling price, list it on the site, and pay you when it gets sold.

Selling price on Style Tribute

Commission

Under $300

35%

$301 to $2,500

30%

$2,501 to $5,000

25% 

$5,001 to $20,000

20%

$20,001 and up 

15% 

Vestiaire Collective Singapore — from US$17 commission 

Vestiaire Collective is a global platform, which dramatically widens your net of buyers, thus increasing your chances of making a sale. The shipping fees are borne by the buyer, which means you may have to lower your prices to account for that. Buyers are also given an option to negotiate prices.

Selling price on Vestiaire Collective

Commission

US$0 to US$170

US$17

US$170 to US$2,300

25% 

US$2,300 to US$4,500

23%

US$4,500 to US$5,700

22%

US$5,700 to US$8,500 

20%

US$8,500 and up 

US$1,700 

Madam Milan 

Madam Milan doesn’t explicitly state their commission fees. Instead, you’ll need to fill up a form on their site, providing key information like the brand, model name, price you bought it for, date you bought it and the serial numbers (for Chanel and Hermes bags). You must also upload photos of the bag. Thereafter, they will contact you with more information.

Pawn Shops like Maxi Cash and Money Max

If you can’t wait for a price quote and to have your designer handbag listed online for sale, you can consider heading to pawn shops like Maxi Cash and Money Max. Unlike the above, pawn shops like Maxi Cash and Money Max do not specialise in luxury handbags per se, but you can pawn almost anything under the sun, including those.

Pawnbroking is also different from actual selling of your luxury goods; it’s more like a loan. 

How pawn shops in Singapore work

  • Bring your valuable item to the pawn shop

  • For an estimate of the price, you can do a valuation check on the pawn shops’ website

  • The pawn shop will inspect the item and give you an instant offer

  • If you accept it, you pledge the item and receive the cash 

  • Your item will be kept with the pawn shop for the length of the pawnbroking contract (usually 6 months)

  • Once you have enough cash, you can go back to the shop to repay your loan and redeem your item (at a higher price with interest accrued)

  • If not, the shop will put it up for sale 

  • Depending on the shop, you may be able to re-pledge the item 

One important thing to note is that pawn shops charge hefty interest rates which usually increases the longer you take to repay your loan. This is why although pawning is technically a loan process, many treat it as ‘selling’ because they pawn items off without the intention to ever redeem it (i.e. pawn it, receive cash, and let the shop put it up for sale).

Pawn shops are great for immediate cash, but you almost always lose out in terms of value. People only go to pawn shops when they desperately need money, and the pawnbrokers know this. 

 

Conclusion — Which platform should you pick?

At the end of the day, the ‘best’ platform to sell your preloved designer handbags depends on how urgently you need the money, and how much you’re willing to pay for convenience.

If you have time and don’t mind handling the transaction yourself, go for Carousell.

If you don’t mind paying up to 35% of your item’s selling price to reach a larger, more niche pool of shoppers, and for a middleman to handle the logistics, choose an online secondhand luxury goods retailer.

If you need the cash immediately, then consider pawn shops like Money Max and Maxi Cash. 

 

GoBear team

Brought to you by GoBear Insurance Broker (SG) Pte. Ltd., a registered insurance broker with the Monetary Authority of Singapore

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