In this undated photo, pedestrians walk past a billboard of luxury brand Louis Vuitton in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
Half-price Prada, discounted Louis Vuitton and cut-price Chanel－thanks to the rise of platforms selling secondhand goods in China, luxury brands are no longer out of reach.
Wang Xingyang, a 29-year-old financial consultant from Beijing, bought an Yves Saint Laurent shoulder bag through Xinshang, an online platform selling secondhand luxury bags and clothes.
"I was so glad not only because I bought it for 5,300 yuan (US$770), which was nearly one-third of its original price, but also because I don't need to spend time looking for a reliable daigou," she said.
Our core competitiveness is that we leverage technologies to build an all-in-one platform where consumers can buy, sell, recycle, authenticate and evaluate the price as well as enjoy after-sales services such as cleaning and maintenance
Dong Bowen, Founder of Xinshang
Daigou refers to buying agents on e-commerce platforms like Taobao who help customers buy products abroad at lower prices.
According to Wang, she chose to shop on the platform as it provides a 100 percent guarantee and a well-rounded procedure for buying, authenticating and maintaining products.
"Our core competitiveness is that we leverage technologies to build an all-in-one platform where consumers can buy, sell, recycle, authenticate and evaluate the price as well as enjoy after-sales services such as cleaning and maintenance," said Dong Bowen, founder of Xinshang.
"More importantly, by building such a system, we have accumulated a huge amount of data that will help us improve our businesses; for instance, allowing us to evaluate prices more accurately," Dong said in an interview with China Daily.
Xinshang, founded in 2014, is a platform where nearly 80,000 professional merchants are selling secondhand luxury goods. Once the goods are uploaded to the platform, Xinshang dispatches its own experts to confirm if they are real or not. If real, the products are approved for sale to customers.
Chinese consumers spent a record high of 770 billion yuan on luxury goods abroad and accounted for one-third of the total luxury spending worldwide last year, according to a McKinsey report. The figure is expected to hit 1.2 trillion yuan by 2025.
The biggest challenge facing the secondhand market is the process of building trust between sellers and buyers, according to Industry insiders.
To tackle the problem, Dong said each product will go through six levels of checks by experts with professional certification from China and Japan.
"We guarantee products are real. If they turn out to be fake, we offer the customer compensation three times the original price," said Dong.
To date, the platform has sold 500,000 products with users exceeding 6 million.
Tommy Tang, senior investment manager at GGV, pointed out that in China, the secondhand house and vehicle markets are now relatively mature.
"The secondhand luxury goods market, on the other hand, hasn't been explored much and is still in its infancy. Given its huge scale, we believe that there are opportunities for the sector to develop," he said.
Most people haven't realized that their luxury goods can be sold. Once demand rises, the sector will generate a big platform that will dominate the field, Tang said.
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