By Vicki French Bennington
Don’t let the words “resale” or “garage sale” fool you into thinking you will find old dishes, out-of-style clothing or battered handbags. It’s really quite the contrary.
The luxury resale market is full of must-have items that are sometimes new (with tags), sometimes gently used or pre-owned, and others that are pure vintage, which can make them even more desirable. But the advantage is: Prices are a major percentage off of original retail, making designer duds much more affordable and available to a wider range of clientele.
In fact, some financial analysts predict the resale market will outpace many areas of retail in the next few years.
Take the Vault Luxury Resale in Brentwood, for example. The store is full of treasures, with a huge number of authenticated designer goods from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Manolo Blahnik, Chanel, Stella McCartney and more arriving on a daily basis. Customers come from all over the country and even the world to find exclusive pieces at great prices.
Another opportunity for high-end resale will be in St. Louis for the next month. Putting the L in luxury, a 30-day pop-up Luxury Garage Sale store opened over the weekend in Richmond Heights at The Boulevard ( just across from the Galleria), and will be open every day through Aug. 15.
The store is all about the lavishness of designer pieces from brands like Louis Vuitton, Givenchy (my favorite to say), Christian Louboutin, Chanel – even Hermes!
Started in Chicago by two lifelong friends, Brielle Buchberg and Lindsay Segal, who both had experience in fashion, retail, marketing and styling, the retail concept offers discerning buyers a great option for designer clothing, bags and more.
We had a chat with the co-founders, who took turns to fill us in about just what this pop-up could mean for St. Louis women – and men!
Q: How and when did the idea for Luxury Garage Sale come about?
Segal: We founded Luxury Garage Sale in 2011 because we saw an opportunity in the market for a luxury consignment brand and experience. We wanted to redefine people’s notions of “antiquated consignment” by showing them that a consignment brand could be high fashion, customer service-oriented and luxe.
Q: What sets Luxury Garage Sale apart?
Buchberg: We are an omnichannel company, which means our consignors’ items are sold on our website, in our boutiques and in our pop-ups. This enables items to sell more quickly, and gives our clients the opportunity to see and try on items in person. We take pride in curating our inventory and creating a luxe experience in our physical locations. Our strong focus on customer experience sets us apart in the market.
Q: Tell us about your business model (i.e., why you choose to marry online with temporary brick and mortar and consignment)
Segal: We always thought having a brick-and-mortar concept was important because we wanted our customers and consignors to be able to come in and experience the LGS brand. Yet we understand that e-commerce is paramount to scaling our business and reaching cities where we don’t have a physical footprint.
Q: I understand the two of you were old friends. Have you worked together before?
Buchberg: We have been friends since we were 3 years old. We had never worked together prior to starting Luxury Garage Sale, but have loved working with each other for the last seven years.
Q: Lindsay, you are a Washington University alumni, correct? What was your major? Are you a St. Louis native?
Segal: I am not a St. Louis native, but yes, I did go to Wash U! I actually double majored in fashion design and women’s studies in the liberal arts school. I am a huge Wash U fan, and I had the best four years in St. Louis.
Q: What experience do each of you bring to the collaboration?
Buchberg: Lindsay worked in fashion as a stylist and editorial assistant, and I worked in corporate events. We launched the business with a pop-up shopping event where Lindsay’s fashion background and my event planning experience worked to form the perfect partnership.
Q: Are stylists always available? Is there a fee?
Buchberg: Stylists are always available, and the service is free. Our stylists work with clients to help them feel and look their best.
Q: How do you gather your inventory?
Segal: We gather inventory from all over the country. We have consignors who live everywhere. We get consignment in a few ways. We do in-home pickups and drop-offs in cities where we have physical stores, and we send prepaid shipping labels to individuals who live in other locations. We make it super easy to consign with us. We’re also welcoming anyone in St. Louis interested in consigning to drop off their items at the pop-up – no appointment necessary!
Q: Do any of your “used” pieces have a story, and how is that story conveyed to the customer?
Buchberg: We assume our entire pre-owned inventory has a story; however, we are not always privy to those stories. If there is an interesting one to share, we will gladly share that without our clients without revealing who the consignor is. We keep our client’s names confidential.
Q: What are your standards on consignment goods?
Segal: We take pre-owned and new, authentic luxury goods. We make sure the pieces we take in are quality items in great condition. Authentication is paramount for our brand, and we guarantee everything we sell is 100 percent authentic.
Q: How do you authenticate items?
Buchberg: Our team of authentication experts thoroughly reviews each item in our inventory. The rigorous, multi-point inspection process includes a critical examination of the style, brand and material of the piece with a side-by-side comparison between the newly consigned item and previously authenticated pieces from the same designer. We also conduct extensive research on each item’s specifications. We only list items that successfully pass our rigorous process and can be guaranteed 100 percent authentic.
Q: Do you offer clothing and goods for men?
Buchberg: Yes! We absolutely take men’s designer items on consignment. We also receive brand new men’s items from some of the boutiques we work with.
Q: What size range do you offer for women and for men?
Segal: At our pop-ups, we focus on offering a wide range of sizes and unique pieces for women. Since our items are consignment, the sizes we carry vary and get refreshed as much as our selection. To check out our men’s collection, visit our website at luxurygaragesale.com.
Q: What is the price range? Could you give me a couple of examples of name-brand items with retail prices and available pricing?
Buchberg: At our St. Louis pop-up, we have a wide selection of designer pieces that range from $100 sunglasses to a $12,000 Hermes Birkin bag. Fendi Monogram is extremely popular right now, and its classic baguette sells for roughly $2,000 to $3,000, new. We have vintage Fendi baguettes for under $500. Gucci Monogram is also in demand. Its classic styles sell for around $1,000, new. In comparison, we have classic Gucci monogram handbags available for under $500 at our pop-up. Classic Chanel jackets retail for up to $10,000, and we have many for under $1,000.
Q: Why did you choose St. Louis for a pop-up location?
Segal: We chose St. Louis because Luxury Garage Sale has so many ties to the community. It seemed like a natural choice. My college connection and great memories of the city certainly played a role. Plus, we’ve come here in the past and have found a big appetite for designer pieces, so we wanted to test our personalized consignment experience on a larger scale in St. Louis.