Friday, February 8, 2013

Fashion Phile Website Review

This is a review of Fashion Phile, a well known consignment shop that buy and sell pre-owned Authentic Luxury Designer Bags, Shoes and Accessories.

Fashion Phile is my 2nd favorite luxury consignment 2nd only to Yoogis Closet. Their website is well done and easy to navigate. And they have a large variety of products with new inventory coming in weekly.

Their prices are a bit higher than Yoogis and the quality of their items are not as nice, this excludes anything described to be New or Like New of course. What I mean by this is that I do not always agree with the items they judge to be "Gently Used". I have bought 2 bags from them described as gently used and when it arrived the signs of wear were more than I expected and I had to return them both. Now I will only buy items they describe as New, Like New and possibly "Excellent Condition".

What they refer to as Gently Used would have been described as Well Loved at Yoogis. Also the description of the condition of the item is brief and usually does not give details on the imperfections whereas Yoogis will describe every single flaw including hairline scratches that I could hardly see.

Although their photographs are nice and clear I believe they brighten up the pictures to a point where the flaws are washed out. For example the LV Neo Cabas MM bag I purchased a few months ago looked like it hardly had any wear on it. It was described as gently used but when I received the leather was well worn, some stitches had come loose, there were some really large ink stains on the lining and the bag was much darker than pictured. None of these were shown on the pictures. It must have been taken in very bright lighting and then brightened further before they posted to have concealed these flaws so well.

One of their best features is their Layaway Program which I have taken advantage of twice. They do not charge a fee to put an item on layaway but if you cancel your order or change your mind you do have to pay a 10% restocking fee. I had to pay it once for the LV bag when I returned it. I was upset about that as I felt the listing was misleading in that none of the damages I saw were noted and they weren't shown in the pictures so beware of this if you are super picky.

Another great feature is their 90 day buy back program. If you purchase an item from their shop you can sell it back to them for up to 70% of what you paid within 90 days from teh date of the initial purchase. I have not yet done this but I do wonder what the circumstances would be for them to buy for less than the 70%. I would think that condition would be the main reason. If you sell an item back to them that has sustained further damage then you're probably going to get less. But I wonder if the brands also make a difference.

Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Balenciaga's all seem to hold their value well. Brands such as Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Kate Spades and Jimmy Choo are deeply discounted so it may be that if you purchase one of these brands you won't get the full 70% even if you never used it.

Their return policy is not as generous as Yoogis. You only have 7 days in which to return an item for a refund whereas Yoogis gives you a full 30 days.

Their shipping fee is a flat rate of just $6.99 for FedEx Ground. It's not much but I can't help comparing it to Yoogis as they offer FREE Shipping.

And lastly if you have an excess of items that you wish to sell you have 2 options with them. They can either buy your item outright or you can consign it. If you sell outright you will get less than you would if you were to consign but they do offer competitve rates. Their purchasing manager, Ben, offered to buy my Gucci Tote for $850 (I paid over $1,800) to which I declined. I tried to sell this on eBay and bids only went up to $585. It's a good thing I had a minimum price there otherwise I'd have lost a lot of $$$ on a bag that I only used maybe twice!

One thing I'd like to mention that may help you gals that purchase pre-owned items and looking to have them professionally authenticated, Fashion Phile does not offer this service but they do authenticate EVERYTHING you send in. So if you need to have an item authenticated send it in to them with the understanding that you want to get a quote to sell or consign. They will authenticate your item and if it passes they will give you a quote on what they'd be willing to pay or how much they could consign it for. You are not obligated to commit to either of these. At this point just tell them you've changed your mind and they will send your item(s) back.

Shipping to them is absolutely FREE as with most consignors. Just print out a free label on their website and they will also return it free of charge.

On the other hand if it fails well you might be embarassed but no harm done. They'll just send it back to you. And now you've gotten it authenticated for free. If you had paid for an authentic item you now know you were ripped off and can take steps to getting your money back.

If it passes then you have peace of mind. Either way it's a win win :).


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