Sidestep China’s Luxury Tax At These Second-Hand Stores
Last summer, Jing Daily looked at the rise of second-hand shops specializing in luxury apparel and accessories in mainland China. While the vast majority of these stores are online, in recent years brick-and-mortar shops have become an increasingly common sight in cities like Shanghai and Beijing. Chalk it down to the fickle nature of China’s fashion-obsessed elite or the natural result of the sustained flood of luxury goods into the country, but to aspirational middle-class buyers, luxury second-hand shops can be something of a godsend. However, as always, buyer beware: a keen eye is critical to keep from dropping your hard-earned cash on a counterfeit. So, for Shanghai shoppers looking for bargains and fed up with fakes, here are some of the city’s best luxury second-hand shops:
Milan Station (米澜坊)
Not to be confused with the similarly named Hong Kong chain Milan Station (milanzhan, 米澜站), Shanghai’s Milan Station (milanfang) is known for its quick turnover of inventory and impressive selection of limited-edition and rarer bags and accessories. Specializing in “top-tier” brands like Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, Second Hand is also notable in that its managers are open to negotiation on price.
Address: No.26, Xinle Road (新乐路26号)
France Station (法国站)
Handbags at France Station are mostly sold on consignment. The store is known for stocking a number of rarer items, and as an added bonus, owner Helen provides customers with free maintenance and cleaning services.
Consignment policy: Sellers set the price, and the store gets a commission of 15% upon sale.
Address: No. 859, Weihai Road (near Shaanxi Road) (威海路859号(近陕西路))
Paris Station (巴黎站）
Paris Station is located in a quiet alley off bustling Huaihai Road. The store has two owners, one of whom is responsible for handbags and another who specializes in watches. Established in 2008, Paris Station also has a VIP program that gives members first dibs on rarer items as they become available. Additionally, the store has a special program that helps clients order new Louis Vuitton handbags at a discount of 8.5 percent. The majority of customers are local white collar workers.
Address: No.4, Lane 131, South Maoming Road (near Huaihai Road) (茂名南路131弄4号(近淮海路))
The owner of this store previously studied in Japan, where she worked at a local second-hand shop. After returning to China, she leveraged what she’d learned about the second-hand business and luxury brands in Japan to start Bellflower. In addition to second-hand accessories, the store stocks jewelry purchased by the owner in Japan. Bellflower’s most loyal customers are local white-collar workers and young people.
Address: No.137, Jinxian Road (near Maoming Road) (进贤路137号(近茂名路))
The brick-and-mortar location of the fashion trend website “Trendsetter King” (潮人王), Institute recently celebrated its first anniversary. Institute is more geared toward younger shoppers, stocking more streetwear brands than other second-hand shops in Shanghai. Additionally, Institute carries major brands like Chanel, Gucci, Dior, Fendi and Giorgio Armani on consignment. As one of the owners recently explained, “Institute is a continuation of our website. It’s completely not-for-profit, but is designed as a communication platform to help us share pop culture with our friends.”
Consignment policy: Sale prices = Prices set by consigners + store commission of 20 percent upon sale.
Address: No.266, Julu Road (巨鹿路266号)
Juxian Court ( 聚贤阁)
Located on the second floor of Hong Kong Plaza, Juxian Court bills itself as the first high-end second-hand store in Shanghai, having been established in 2003. According to the store owner, Juxian Court originally specialized in new watches, but diversified into second-hand timepieces because of the huge price difference between China and European countries. Juxian Court is currently the only authorized repair center for LVMH watches. In addition to watches, Juxian Court carries a limited range of handbags.
Address: Room S239 (South Block), No.283, Middle Huaihai Road, Hong Kong Plaza (淮海中路283号香港广场(南座)S239室)
What’s Up Store
Specializing in second-hand American items, What’s Up Store is the only place in Shanghai that stocks used Levi’s jeans. For those wary of purchasing second-hand jeans, What’s Up Store reassures customers that all items are carefully selected and cleaned. What’s Up Store is notable for its impressive inventory, which includes even rarer Levi’s styles like the 017, 015 and 001.
Address: No.7 Tianzifang, Lane 210, Tai Kang Road (泰康路210弄田子坊7号)
Extremely design-oriented, Cycle pays an unusual amount of attention to detail in its second-hand collections, meticulously cleaning and inspecting every item before putting it on display. The store’s carefully curated inventory comes mostly from Hong Kong and Paris, with around half of the handbags and accessories stocked on consignment.
Address: No.4, Lane 131, South Maoming Road (Huaihai Zhong Lu) (茂名南路131弄4号(淮海中路))