Your Guide To Buy Investment Pieces Smartly

There’s perhaps no greater fashion-girl dream than owning your very own Chanel, Gucci or Yves Saint Laurent. However, from the high price tag to the number of covetable options, the decision can be daunting enough to make even our hairs stand on end. The fashion industry loves to talk about "investment pieces"- the perfect Burberry trench coach, a Chanel bag; Manolo Blahnik pumps in other words, pricey items that can cost more than a month’s rent and need to be called "investments" to justify them.

Here are some of the tricks for recouping your money and tips for what and how you can buy now that might be worth more later.

It's all about the usual suspects:

Investing in well-established, high-end brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès is always a home run. For items, specifically, it's a lot of the pieces that are most iconic to that brand. The Balenciaga leather motto jacket, the Chanel Boy bag or the flap bag, the Celine Trapeze bag, the Louis Vuitton bag those are the styles with the most resale value that we are seeing.

If you want to make money, go for the special pieces:

You could always go with the classics, but anything wait listed or limited edition is your best bet - think the Fendi Karlito charm. The stuff that's in the middle doesn't have that much resale value. For example, Chanel, it either goes after the 2.55 or a seasonal item like the graffiti backpack or skip the totes, which has a bad return on investment. Items like the Chanel Lego bag and the Dior Tribal earrings, which are incredibly hard to come by in stores, are selling at or above retail value.

One category of investment pieces is growing: Luxury watches, specifically Rolex or Cartier. Buy a really good investment watch for 2.5 lakh Rupees this year and sell it for 4 Lakh Rupees in two years.

Sell as soon as possible:

The trick here is not to wait. Sell the piece as soon as you are done with it. The earlier you consign it or the earlier you are done with it, the more money you will get for it. If you can do it within the season, especially with those limited pieces, you will recoup more money. I think the way that the fashion industry is set up; it's all about what's new. If you bought this leather jacket last year, and you want a leather jacket this year, there's a new leather jacket from that same brand which is probably going to be more expensive than the one last year.

The best return on investment comes from accessories:

Clothing typically has to be deeply discounted to sell. It is the only category where we were really seeing buyer and seller recommendations not matching up. Accessories sell the best across all platforms. That's just by virtue from the fact that they withstand fewer wears in the fact that they haven't really been worn.

Shoes, however, are different:

The nature of the wear and tear we put on shoes means that they're not likely to recoup as much unless you've been incredibly careful or barely worn them. Shoes have a lesser resale value over the category; I think for the obvious reason that they are worn on your feet, and we tend as women to wear them the most. Louboutin’s consistently command the highest return on investment in the shoe category.

Keep everything:

The packaging you have when you resell, the more it sells for. It's impressive how much, for instance, keeping your dust bag for shoes. People want to make sure everything is there so if someone makes a purchase it feels like they are buying new.

Care is the key:

It's a lot about your organization and storage skills. You just have to be careful, because things that are just thrown in a closet for a couple of years tend to get stale. For shoes, this means making sure they don't get scuffed, stuffing the toes with tissue paper and protecting the soles (especially for Louboutin’s). Handbags can have a slight wear and tear on the bottom; if you want to use it, it's worth taking them for yearly check-ups, especially if it's leather.

It is possible to make money back on your high street stuff:

It is surprising that how well lines like Zara and Free People sell. Thanks to a high and rapid turnover rate, you can recoup as much as 70 percent back on your purchases from those brands. It's a combination of a very trusted brand with a very broad catalog, not all of which you can find locally, and that tend to drive up the retail value on those brands.

Bottom line:

Unless you are willing to sit on a really special piece and never use it until it becomes vintage, it's not terribly likely you'll make money. Sticking to the essentials does ensure it is more likely you at least recoup more of your money- but then, why not just keep the piece?

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