If you love designer shoes, but don’t love designer price tags, buying pre-owned can be one way to indulge your love of fashion without paying too much for it. Second-hand shoes, however, can be hit or miss at the best of times, and if you’re buying online, it can be hard to know what you’re getting. How do you know the shoes will be authentic, and in good condition? What if you hand over your hard-earned cash, but don’t receive anything in return?
One way to take some of the risk out of second-hand shoe shopping is to use a good online consignment agency, as opposed to an auction site like eBay, for instance, where it’s up to you to work out whether the shoes are genuine or not. Many consignment agencies will accept items from private sellers, and carefully vet them to make sure they’re authentic, before offering them for sale – often with money-back guarantee if you’re not happy.
Here are some online consignment agencies selling pre-owned designer shoes (and other fashion-related items) in the UK:
Selling clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories, Covetique is an online consignment agency with a rigorous selection process which allows you to shop with the confidence that what you get will be exactly what you were expecting. They operate a two step-process, whereby sellers must first of all email details of the items they want to sell, with photos – if accepted, Covertique then arrange for the item to be collected and brought to their HQ, where it’s carefully inspected to make sure it’s authentic, and of a quality they’re happy to sell – they’ll also sometimes bring in 3rd party experts to confirm that items are genuine. Some of the biggest bargains on the site sell really quickly, so you might need to keep checking back!
This UK-based site has a wide range of designer shoes, clothes and accessories: in addition to high-end stock from the likes of Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Gucci, you’ll also find some lower-priced brands like Sam Edelman, Rag and Bone and Kurt Geiger. All shoes listed on the site are screened for authenticity, and there’s a zero tolerance policy for fakes: Hardly Ever Worn It operates a system whereby payment isn’t released to the seller until you’ve received your item and have indicated that you’re happy with it: if you’re not, you’re able to return it for a refund.
Based in London, High Fashion Society has zero-tolerance policy for fakes, and every item listed on the site is 100% authenticity guaranteed. Sellers mail their accepted items to the London store, which then deals with the rest of the selling process, so shipping and returns are handled by them, rather than by the seller. As well as shoes, they also sell designer clothes and accessories, and have an entire section dedicated to vintage Chanel.
With offices all over Europe, Vestiare Collective is a huge community of sellers, offering pre-owned clothes and shoes. All items are checked for authenticity before shipping, so you can shop safe in the knowledge that you won’t get a fake pair of designer heels in the mail!
This site is similar to eBay in that sellers list their items for sale themselves, and are also responsible for shipping them. There’s no screening process before an item is listed on the site, so there’s a little more risk here, but they do claim to scan the site daily, and to remove any shoes they believe to be counterfeit.[Disclaimer: I’ve researched these sites, but haven’t used them personally, so please don’t take this post as an endorsement of their services, and always use your best judgement when shopping online!]