This is a question we have been asked a lot since we started and it has understandably made people a little nervous about purchasing. There have been questions about the authenticity of the products and even questions whether the products we are selling might be stolen. In short, people want to know why and how we can bring you these exclusive products substantially cheaper than our competitors. Well, we are about to tell you from A to Z exactly how we do it, but before we do we would like to state again categorically that our products are not stolen and that our products are all 100% genuine and authentic.
We have agents in Italy who contact boutiques all over Italy; these boutiques are typically very luxurious boutiques that carry all the top end famous and not so well known branded names. There are then meetings with the individual boutiques to discuss if they are willing to start a business relationship with us. The success rate is about 70%, which is very good.
We have been in the designer wear business since 2002 and it is mainly because of this and our good reputation that our success rate is this high. At the moment we have about 160 boutiques on our books and are looking to increase that up to 200 by the end of 2013. Each boutique carries their own individual stock based on the area they are in, what they traditionally sell well and the Fashion Houses* they are able to deal with.
For example one boutique might carry Armani Jeans, Chloé and Fendi but does not have Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Roberto Cavalli, whereas another may carry Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Cavalli only. Each boutique has to order from the Fashion House, be it Chloé, Dolce & Gabbana or Balenciaga etc. two times per year in the two seasons, being Spring/Summer and then Autumn/Winter. The dates to order are set by the Fashion House and also the dates of delivery and payment are set by the Fashion house*. There is also a minimum and a maximum spend allowed by each boutique. The price that a boutique must sell a product for is also set by the Fashion House*
Let us take a Chloé Paddington as an example. In the 2006/07 autumn/winter season this bag had to be sold in Italy for exactly 1020 euro which is the equivalent of £730, bearing in mind that the list price of all the fashion houses in the UK is about 13% higher so the same bag would have sold for about £825 in the UK. This already gives you the first clue into "How we work".
Now that bag has to stay at that price till the beginning of December which is when they can start their sales where they will discount the product by about 10% so the Paddington is now at £655. As the delivery of all the new stock is nearing, anything the boutique has not sold after the sales becomes tied up money, which is money they need to pay for the new stock which is due in on the set date imposed by the fashion house. There is no grace period and the Fashion Houses* do not take kindly to boutiques that are not ready to accept the new stock. So the boutique now needs to sell the after sale stock… To us!
This stock is still considered current season especially in the UK and the rest of Europe for at least another 2 months after we receive it, plus a lot of the autumn/winter stock like the Chloé Paddington gets carried over into next season.
We make it very quick and easy for the boutique as we clear whatever bags, shoes or accessories they have and as the boutiques have made substantial profits on all the stock sold so far, and they are in a situation where they must accept new stock they don’t think twice about selling to us at less than their cost.
Now we cannot go into figures about how much profit the boutique makes and how much the Chloé Paddington costs them, because we would have a lot of angry boutiques banging on our door if we disclosed that information. Suffice to say that it is substantial, so the price we pay means that we can pass on that saving to you. We also send our own vans to Italy to pick up the stock which saves a lot in freight costs, and as a small family run business we have very small overheads compared to our larger competitors.
We buy 2 times a year like this. January/February/March and Juli/August/September. In the mean time we can’t get almost anything from luxury brands, but we buy large quantities in the two periods so we can offer you designer items as long as possible. If the range of products is small we apologize but then our sale is better than expected.
It is in essence as simple as that, and we hope we have helped you to understand exactly "How we work".
*Fashion House = Chloé, Prada, Balenciaga, Fendi, Gucci, Jimmy Choo etc.