Online luxury consignment is a booming industry. Shoppers are getting savvier with their money and are less likely to buy full price. A crop of new sites are taking advantage. Near the forefront of the movement is D.C.’s own Snobswap, an online luxury consignment store.
I stopped by the Snobswap offices in Dupont and met up with Emily Dang, the co-founder and CMO. We discussed Snobswap, the decision to base its operations in D.C. and the reason why luxury consignment is so popular.
Sisters Elise Whang and Emily Dang wanted access to luxury. Saddled with student debt, they wanted luxury without luxury prices. Seeing an opening in the market, they created Snobswap.
What you will find on Snobswap ranges from Zara and Nordstrom-type clothing all the way to Chanel, Hermes, and Christian Louboutin. Items includes bags, shoes, and all types of clothing. They are discounted, sometimes up to 80% off. To ensure authenticity, Snobswap authenticates all of its items, and items from boutiques are double authenticated.
Snobswap is a consignment site. You can either post yourself, or send it to Snobswap to do it for you. They offer a few options for selling. You can sell your items for cash, either listing a price or offering to negotiate. Snobswap gets 15% commission from purchases. A less popular option is swapping, where you can trade your item for another. Snobswap doesn’t make any money off swapping, but Emily said that they wanted to include it because it’s a fun option that is reminiscent of trading clothes with your friends.
What makes Snobswap stand out is its partnership with brick and mortar consignment stores. They have partnered with stores from across the US, including Michael’s Consignment in New York City, Sui Generis in San Francisco, and The Consignment Bar in Miami. Emily emphasized this aspect of the business with me. Snobswap is one of the few sites that are bringing consignment boutiques online, giving shoppers access to a plethora of items that they used to have to travel to get.
The partnership is also advantageous to Snobswap because the stores know the industry. The stores are professional sellers, some of whom have been in the industry for decades. They have an authenticator on hand, and also help boost Snobswap’s profile as a reseller.
The luxury industry has always been resilient. No matter the economic situation of the country, there are people who need their Louies and Louboutins. Luxury goods also tend to have a high resale value. Their quality and brand name means that you can call them vintage instead of used. It is because of this, luxury consignment is so popular. People buy luxury as investment pieces, ones that can be sold later, possibly at a higher price. Snobswap builds on this by allowing people to sell and buy luxury at a cheaper price, regardless of where they live. Usually, to get luxury consignment you would have to live in the big fashion cities, but through Snobswap Elise and Emily are bringing luxury consignment to all.