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On Friday, Fashionphile will open a 60,000-square-foot authentication center and showroom in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. At a given time, it’ll be home to ~15,000 luxury handbags and accessories and includes a photo studio, eight procurement offices, and an authentication center where Fashionphile’s team makes sure products are legit to put back on the market.
Fashionphile, founded in 1999 as an eBay store, is a vet in the luxury resale space.
“One of the reasons we’re able to stay so consistent and diligent and really focus is because we didn’t have any investors until 2019,” founder Sarah Davis told Retail Brew. “I felt like a lot of competitors potentially had pressure from investors to grow so fast, take more brands, take more types of products—we just didn’t want to do that.”
- In 2019, Neiman Marcus acquired a minority stake in Fashionphile, making it the department store’s official re-commerce partner.
Quick service: At the showroom, sellers can make an appointment, walk in with a handbag (for example), and leave with $$$ within 20 minutes, Davis explained. Using a pricing algorithm, historical data, and a luxury pricing index, the company can determine the value of an item given its retail price, sale frequency, and condition.
“We need to be able to give you a fair and fast offer that’s accurate and we can only do that if we know with specificity what that is,” Davis said. “So once we identify it accurately then we can give you that accurate price.”
The expansion marks the company’s first corporate presence in New York City (though it opened a selling studio on Madison Avenue in 2018).
- Carlsbad, California, is home to Fashionphile’s 30,000-square-foot showroom and authentication center.
Hoping lightning strikes twice: Given that a lot of trips to Fashionphile’s Carlsbad location are planned ahead of time, Davis noted that about 78% of customers end up leaving with “something in their hand.” Fashionphile’s sales grew 107% YoY in 2021, she added, despite competition in resale heating up in recent years.
“We kind of figured out who we were in the beginning and we never were tempted to veer from that meaning,” Davis said. “We’re ultra-luxury accessory sellers. And that’s all we do.”—KM