Luxury at lunch

Luxury fashion has never been this affordable.

Fancy a lunchtime adventure to explore two of the best Melbourne luxury consignment stores?

The number 8 tram will take you to South Yarra where you will find Mio Tesoro and Secondo where even the most prestigious designer garments and accessories can be purchased at affordable prices.

But what is a consignment store and how does it work?

A consignment store is a business that pays its suppliers a percentage of an item's sale price.

Elaine Yeow, owner of Mio Tesoro, has owned her store for 10 years.

She specialises in selling luxury handbags.

Elaine started her business after working at Louis Vuitton, when she realised her clients were looking for a reputable business to sell their preloved items.

“The business works solely on consignment but I do offer to buy outright on sought after items,” Elaine said.

“I respect the seller's and buyer's privacy, so private appointments are set up where they feel at ease and they do appreciate the extra service and attention.”

Secondo has been operating for 27 years and specialises in a variety of high-end international and Australian designer labels (such as Marni, Gucci, Prada, Dries van Noten and many more).

“It’s a great way to earn some money back on clothes that are just sitting in your wardrobe,” owner Elisabet Cheung said.

Unfortunately for those expecting a large return, garments and accessories are like cars – they lose much of their value as soon as they leave the retail shop.

And like in the auto world, some brands hold their value better than others.

For example, a Chanel hand bag will hold its value better because Chanel never has sales and increases its prices every year.

Elaine said Chanel and Hermès hand bags were her top sellers.

Worried about the authenticity?

Don’t be.

The staff at Secondo are trained to check everything closely, and Mio Tesoro provides a product authentication service to customers and clients.

Each store is very selective about what they accept from current and prospective clients.

It is preferred that items are in good condition, clean and relatively current.

The reason why you can expect high quality garments at these stores is because the staff meticulously examine items before they hit the shop floor.

Any defects on a product will be listed on the swing tag.

Consignment stores offer a variety of high-end fashion items that can seem unattainable in the retail environment.

The garments and accessories are also a better investment than fast fashion items – after all, quality always lasts longer than quantity.

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