Concepts such as The Luxury Closet will shift consumer practice from buying counterfeit to buying pre-owned luxury products, says CEO Kunal Kapoor
With over 26 million fake goods worth AED1 billion ($270m) seized in Dubai in 2017, the biggest problem facing luxury brands is authenticity, according to the CEO of a start-up that sells pre-owned designer goods.
Kunal Kapoor launched Dubai-based The Luxury Closet in 2012 to allow users to sell and buy genuine, ‘pre-loved’ goods online and in store.
“Companies like us are really good for brands because we spend a lot of resources to make sure the item is authentic,” he told Arabian Business.
"The biggest problem facing luxury brands is authenticity and counterfeit items in the market."
The start-up ships worldwide and has an estimated 20,000 stock base, adding products worth over $5 million on a monthly basis.
All creations go through an authentication process to confirm originality, and consumers are offered refund guarantees in case of falsification.
Products from brands such as Chanel, Dior and Cartier - which do not offer sales - are discounted at rates of up to 70% at The Luxury Closet.
Collections range from a $42,535 18k Rolex Day-Date wristwatch to a $100 Yves Saint Laurent shoulder bag.
While the willingness to sell preowned discounted luxury products is particularly high in the region when compared to the rest of the world, Kapoor said many remain unable to afford highly priced designer goods, opting for counterfeit products instead.
Concepts such as the Luxury Closet can solve that problem, said Kapoor, who used to work as a retail sales manager for Louis Vuitton at Mall of the Emirates.
“You see people who have never bought Louis Vuitton, who dream about buying one product," he siad.
"I clearly saw a huge pain point… If we shift consumer practice from buying counterfeit to buying pre-owned, it’s really good for the industry,” he added.
In March this year, the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector of Dubai Economy crushed a number of fake designer shoes valued at AED400m ($109m), and as much as AED72m ($20m) worth of counterfeit bags and other leather products.