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The Business of Luxury with Michael Zahariev

By: Natasha Archary

Michael Zahariev

Co-founder and Managing Director of Luxity, Africa’s largest luxury reseller joins Gugulethu Mfuphi for an in-depth conversation on The Business of Luxury.

With internationally acclaimed brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and Rolex, Luxity is a fairly new business emerging in South Africa just 8-years ago.

Starting as an exclusive online store, Luxity is now a fully-fledge retail store and is luxury shopper’s haven for pre-owned handbags, shoes and accessories.

South Africa’s fastest growing e-Commerce company

Luxity was recently voted South Africa’s fastest growing e-Commerce company by Financial Times, proving that even in tough economic times, the market for luxury items is still lucrative.

To survive in the Business of Luxury for 8-years in a third world country, Luxity had to establish a reputation of trust and every item in the store’s catalogue is authentic.

“Consumers were skeptical at first and South Africa was a little behind the trend of the pre-owned luxury goods, which is a concept that does well in Europe and western economies.

That was really the first hurdle we had to get across, dealing with questions about whether the items are fake, why would one buy pre-owned, would it look like I can’t afford to buy new, what condition would the items be, etc.

Getting over some of those stigmas was the first step, and then as business grew, it was about creating beautiful stores that offer a unique experience.”

Michael stresses that all luxury goods in store retain their value and are in mint condition which is why each signature piece can be resold.

Pre-owned doesn’t mean inferior quality or a “second-hand” experience

Luxity prides itself in creating a luxury experience for each client, and pre-owned or pre-loved as Michael prefers, doesn’t mean inferior quality or a second-hand experience.

“It just means that you’re getting something that may not be on the market anymore, either because these brands are no longer available in South Africa or the models have been discontinued.

A lower price point is another key factor because you’re getting the same quality branded items but at a much more affordable cost.”

Luxity does offer a payment plan to make owning luxury items more accessible to South Africans.

A 3-month payment plan gives clients the opportunity to reserve the item they have selected, and pay it off over 3-months, interest free.

The payment plan is so popular that 1 in every 2 shoppers choose to shop at the store this way, not because they can’t afford it, but because they often purchase more than 1 item.

There’s also a 70% buy back option for clients who purchase from the store, meaning if you buy something from Luxity you can sell it back to the store and make 70% of what you spent back.

With the counterfeit industry threatening the luxury business market, Michael says to the untrained eye some of the fake items can pass as authentic but there are ways that Luxity ensures all items in store are 100% authentic.

“The counterfeit market has become a lot more formalized and we are now seeing a rise in something called a ‘super fake.’

A super fake is really indistinguishable from the original to the naked eye. So, previously you could compare the alignment, the structure and things like that but we’ve since had to become more advanced with our authentication processes.

One of the ways we do this is by doing a microscopic analysis of the thread, for example the fakes will use the same colour thread which is often just 5 strands, versus the Louis Vuitton thread which is made up of 8 strands.”

Michael Zahariev explains how Luxity ensures all items in store are 100% authentic

Watch the full interview with Michael Zahariev:

Michael Zahariev, co-founder of @luxity.shop

Also read: The Business of restauranteering with Alessandro Khojane

Written by: Natasha



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