Renting and Buying Luxury Designer Goods in Paris
Leah Walker June 5, 2018

I first stumbled upon InstantLuxe.com a few months ago while searching for a vintage Rolex. I’d never heard of the site and was leery as I scrolled through the photos of designer watches. As I looked closer at the site, I discovered that it’s part of Groupe Galeries Lafayette, which added instant credibility. Lo and behold, a few weeks later, I received an invitation to an InstantLuxe pop-up event at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann. Curious about this treasure chest of a website, I went and learned all about renting and buying luxury designer goods in Paris.

Renting and Buying Luxury Designer Goods in Paris by Leah Walker
Head to the 2nd floor of Galeries Lafayette or online to InstantLuxe.com.

Reselling designer goods online isn’t a new concept in the United States. Hello, eBay and Craigslist were probably the first online buying and selling resources for those ready to part with or acquire Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags. Since the mid 1990s, other sites have started that specialize in authentic luxury items. Because, let’s face it, there are plenty of fakes on the aforementioned sites.

In 2009, two Harvard classmates launched Rent the Runway, a New York-based online site that rents designer clothes and accessories. The concept was born after one of the founders watched her sister spend thousands of dollars on designer dresses to attend multiple weddings. It’s a concept that was embraced by Americans, with the company boosting more than six million members. In most American circles, there isn’t a stigma attached to buying previously owned luxury items or renting them. In France, the concept is slower to be accepted.

In Paris, there are several brick-and-mortar shops reselling luxury goods, which are primarily scattered throughout the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 16th arrondissements. Paris also has a couple of designer clothing and accessory rental companies. In fact, I’ve rented dresses from two of them and found great value in the service. Though, it’s taken French consumers longer to warm up to the rental and resale concepts. Thus, renting and buying luxury designer goods in Paris hasn’t been as convenient as in the United States. However, the French are now accepting a new way of consuming luxury goods, which is not only better for the pocketbook, but also the environment.

Renting and Buying Luxury Designer Goods in Paris

Renting and Buying Luxury Designer Goods in Paris by Leah Walker
Rent this season’s Chloé bag for 1-30 days.

In 2009, Yann Le Floc’h founded InstantLuxe.com and has since grown the site to become the #1 marketplace in Europe dedicated to second-hand luxury goods. He sold the company to Groupe Galeries Lafayette in 2016, but stayed on as the CEO. I got the chance to speak with Yann at the pop-up event, where we discussed InstantLuxe and French luxury consumption. He told me that InstantLuxe.com isn’t just about selling and buying previously owned designer bags, jewelry, watches, and accessories, but you can also rent bags as well. Though, currently, this service is only available in Paris.

Buying from InstantLuxe

Renting and Buying Luxury Designer Goods in Paris by Leah Walker
Dreaming of Dior?

Buying from InstantLuxe is super-simple. You can either check out the selection on the second floor of Galeries Lafayette Haussmann {see: getting your VAT back in France} or take a look at the thousands of items online. The website is divided into categories such as leather goods, jewelry, watches, and accessories. From there, you can further narrow down your search by designer. If you don’t find what you’re looking for then submit a personalized search and be notified when the item is found. Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and bank transfers are accepted. There’s even an opportunity to pay in three or four payments, on items from €300-3,000, with no interest.

InstantLuxe is the go-between for buyer and seller. Once the item is purchased, the seller sends the item to InstantLuxe for verification. Meanwhile, the money is placed in bank escrow. From there, the item is shipped to the buyer, and the seller receives the money seven days after the item is received. In addition, InstantLuxe also provides buyers the opportunity to negotiate the price with the seller.

Selling to InstantLuxe

Renting and Buying Luxury Designer Goods in Paris by Leah Walker
Not just purses, but luggage is also available for sale.

There are three options for selling your designer luxury items on InstantLuxe. When choosing the Classic Sale option, you take the photos and place the ad. When it’s sold, send the item to InstantLuxe for inspection. InstantLuxe will ship the item to the buyer and take a commission of 8-30%. For the Premium Service, InstantLuxe creates the ad, including the photos. It also manages any questions, features your item, and offers a price recommendation. The commission taken is 35%. With the Immediate Purchase option, you’re offering your item to be directly purchased by InstantLuxe.

Renting from InstantLuxe

Renting and Buying Luxury Designer Goods in Paris by Leah Walker
Dream of carrying a Chanel Bag?

The rental service is only available in Paris, but this option could still be of interest for visitors. While in the city, perhaps you have a special event, a photo shoot, or want to try before you buy. Renting is ideal! Pop a classic Chanel Boy bag on your shoulder for €60 for one day; €150 for three days; €330 for a week; €530 for fifteen days; or €720 for 30 days. Choose this season’s bags from designers such as Saint Laurent, Chloé, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Céline, and Gucci. The process is simple; pick your bag and choose your rental term. The bag can be delivered or you can pick it up at the InstantLuxe office in the 4th arrondissement. A pre-paid return label is affixed to the original packaging and mailed, or you can return it to the InstantLuxe office.

Renting and Buying Luxury Designer Goods in Paris by Leah Walker
I’ve got my eye firmly on a Hermès Birkin bag.

As an American in Paris, I’m thrilled that a company like InstantLuxe.com exists in France. I have a few items on my luxury wish list and peruse the site almost weekly. It’s certainly much more convenient than schlepping from one resale boutique to another, and has become my go-to place for renting and buying luxury designer goods in Paris. The fact that InstantLuxe is part of Galeries Lafayette gives me peace of mind. I know that all items are analyzed, verified, and my money is safe. InstantLuxe makes everything easy, except choosing what to buy. That part is super-tough!

Renting and Buying Luxury Designer Goods in Paris by Leah Walker

This post was brought to you by Galeries Lafayette.

Leah Walker

Leah's a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, USA Today 10 Best, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel and wine ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's lived in Paris for three years, and was recently awarded another four with a Passeport Talent visa renewal. Though, her talent for speaking French is abysmal.

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