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Designer fashion for less

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Anyone who’s been burned by buying a second-hand designer item in an online auction, only to discover that said item is a cheap counterfeit, will rejoice at the growing trend for pre-owned fashion etailers. These sites sell authenticated designer pieces that have often been barely worn and one of the best we’ve found is Covetique.com.

The site was founded in 2011 by Nicola McClafferty, who before her foray into online retail was an investment banker with a lifelong love of fashion. Her approach to the business of buying and selling pre-owned designer clothing, shoes and accessories, is to make the experience as simple and enjoyable as you would expect from a high-end designer website.

So for sellers, once they have decided which items in their wardrobe they want to pass on, the process is ridiculously easy; a courier collects the piece, it’s authenticated and valued by Covetique’s experts, then photographed and posted on the site. This means that buyers can assess the piece accurately, thanks to the clarity of the photographs (there are multiple angle shots) and detailed descriptions. When the item is sold, the proceeds arrive in the seller’s bank account swiftly.

We spent far too long clicking around the site and discovered all manner of desirable designer items which, although not exactly ‘cheap’, are certainly dramatically reduced from their original prices. There were Nicholas Kirkwood boots, a spectacular red Hermès Kelly bag (if you’ve got three grand, why not skip the waiting list?!) and a chic little Marc Jacobs dress. A beautiful brown leather woven Miu Miu tote is currently available at £395 – original price £895 – so if you were looking to make an investment purchase, this is a pretty hefty significant saving.

In amongst the Louboutin shoes and Chanel bags you'll also find once-worn pieces from J Crew, The Kooples and other high-end high street stores, plus plenty of denim. You can also ‘follow the wardrobe’ of individual sellers if you like their style to be notified when they post new items. Covetique.com is definitely one to add to your bookmarks.

Covetique.com

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