Here are some statistics on India’s luxury market (courtesy: The Wall Street Journal):
1. There is a steady increase in the number of millionaires in the country.
2. Indians are spending big on luxury goods.
3. There is an increasing awareness and propensity for luxury items.
The writing on the wall is clear – though still in a nascent stage, the market for high-end products in India is burgeoning. The boom in e-commerce in tandem means there is an opportunity right at the cusp of the two, waiting to be exploited fully. But one needs to exercise caution and purchase only authentic pieces. Counterfeits have for long plagued this industry. That’s where you’d find this list most useful – leave your worries of authenticity behind and plunge head-on into these trust-worthy websites that guarantee genuine products.
As the name suggests, it’s a premium lifestyle portal. Founded by Amit Rawal, you’d find the likes of Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade and Tory Burch on their list of handbag brands. They have an impressive number of products in each category. They offer free shipping for orders of INR 4,000 and above, levying a nominal charge of INR 149 on orders below that.
The Raffaello Network boasts of a wide product assortment across some of the most coveted fashion houses in the world, including Bottega Veneta, Mulberry, Loewe, Fendi, Givenchy and more! The best part – taxes, VAT, customs are included in the price shown. The shipping cost to India is a flat rate of INR 990 per order.
It offers free express shipping to India. Import duties and taxes are applicable but there is an option to pay them upfront while placing your order. Thus, no additional amount to be paid at the time of delivery. On the other hand, you can choose to pay the taxes and duties separately at delivery.
Luxepolis is India’s largest online luxury marketplace and one of the very few to have turned profitable within a year of inception. One can buy original as well as pre-owned luxury here and also sell. They charge a flat shipping of INR 200 for purchases of INR 30,000 or below and INR 470 for above this amount. I also appreciate that refunds are processed to the same account by which payment was done, rather than as a store credit only.
5. International Sites
Though these international sites levy additional import duties and shipping costs due to customs, they give the complete information at checkout, leaving nothing in suspense for when the item actually arrives. For me, having a complete view of the amount I’d spend for my purchases, including the additional expenses of shipping and duties, is of utmost importance. In addition to a single view of what I’m spending, it also ensures a hassle-free experience.
Well known US based sites – Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, give an option to calculate and pay shipping, taxes and duties during checkout. The shipping charges are variable here. But given the gorgeous international merchandise, you can plan your purchases and club them together to optimize the shipping and customs.
In what’s got to be a first in India, Darveys offers a membership-based model with a one-time fee of INR 2,000 (up from INR 1000 a while ago). Anybody’s guess that members have certain privileges such as further discounts in the price of the item. They claim the product is shipped to the buyer directly from the international sellers. They also guarantee authenticity with twice the amount in refund.
They have improved their collection and range of products.
We wind up the list with good old Amazon that has millions of products up its sleeve. The global store on Amazon.in is also worth checking out. Shipping is sometimes free though customs and duties still need to be borne.
Do you know of other places to look for authentic international luxury bags?