Consignment Shopping in Paris

by Parisgirl on January 31, 2007

by Parisgirl | January 31st, 2007  

queen-of-consignment_4.jpgThis outfit was labeled as Christian LaCroix. Hmmm. I ‘m still not 100% convinced. Beware of Chanel handbags in consignment. Most consignment shop owners (particularly in Paris) can separate the wheat from the chaff. If a handbag claiming to be a Chanel or Louis Vuitton is too reasonably priced, chances are it’s a knock-off.

>> If you’re looking for a bargain in Paris, you might want to plan your trip around one of the two sale seasons in France to take full advantage of the deals!

Over the past few years, a number of stories in newspapers and newsletters have been written about the consignment shops of Paris. My personal viewpoint is that consignment shopping in Paris – for the most part – is not all that it’s hyped to be.

Consignment shops or depots-vente as they’re called in French have multiplied over the past fifteen years – much as they’ve done throughout the U.S. Nothing to do with what we once called ‘thrift stores’, these are the upper end of second-hand clothes.

The problem is in Paris (despite what some reviewers have written) second hand clothes in France just tend to be more ‘used’). This particularly seemed to be the case in ‘Reciproque’ which is one of the biggest centers of second hand designer clothing including a slew of Chanel suits (so many that it begins to get boring).

The second problem with Parisian consignment stores is the lack of camaraderie. U.S. consignment stores are usually ‘mom-and-her-best-friends’ kind of places and the ambiance is usually fun. I’ve popped into a lot of women’s clothing boutiques and there is so far only one consignment shop that I would recommend as being a warm and friendly spot to while away your time.

That would be Fan-Fan’s Depot Vente on Rue Mayet. Metro: Duroc
(closed Mondays) It’s located on the same side of the street as Tea and Tattered Pages so you can pick up a few second hand books at the same time. I would include Fan-Fan’s website, but it’s all in Japanese characters.

This is an especially good consignment shop if you happen to be small-framed! Not only that but they’ve been nice enough to take some of my ‘vintage clothes’ on occasion.

Another shop that I’d recommend is the Depot Vente de Buci-Bourbon located at 6 rue le Bourbon-le-Chateau in St. Germain des Pres. I think with more frequent visits, this is the kind of place where you might be able to develop a nice client/customer rapport. The quality of the clothes definitely deserves an effort. Take a little time here to really peruse the store and don’t hesitate to ask for advice about putting together an outfit.

Fan Fan Depot Vente
Rue Mayet (Mayet is a very short street)
Metro: Duroc

Depot Vente de Buci-Bourbon
6 rue le Bourbon-le-Chateau
Metro: St. Germain-des-Pres

{ 2 comments }

keenast July 17, 2007 at 12:13 pm
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Having just visited the \\\’depot-vente\\\’ on rue Buci I\\\’m a bit disappointed. If you don\\\’t mind wearing nicotine smelly clothes and pay a hefty price for them, go ahead…..if not, look elsewhere though I\\\’m still looking to find the perfect place….;-)

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parisgirl July 17, 2007 at 12:37 pm
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Sorry Buci didn’t produce your ‘coup de coeur’. I agree with you that the items are pricey. Generally, I’ve found that Parisian depot-ventes are considerably more pricey than the US comparables. Nevertheless, I did find an exquisite Inez de Fressange silk blouse at Buci for about 80 Euros. Also a pair of Bally Black patent leather sandals for about 40 Euros which I’ve been wearing this summer. The nature of the consignment shopping business is this: you don’t necessarily strike gold the first time. I agree with you though that finding the right place in Paris is not obvious. I’d be interested to know what you think of Reciproque which is the most well known of the consignment shops. It’s huge and well stocked but to be honest, I just didn’t like the ambiance there. Try Fan-Fan if you’re petite (Fan-Fan caters to designer clothes for the trim). Otherwise, if you stumble upon a troc or a depot-vente that you’d like to share with parislogue readers, please do so!

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