Consignment Shopping in Paris

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

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