Image via Dongli Zhang / Dreamstime.com
These coveted products have seen a life of crime, and it’s not because they’re counterfeits. Sold in a category of their own on Chinese e-commerce marketplace Alibaba, they’re real luxury items confiscated from people convicted for breaking the law.
Since its opening in 2012, the Alibaba sub-platform Sifa Paimai (Judicial Auction) has hosted thousands of listings for Hermès bags, Gucci accessories, Rolex and Cartier watches, and even the Rolls Royce Ghost, at prices significantly knocked off from how much they were originally retailing for. According to Luxurylaunches, there are more than 1,200 Hermès products being auctioned off here, most especially Birkin and Kelly accessories. The majority of the items are authenticated, though the site claims no responsibility for the sale of fakes.
WWD notes that one white crocodile leather Himalayn Birkin sold for about US$63,720; meanwhile, the same model was purchased at Sotheby’s for about US$139,944. There was also a gray crocodile leather Constance long wallet, which would have been US$15,200 if you bought it directly from Hermès, that went to a new owner for US$6,171.
If you don’t mind the baggage these products carry, Sifa Paimai can be found here.
[via Luxurylaunches, InsideHook, WWD, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414890/Alibaba-Is-Selling-Designer-Items-Seized-From-Criminals-For-Discounted-Prices/
Screenshot via Taobao