The Biggest Luxury Consignment Store in Paris
Worn that € 1,000 pair of shoes from Chanel once for that special party? Clearing out your original Vuitton luggage? Don’t wear your 52nd Hermes scarf? The lucky recipient of 2 Kelly handbags for your birthday? For luxury fashion items in impeccable condition, this is the granddaddy of all consignment stores.
Paris is famous for the big sales that begin just after Christmas and that’s a perfect reason to visit. But did you know about the fabulous year-round treasure troves at Paris’ largest luxury consignment stores?
Reciproque is the largest luxury consignment store in Paris, located in the upscale 16th arrondissement. It is comprised of 7 boutiques and over 7,500 square feet of selling space, all located on Rue de la Pompe near the metro stop of the same name. The location is walking distance or a short metro ride from many of our Paris vacation rentals.
About the 16th Arrondissement
The 16th arrondissement is known as the BCBG, or Bon Chic Bon Genre quartier (good style, good class) and many Parisians aspire to live and shop here. A little snob (Philippe does a great imitation of how locals pronounce Seizième)…. it's just across the river from many of our apartment rentals in the 7th arrondissement. The rows of Haussmanian buildings are indeed beautiful, although the rows of buildings somewhat confining.
This very French quarter offers some of the best restaurants, food stores and boutiques in Paris and if you spend time in Paris, it's a must to explore. Cross the river behind the Trocadero, visit the Museum of Mankind and the café and enjoy magnificent views over the Seine, the Eiffel Tower and Ecole Militaire. Or immerse yourself in a Parisian's Paris behind the Trocadero where you can sit at one of four chic café’s to meet friends and watch the world go by.
The 16th is also where shrewd Parisians go to find great fashion bargains. As one Parisian told me, she starts her morning in the 8th arrondissement next door — on Ave Montaigne and Faubourg St. Honore — scoping out the latest eye stopping fashions. Then straight to the 16th and Reciproque (or Catherine Max– more on Max later) with credit card.
The gorgeous Prada shoes below were priced at €345, to give you an example. This is high end discount retailing!
Mme. Nicole Morel founded the business 30 years ago and continues to oversee each and every department with great care. She knows brands, styles, best sellers and classics like no one you have ever met. As I interviewed her, she answered the phone and I overhead her saying ‘Not another mink with wrap collar! Well this is the season; tell her €1,000 and we’ll do our best.’
There is every known brand and label from France, Italy and around the world: Hermes,Chanel, Dior, Vuitton, Ferre, Armani, Celine, Lacroix, Dolce, Gaultier, Sander, Choo, Blanik, Pradi, Rolex, Baccarat, Westwood, Balenciaga, Chaumet, Comme des Garcons, Escada, Fendi, Ferragamo and more.
Discounts: Mme. Morel explained that discounts range between 20% to 80% depending on the item, brand and demand. For example a Kelly handbag is in such high demand that there is a very small discount, but you don’t have to wait six months at Hermes. A more common item might be 60% off. Hermes scarves are € 195 vs almost € 300 at the Herme’s Store on rue Faubourg St. Honore’. If that first label item is a little beyond reach, check at Reciproque. You can compare prices easily, because the 16th is next to the 8th arrondissement where the flagship stores are located: Ave. Montaigne, Champs Elysees and Faubourg St. Honore.
The recession has taken its toll and since this store has traditionally been for Parisians, business has slowed. The assortments are at their best and you can sometimes bargain slightly for a high ticket item. I love the fact that their basic website is offered in only 3 languages: French, English…and Russian.
Open Tuesday to Friday: 11 am to 7 pm. Saturdays 10:30 to 7 pm
No. 89 rue de la Pompe: Jewelry, Crystal, Silver and Art: This store sells everything from classic Cartier rings to Hermes watches, to antique French silver, to signed paintings by known artist, to Baracat crystal from the 1930’s. It’s small but packed with inventory.
No. 92 rue de la Pompe: Men’s: The Men’s Store sells every top brand of clothing and accessory for men: Never worn to hardly worn suits, jeans, sweaters, jackets, shirts, polo shirts, coats shoes…. to Louis Vuitton luggage. On two floors, the racks are jammed with fine clothing.
No. 93 rue de la Pompe: Women’s Evening and Cocktail: This was my favorite boutique and wonderfully overwhelming. Fabulous evening gowns, cocktail dresses, shoes, wedding accessories and more. I loved the shoes and gowns, wondering what the occasion and story was behind the most fabulous or unusual. The next time I’m invited to a Coronation Ball, here is where I’ll shop.
No. 95 rue de la Pompe: Women’s Boutique: My mother in law used to tell me about this store, where I could find classic Chanel suits by the dozen. Why didn’t I follow her advice years ago? One wall displays nothing but Chanel jackets. I have learned a lot about French fashion taste over the past few decades; having one or two great suits that are timeless is the key. All clothing must be in good condition and if you need a fab suit, great pair of slacks, jeans, sweaters, tops you’ll find them here.
These Dior shoes with the fabulous heel were marked at €299
No. 97 rue de la Pompe: Consignment Depot: This is where everyone from genteel nobility who could use a little cash, to efficient fashionistas make their appointment to evaluate and drop off their fashion items. Clothes and all items must be high fashion designer labels, in excellent condition and in demand. If you're lucky, they will take them on. Average selling cycle is 3 months to one year.
No. 101 rue de la Pompe: Hand bags, Costume Jewelry, Coats, Jackets: When I was there, the store was filled with Japanese and Chinese buyers.
· Scarves: Hundreds of Hermes scarves in perfect condition, plus other great brands such as Ferragamo. Discounts are about 30 to 35% from new at the Hermes store on Fauboug St. Honore. My favorites are the classic designs that are no longer made.
· Handbags and Purses: Racks and shelves are divided by brand, from Bottega Veneta, to Vuitton to….
· Bathing suits: yes, even bikinis and monokinis have a season for the fashionistas of Paris. Find only the best brands including Eres, the most sought after bathing suits in Paris.
· Coats and raincoats: Racks are jam packed; here is where to look for your next Burberry.
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