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    Rising Bag Star archie42's Avatar
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    Default THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    Hello All,
    I am writing this article as I have been "asked about" on the forum - and I am really grateful that you like my postings! I would like to post an article on how you can build a good collection without robbing a bank!

    This article is to give encouragement to all Louis Vuitton collectors who are not millionaires! People who are average, middle class folk who simply love Louis Vuitton.

    I am an average guy..... I married my Japanese wife in 2005 after being cleaned out by my first wife! Basically I gave the equity in my home to my first wife so the 2 children would have the security of having a stable home in a middle class area. This probably cost me $50,000-$100,000- That home is worth $380,000- My ex-wife refinanced the loan and now owes $150,000-

    So in year 2004, it was time for me to start from scratch.

    I married the most beautiful lady I have ever met. She is 2 years older than me and lost most of her money in her ex-husband’s bad business dealings (he committed suicide because of the financial mess). So we both started from ZERO! She told me when I asked her to marry me that she had no money (so sweet)... I told her I loved her and not solely material things. I told her I could buy material items later for her. I did not tell her I also had nothing!

    She accepted me for who I was.... not my money (well I had none) or collection (I had nothing at this stage). She is a very sincere lady and I am honored to call her my wife. She paid the rent and grocery bills many times when I was short without ever complaining.... THIS IS WHY I GAVE HER A DOUBLE DIAMOND PRESIDENT IN 2007.

    I did however have a few things going for me. Namely the fact I had worked in the Luxury Goods business either part time or full time for 10 years. I had learnt a lot about buying and selling. It is with this knowledge that I built my collection (from nothing).

    I am happy to share these secrets (and it wont cost you anything!).

    Aims of my collection:-
    96% of all Jewellery sold has virtually no resale value. That means that most people buy either the wrong thing or they simply do not have a large enough budget to allow for a nice piece (instead of 1 good piece people buy 10 rubbish pieces).

    My aim is to acquire a collection that is simply stunning. Not over the top gaudy, but classy and beautiful to the trained eye. (The untrained eye would be happy with plastic beads, a gold plated chain and a big CZ – cubic zirconia, and a fake gold Rolex) What I mean is real salt water pearls, natural diamonds, quality watches, no gold plating, no fake or pretend anything.

    Whilst most of my Jewellery (excluding watches) in this collection is not signed by a big name – Tiffany, Cartier, Bvlgari, the pieces are at least genuine. Personally I find it hard to pay full retail for a diamond ring simply because it is from Tiffany. These top end jewelers are certainly one thing….. that is honest. The top end does not use Wallace Bishop/Michael Hill sales techniques.

    In 2004 when I started this collection I was hoping to attain a collection of Retail Value of $250,000- That is retail replacement price – not what I paid for the collection. My aim is to try and buy pieces for the lowest possible price on the used/secondary market.

    Case is point. One piece in the collection is a 1ct diamond ring. Retail replacement is $14,000- however I paid $4,000- for it. Wholesale price is $6000- for the stone alone + platinum setting. I try and never pay more that wholesale. Many items have been bought from good dealers who sell cheap to me because of the number of deals I have done.

    I have also paid full retail for some pieces. These are some of the Louis Vuitton items, some mens steel items (Omega cufflinks). If I really want something – some times you need to pay retail for it! Louis Vuitton does not ever discount.

    The collection is currently – 11/4/09 over the AU$240,000- (retail replacement price) mark and I think $500,000- might be a sensible revised total to aim for. There is no mad rush to acquire pieces. Just adding slowly when a good piece comes up. I could easily buy better value pieces ie. Buy plastic Rolex 6917 instead of the latter 69173. Both have a replacement value of $7500- However I prefer the sapphire crystal version of the watch. I am not building this collection to brag about the retail replacement value. I am building this collection for my beautiful wife and myself to enjoy.

    A FEW POINTERS (I will add more if you enjoy this article):-
    1) Learn your subject well.
    Whether you are interested in Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Cartier or Diamonds and gold. Learn as much as you can about your topics. My topics (collections) are:-
    Louis Vuitton
    Luxury Watches (Rolex, Cartier, Omega, high end brand name items)
    Diamonds/Gold/Jewellery/Pearls

    The best place to start is by looking at retailers. Send off for any free catalogues or booklets. Keep this information as it will become the basis for your information library.
    You can also purchase many good books on these topics. Louis Vuitton has the yearly catalogues, Japanese brand magazines and many books (like the LV book – Icons). These books are often not cheap and are hard to track down and find. Again this is a long term proposition. The aim is to build a nice collection over years. Not 5 minutes! If you can’t wait….. PAY RETAIL!

    2) Learn the margins.
    Starting seeing what % of the new price used items are getting. With Louis Vuitton you can easily get the new prices from LV. Compare this to what quality LV 2nd hand dealers sell their items for. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WHOLESALE LV! Only official LV stores sell LV. Anything else is either fake or used. With diamonds see what the official RETAIL VALUATION IS…. What does the high end jeweler sell this for? What do good 2nd hand dealers sell these items for on the used market? Learn the margins…. Because if you don’t know the margins – you have no idea what a good deal is. You also have no idea what is fair and what is expensive. For example; a Louis Vuitton President Classeur is about AU$5300 at LV in Australia. I have seen nice examples going on ebay (from good sellers) for $3000 +

    I paid under AU$2000- for a nice example lacking the 2 keys. That was good buying. AU$3000 is probably a fair price. AU$3500- is no bargain at all! Sometimes I have paid over the odds for a piece I really want or if the condition is outstanding.
    You can also learn this by pretending to sell something to a 2nd hand dealer. How does he handle the transaction? What does he offer you? What will he resell it for?

    3) Learn the different condition details
    What is the difference between a 10 year old piece vs a new piece?
    What are the different condition grades? What condition grades will I be happy with?
    Condition has a big bearing on price (for good reasons).

    4) Learn not to be exact in expectations
    When buying items mainly on the used market one can not be as picky as buying new from the store. For example – you want want a Damier Alma however in reality Damier Alma’s are fairly scarse compared with Monogram Almas.

    In the used market you can not be so picky! Personally condition is far more important than the exact specs! For example when I was hunting for a LV President briefcase I chose a Monogram example even though my first choice was a Taiga example!

    5) Learn to wheel and deal.
    I have been a wheeler dealer for a long time and I know the tricks of the trade. When buying items myself my first question is/was “how much do you want for it?” I said this just in case a person under valued something. In one case I had a person sell me a Rolex Submariner 5513 for $200-. I would have easily paid up to $1000-. Condition was extremely rough/poor however I managed to sell it to a dealer that very same day for $2750-.

  2. #2
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    Archie, not to sound too forward, but what's wrong with someone owning plastic beads? Sure, I like it when Mr BRS buys me nice jewelry that is the real deal. But I also like to wear costume jewelry just for fun. There isn't anything tacky or gaudy about my fashion pieces, and yes they do consist of plastic beads.

  3. #3
    "LV Lover"
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    I agree, good quality costume jewellry can be a fun break from 'precious' pieces!

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    Vintage Lover lilstrlett's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    No offense, but I think you're kind of materialistic. I know you said a lot of the things don't have a "name," but to me it doesn't matter how much you spend on things. What matters is if you love what you have. I have jewelery from thrift stores that are awesome and that no one else has, and don't care that it cost $2.
    Mrs. Lawson
    7-16-11

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    ♥ Moderator ♥ Zombiegirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    I agree with bRs and lils!
    I have lots of costume jewelry and I don't see anything wrong with that. I mean even Chanel has a line of costume jewelry! My David Yurman pieces are set in silver and I think they are gorgeous.
    I would feel funny wearing "bling" because that is not my style. To each their own!
    W I S H ♥ L I S T
    Loving my collection!

  6. #6
    Rising Bag Star LVMode's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    LOL , I've said it before "I love reading archie42's posts". There is nothing quite like them on the whole internets .


    archie42, you sure are one of a kind .

    -
    -

  7. #7
    Official Bagista Sammy's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    This was an interesting post Archie. But I think people would feel differently if you didn't mention the prices of so many things. It is great that you have a collection that you love, but constantly mentioning the price makes you seem a little materialistic.

    I did enjoy reading those tips though. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Bag Admirer Sweetie pie's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    Awesome. That sounds really cool. You mentioned in a previous post that you purchase used designer bags in Singapore. I'll be going to Singapore next year, most likely and would like to know where you bought the used bags?

    I didnt know they had a reliable used bag market in Spore. I think as long as its authentic and is of good condition, I wouldnt mind paying less than retail price for an LV bag! :P
    The bags I own are all first-hand but in recent months, after joining this forum, I think that's more value for money to buy a good condition used bag (I love bargains and discounts!!). Do pass me the contacts if possible but I'll only be in Spore early next year Jan.

    Thanks so much for the tip! I agree with you on the jewelery part. My parents buy DIF (internal flawless) diamonds from diamond factories (I'm not going to go into the ethics of purchasing diamonds and the factory claims it does not sell conflict diamonds). Anyways... I digress, so yeah, they purchase DIF diamonds with reseller value because there's a certificate and serial no. laser engraved in the diamond.

    You have to pay a tiny fortune to get a diamond of that quality in a retail store so its not worth it to buy diamonds from retail stores. But my parents are not investing in the diamonds, they just keep it to add to my mom's collection.

    Take the diamond and go to a retail store, choose the design you like and then get the retail store to set the diamond for you. And you basically save a lot of $. Thats what my parents do and you can easily save half of the retail price by doing that. Or what they have done is to get the retail store to design the ring for them and then get the diamond and set it using that design. Based on what they have done, it isnt very expensive to commission them to do a simple design. Nothing flashy because you do not want to overshadow the diamond.

    Just a tip :) You can try that someday... and save quite a bit, especially cos you are essentially paying for brand if its some fancy designer ring and the diamond isnt always as good as DIF. And yeah, if you are wearing a DIF diamond, it really shows. It may just be an overpriced stone but its one hella good looking stone. I love the clarity and the way it sparkles...of course, the stones belongs to my mom, not I (
    One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star - Nietzsche

  9. #9
    Karen linvline's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    Thanks for sharing.

    However, I agree with BRS, LILS & ZG. Sometimes, it's not all about brand name. I'm not trying to pick on you but this is what i think. I remember vividly you started a thread about you requested the LV catalog and you wrote email to complain because you can't get one. You listed all the LV pieces you have in RETAIL PRICE. That's really snobbish and rude. If you don't ever pay retail for your stuff, but you're expecting you will get the same service, aint you think that's wrong? I don't think you deserve it. You pay peanut you get monkey, simple as that.

    It's nothing wrong to pay 2nd hand price for something you like, so what's wrong with people sometimes buy "junk" pieces or in your term plastic beads?
    Wish List

    Burberry Beaton in Red Patent

  10. #10
    Rising Bag Star archie42's Avatar
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    Default I HAVE BEEN MISQUOTED!

    Hello All,
    I THINK I HAVE BEEN MISQUOTED HERE AND TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT!

    1) I see nothing wrong with beads and costume jewellery. Infact I own a Chanel costume brooch and my wife has heaps of silver jewellery. HOWEVER - it is not of a high enough standard to be included in my "SUPER COLLECTION"

    The "SUPER COLLECTION" is for the high end pieces we own. No offence to beads etc.... however they do not make the grade into our SUPER COLLECTION! That is all!

    You girls want to see the best of our collection - not mediocre crap.

    2) If you read my article you will see the importance of the ACUTAL RETAIL PRICE! Margins, % are so important if you are buying 2nd hand! Hence the reason I quote these figures. I am not meaning to upset, big note myself.... infact - I have driven Taxis, limos and cleaned offices! I AM NOT A JOB SNOB or a retail snob! I just quote the prices to give people an understanding of the margins.... THESE ARE CRUCIAL if you plan on buying second hand.

    I hope this clears up the matter.

    Best regards.

  11. #11
    Rising Bag Star archie42's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    In reply to the following email -
    I do buy some peices at FULL RETAIL - I just bought my wife a new LV Damier Alma. That was AU$1480 - FULL PRICE - NO DISCOUNT.

    Brands like LV, Cartier, Rolex have a residual value/core responsibility - this is irrespective of whether you bought it new or used. Cartier has a resonsability to me as the owner (irrespective if I bought new or used). Same as LV does - I have returned LV to the store even though I bought the item used for FREE REPAIRS! LV has a responsibility to produce things that last and work. AND I HAVE NO QUALM in enforcing this! I have complained about many items..... even though (secretly) I bought them second hand.

    Buying 2nd hand does not mean it is lower than a new item! I MAY KNOW THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING - BUT I ALSO KNOW THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING!
    A bisten hard case suitcase bought used for AU$1700- is in my opinion AU$6400- in value to me! Even though I did not pay the new price of AU$6400- Personally I still believe the item is worth the AU$6400-

    I see nothing inferrior in used/second hand items!


    Quote Originally Posted by linvline View Post
    Thanks for sharing.

    However, I agree with BRS, LILS & ZG. Sometimes, it's not all about brand name. I'm not trying to pick on you but this is what i think. I remember vividly you started a thread about you requested the LV catalog and you wrote email to complain because you can't get one. You listed all the LV pieces you have in RETAIL PRICE. That's really snobbish and rude. If you don't ever pay retail for your stuff, but you're expecting you will get the same service, aint you think that's wrong? I don't think you deserve it. You pay peanut you get monkey, simple as that.

    It's nothing wrong to pay 2nd hand price for something you like, so what's wrong with people sometimes buy "junk" pieces or in your term plastic beads?

  12. #12
    Rising Bag Star archie42's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    I agree with you!
    THIS IS SIMPLY IN REFERENCE TO OUR "SUPER COLLECTION"
    This is the treasure chest I hope to leave behind to future generations of Archie42!


    Quote Originally Posted by boysRsmelly View Post
    Archie, not to sound too forward, but what's wrong with someone owning plastic beads? Sure, I like it when Mr BRS buys me nice jewelry that is the real deal. But I also like to wear costume jewelry just for fun. There isn't anything tacky or gaudy about my fashion pieces, and yes they do consist of plastic beads.

  13. #13
    Rising Bag Star archie42's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    I AM A VERY MATERIALISTIC PERSON. No apologies for that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sammy View Post
    This was an interesting post Archie. But I think people would feel differently if you didn't mention the prices of so many things. It is great that you have a collection that you love, but constantly mentioning the price makes you seem a little materialistic.

    I did enjoy reading those tips though. Thanks!

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    Rising Bag Star archie42's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    In Singapore I mainly bought Jewellery/Watches/Perfume - there is a great used Diamond dealer in Lucky Plaza (I will post her phone number if the ADMIN lets me) .....

    For used luxury watches - try the watch shop in the Golden Landmark Hotel - in the Arab section of Singapore. A few good dealers in China town ..... BUT THE CHINESE ARE SO SO HARD TO DEAL WITH! I used to deal with Alvin Lye from Monster Time but he is solely internet based now! (High Singapore Rents!) LIKE ALWAYS - YOU NEED TO KNOW YOUR TOPIC TO AVOID BEING RIPPED OFF! THE CHINESE CAN BE TERRIBLE!

    For LV - now it has been 5 years since I was back! .... but there are a few used LV stores specialising in vintage clothes, items..... There was a small shop not far from Lucky plaza..... ASK AROUND! and you will get referalls! For used LV I preferred BANGKOK THAILAND!

    In Bangkok - try WARA SHOP - ground floor MBK. If you look scruffy - or poor - or a cheap tourist - they will not let you into the shop! WARA shop is fantastic! Ask for Joy (Thai girl).
    All genuine stuff in this shop. Again - you need to know your topic otherwise you will buy the wrong thing!

    MBK also has a few small genuine dealers on the ground floor - many fakes.... but some dealers have used LV. Again... study your topic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetie pie View Post
    Awesome. That sounds really cool. You mentioned in a previous post that you purchase used designer bags in Singapore. I'll be going to Singapore next year, most likely and would like to know where you bought the used bags?

    I didnt know they had a reliable used bag market in Spore. I think as long as its authentic and is of good condition, I wouldnt mind paying less than retail price for an LV bag! :P
    The bags I own are all first-hand but in recent months, after joining this forum, I think that's more value for money to buy a good condition used bag (I love bargains and discounts!!). Do pass me the contacts if possible but I'll only be in Spore early next year Jan.
    Just a tip :) You can try that someday... and save quite a bit, especially cos you are essentially paying for brand if its some fancy designer ring and the diamond isnt always as good as DIF. And yeah, if you are wearing a DIF diamond, it really shows. It may just be an overpriced stone but its one hella good looking stone. I love the clarity and the way it sparkles...of course, the stones belongs to my mom, not I (

  15. #15
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE SECRET OF MY HUMBLE SUCCESS....

    Quote Originally Posted by archie42 View Post
    I agree with you!
    THIS IS SIMPLY IN REFERENCE TO OUR "SUPER COLLECTION"
    This is the treasure chest I hope to leave behind to future generations of Archie42!
    Archie, I totally understand the point you're trying to make about jewelry being overpriced in retail stores. It is better to find a diamond that is second hand and create something new with it. It's just that you said that the untrained eye would be happy with cz or plastic beads... which translates to people who like costume pieces don't know how to appreciate the real thing. I'm not trying to be mean to you or anything, I'm just trying to point out that some of the things you say could be taken the wrong way or even seen as offensive.

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