Sales are over – now what?
Spring is in the air in Paris and it’s time to be out with the old and in with the new. Claudia Westh Lonning has found the perfect smart shopping solution in Paris.
Paris is an expensive city, so if you didn’t get it all during the sales, don’t despair. Do you can still want to acquire clothes for a great wardrobe for you and your kids and on top of that make money? The answer is: “Chercheminippes”. This Mama got herself a Boss dress for 52 euros, sold her husband’s shirts and had a memorable day among Parisian women showing true solidarity
In Rue du Cherche-midi (6th), “Chercheminippes” includes 6 stores which sell vintage and used items all in great condition. There’s a store for high-end brands, teenage clothes, kids’ clothes and toys, men’s clothes, hardware and accessories. Every item is carefully selected (I’ll get back to that) and at less than half the original price.
I’ve been there a few times and got lucky finding a pair of (not used at all) Vanessa Bruno boots for 75 euros and a Hugo Boss dress for 52 euros that looked as if they were tailor-made just for me. Happy days!
But I’ve also made money. After hearing that supplying items to this shop would be commercially beneficial I took a deep breath, waded through all our wardrobe and spent a few hours pulling out the stuff we no longer wore or used or desired.
I took a bag which including some of my own stuff and some of my husband’s shirts – he didn’t want them, honest!And made my way to the Chercheminippes’ deposit at 10.00am – half an hour before opening hours and lined up. There were only about ten women in front of me and a sense of companionship and unity grew between us, and I got to practise my sparse French. We laughed and blessed ourselves that we’d got there before a woman who was dropped off by a friend with no less than ten (yes you heard that right!) suitcases and bags. We complained that the queue did not seem to move and we cheered when we finally made it to the door. I had badly underestimated how long I would have to wait, so when I finally got to the door, I was in the hopeless situation that I would have to leave in order to pick up my kids from school (early Wednesdays? Zut! Reality check!). But, my sweet fellow line mates felt sorry for me – most likely for being such a rookie and a foreigner, too – and let me jump the last part of the line.
I thought that I was home safe by then as I had brought good quality brand clothes. But I got wiser. Some items were rejected right away. Either they did not correspond to the styles required for the season or the women in charge did not know the brands. They clearly did not like my taste in dresses – their facial expressions spoke volumes, but they gladly took all my husband’s shirts! A piece of advice: they prefer French brands!
The items that did go through the first round were carefully examined and priced. They set a price and you get half of it, when the item gets sold. You get a code to a “my page” on their website where you can trace how many items of your clothes that have been sold. Quite frankly, the hourly payment is somewhat meagre, considering the 2½ hours that I ended up queuing. On the other hand: it paid for my Hugo Boss dress, it was a memorable experience, and I heard stories from the other Mamas in the line that they had made 200-300 euros… so good luck!
There are five shops in total on the street. Three for women including an accessories shop, one for kids, another for men and a household good store too. This is the smart shopping in Paris. It’s got to be done.
The shops’ opening hours: 11-19 Monday to Saturday. Rue du Cherche-midi 102, 109, 110, 111, 114, 124
The deposit ‘s opening hours : 10.30-17. Rue du Cherche-midi (corner of rue Saint-Jean Baptiste de la Salle) http://www.chercheminippes.com/