I bought a pair for Rs 50,000 and have since sold them at a loss of around Rs 30,000, says Sushant Nair, a businessman who owns a shop in the city of Kolkata, near the Indian border.
I have sold over Rs 5 lakh of clothes in the last two years, but I have not lost any money.
“When I started this business, I wanted to make money.
Now, it has become a real struggle,” he says.
The Honeies are a staple of the fashion world, and a part of a new trend of buying fashion accessories online.
The trend of online shopping is not limited to India, says Ankit Vohra, a fashion industry analyst with the consultancy, eMarketer.
“Consignment shops and department stores have become the primary outlets for selling clothes online.
So, I think online shopping has started to have an impact,” he adds.
Honeiness is not an uncommon attribute in fashion.
In 2012, the magazine Vanity Fair featured an online auction for a pair, which fetched over Rs 30 lakh, despite being in poor condition.
The piece also features a young man wearing a pink hoodie and blue jeans.
And a 2014 feature on fashion website Vogue featured an auction for an online dress for a woman who wore a black and white floral print jacket.
But in the world of online auctions, prices are often quoted in dollars.
And while it’s not unheard of for clothes to fetch a profit, this can be a difficult task for buyers to follow.
“This is the first time I have ever seen anything like this.
I am not sure what I am getting in this auction,” says Nair.
The auction house has been trying to address this issue.
“In this auction, we have been offering free samples, as well as giving discounts,” says M.R. Singh, a senior director, global fashion.
He adds that they are offering a range of services to help buyers navigate the auction house’s online auction system, including a range for sellers to contact buyers.
A collection of Hones in this condition was auctioned for Rs 7,500.
“We are offering free shipping, and the seller will be able to contact you after the auction ends,” he explains.
This, he says, has helped sellers find buyers.
“The buyer has been very responsive, even when we have offered them Rs 20,000,” says Singh.
“They have been very open and helpful.”
And while many buyers have been able to sell the items for a profit through online auctions like Vogue’s, many have had to pay hefty prices.
One woman, who did not want to be named, says she has sold her clothes for over Rs 1 lakh.
“It was my fault.
I was not aware of the condition of the items,” she says.
“If I had bought the items online, I could have avoided this.”