The business of pre-owned luxury is booming. And one of the best sites to bookmark for sought-after secondhand finds is Xupes, a slick online platform founded by father-son duo Joseph and Frank McKenzie in 2009, which today is backed by a 38-strong team and attracts a dedicated loyal following of both savvy millennials (who are driving the pre-owned market with their chop-and-change approach to fashion) and hardcore collectors.
Watches are the site’s stronghold, with its latest additions demonstrating its breadth – from a c1953 stainless steel Rolex Perpetual Oyster (£8,995) to a 1990s Patek Philippe (£19,995) with a striking diamond-studded lapis lazuli dial to an Omega Dark Side of the Moon Speedmaster (£6,195) from earlier this year. In the jewellery category, smaller items reign supreme: rings, earrings and a wonderful selection of brooches, such as a vintage gold René Boivin snail (£22,995) with brilliant cut diamonds; an enamelled Cartier fish (£2,995); and a swirling Van Cleef & Arpels feather (£4,995). All watches and jewellery are fully serviced before resale. For timepieces that require parts, Xupes is accredited by Cartier, Omega and Longines.
Under handbags, the Hermès Birkins – such as an aquamarine version from 2009 for £8,995 – may attract some of the highest prices, but limited edition Chanel examples are particularly appealing – chiefly a sassy, pink quilted denim jumbo flap bag (£4,999) and a metallic-green lambskin Le Boy (£2,999).
Best of all is the “Hard to Find” category, where the site’s most exclusive wares lie in tempting wait: a unisex Gold Nugget Patek Philippe (£49,995), perhaps, or a charming bird-shaped jug (£19,500) by Picasso.
In a virtuous circle, Xupes also helps clients sell their own items. An 18ct gold Rolex Paul Newman Daytona with a lemon dial, currently “price on application”, came from a meeting over a client’s safety deposit box. “He didn’t quite realise how valuable it was,” says Joseph. “Only around 20 pieces like this were ever made, and this is only the fifth to come to the market. It’s a collector’s dream.” The watch is likely to become the Xupes’ highest-selling item to date, a record held since 2016 by a £550,000 Richard Mille RM008 split-second tourbillon, one of an edition of ten.
With such items, authenticity is of course key. “You have to be particularly wary of fakes and stolen items,” warns Joseph, adding that Xupes employs both in-house and external vetting experts to provide second opinions on provenance, and sells each item with a guarantee of authenticity.