A Purse Lover’s Dream Come True

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - August 20, 2008
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Cindy Young at Paris Station: slightly used handbags galore
Cindy Young at Paris Station: slightly used handbags galore

Handbag lovers squeal with joy when they find out they can buy a gently used designer purse at a discounted price at Paris Station. Boutique owner Cindy Young gives immediate payment to customers who want to sell their bags to her. Customers also can trade in their purse for one of the 500 or so bags in stock.

“We don’t take in everything and anything,” says Young. “We hand-pick every single piece every day. By doing this, we keep our quality very good.” The focus is on European brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, Christian Dior and Fendi. Young and her sister, Connie Lung, who serves as store manager, can take appointments to examine the bags’ authenticity and condition.

“Every day we feel like shopping, and we are excited about all the items that come in on a daily basis,” Young says. “When you’re into luxury designer handbags, you’re excited coming into our store. It’s like looking at candy. There are so many bags and different styles. Sometimes women get tired of their bag, even if they may not have used it that much. They might not use it at all because they change their mind so fast.”

One of the challenges of running this business is the merchandise cannot just be reordered.

“I can’t force customers to come in and sell their bags to me,” she explains. “We select quality items that can turn around quickly. If not, they will be sold for less and we take the loss. We can also use our web-site to help sell the items faster.”

The Hong Kong native’s first designer bag was a $400 Louis Vuitton purse, a birthday present to herself when she was a student at the University of Hawaii, where she majored in accounting and management information systems. She says she used it for about seven years on special occasions, and now the same style bag sells for $750.

Young, who got her master’s in business administration at UH and worked for HMSA as a business analyst for six years, started Paris Station as a part-time online auction business in 2001 before expanding to a 200-square-foot retail store in 2004. She expanded the retail location twice before moving in June to the present 700-square-foot space on the corner of Keeaumoku and King streets.

“Some people think we are a new store,” Young says. “They can see it when they pass by. We had to expand because we have more merchandise.”

She says for customers who are looking for limited-edition bags or discontinued colors or styles, she might have them.

“If we don’t have it, we can put their name on a list,” she says. “If it comes in, we can call them. We give them hope that we may be able to get that in. We can help them find something that is almost impossible to find.”

Paris Station is located at 947 Keeaumoku St. The hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 942-3000 or log onto www.parisstation.com.


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