Luxury Bartering Is Quarantine’s Answer To Shopping

Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.
A little under a month ago, when I had only just begun self-isolating, a couple of my friends and I held a Zoom clothing swap. It was mostly for something to do on an otherwise blasé Friday night in quarantine, but also, it was a way to switch up our wardrobes without having to spend any money. After lots of “I want that!” and “No, it’s mine!” (and one too many quarantinis), we all managed to agree on a few pieces from each other’s wardrobes, printed off shipping labels, and sent our belongings to their new, be it temporary, owners. 
Bringing back high school swap parties was more fun (and rewarding) than any one of us could’ve imagined. And now, thanks to insider fashion startup HauteTrader, you can trade designer clothes, shoes, and accessories not just with your friendly neighbourhood Houseparty guestlist, but with fashion-minded people from around the US, too. 
Here’s how it works: Without spending a dime, shoppers can obtain pieces from brands including Chanel, Gucci, Balenciaga, and more by simply trading in lightly worn designer goods of their own that are of equal value and swapping them for something new (or at least, new to you). There are two ways to trade. The first option is an Item-for-Item Trade, which allows you to offer up an item of your own to be directly exchanged with an item of someone else’s that you’d like to “purchase.” For every trade agreement, you’ll also be rewarded with Haute-Points, HauteTrader’s exclusive currency. Your other option is to list your items in direct exchange for Haute-Points to be used later on once you’ve found an item that you want to receive. Haute-Points are given on a tier basis, with more exclusive or expensive items being put on a higher tier than other less sought-after pieces. 
In the world of HauteTrader, there are four tiers, each with their own point amounts. Tier one equals 100 points, tier two equals 200 points, and so on. Spend them all at once or save them up. Whatever route you choose, we’re betting big that you’ll come out with one hell of a designer haul.
Think about it this way: Say you were to save up and then splurge on an Alexander Wang handbag for $1,000 (£800), only to realise after wearing it once that it’s just not the bag for you. To resell it, it’s likely that you’ll be forced to reduce the price to around $600 (£480). From there, between shipping costs and other fees, you’ll probably lose even more value. That’s where HauteTrader comes in. According to founder Hope-Noelle Davenport, with HauteTrader, “You can simply trade that Alexander Wang bag for a Miu Miu bag, (or shoe, or garment) of your choice.”
The concept for HauteTrader came from former fashion designer and stylist Hope-Noelle Davenport as an answer to her quest to find a safe and innovative way to switch up her designer wardrobe without having to drop thousands of dollars. Instead, with this new fashion-friendly platform, you can do it essentially for free. 
“We take fulfilment in being the first trade-only luxury fashion marketplace,” says Davenport.  “Even still, HauteTrader's concept is far more valuable than just being the first. We are giving America's most stylish women the ability to shop without spending, and because of our reward currency, they are also expanding their wardrobes.”
Log on to to explore the endless options available right now, free of charge, and get to work clearing out your own wardrobe. With any luck, you’ll be swapping out your giveaway pile for something more your style in no time. 

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