Fashion Tips, Women's Fashion

The story of how Zoya started getting compliments for her clothes


Tanisha and her buddy Zoya are out shopping. Their common friend Anaya is getting married next week. Although they have their chaniya cholis and lehengas for the sangeet, mehendi and the wedding ceremonies, they are looking for something that they can flaunt at Anaya’s wild and wicked hen party, at which they’ll supposedly be ‘clucking away’ till the wee hours of the morning.

Needless to say, it has to be western and chic. And in all probability black. “Black again? But you already have several black dresses – and all of them are designer outfits!” exclaimed Tanisha’s mother when she heard her daughter say she was going out to buy a ‘little black dress’. “For God’s sake, mom! You won’t understand.  I’ve already worn these once when I’ve gone out with my friends. How can I wear the same outfit again, especially when it’s a pre-wedding do? snapped Tanisha.

While Tanisha has virtually grown up under the collars of some of the most desirable labels, Zoya has had a more austere upbringing.  She accompanies Tanisha during her shopping sprees but buys nothing for herself. She later slips out with her mom to local boutiques to purchase lookalikes at less than half the price of the top-line brands. She secretly fantasizes about owning those fashionable labels that well-heeled girls like Tanisha buy without giving much thought to their price tags.

Today, as they are out in yet another plush mall, Tanisha scurries inside a large apparel outlet after spotting an ‘Up to 40% off’ sign on the glass fascia. As she flits about from one aisle to another with Zoya trailing her, her eyes fall on something she knows she simply can’t let go. “This black dress is a new arrival, mam. It’s not on sale”, says the attendant with a smile. Tanisha grinds her teeth and utters a “Damn!” She then goes on to mutter under her breath that her mother will scold her again for being so extravagant, and buying another black dress which she’ll hardly wear a few times.

Overhearing this, the attendant tells her something that’s music to her ears.  He says, “Mam, you need not worry about the price. Even though this is not on sale, what if I told you that you could get as much as 50% cashback on it anytime during the next three years?” Hearing this, Tanisha quizzingly asks, “What do you mean? Are you serious?” The attendant goes on to explain, “Yes, mam. I’ll tell you how. Have you heard of Kiabza – India’s online fashion store for pre-owned western clothes?” Seeing a blank look on the two girls’ faces, he goes on, “Kiabza is an online marketplace, where customers like you, whose branded clothes are in excellent condition, can easily find buyers for an agreed price. Many customers who have bought branded apparel have got a good resale price once they’re done wearing them”.  “Wow” says Tanisha, “You made my day. Now I can tell my mom this dress isn’t going to be all that expensive eventually. Not just this, I’ll also convince her that I can buy more clothes for myself once I sell off the old ones and reduce their effective prices. Please help me find this dress in my size. I’d like to go to the trial room. I’ll visit the Kiabza website tonight after discussing with mom”.

As the attendant hands over the dress in the correct size and Tanisha walks into a trial room, Zoya, who is now curious about Kiabza, asks him, “But why would anyone buy pre-owned clothes, especially when there is a risk of them being torn, stained, dirty, out of shape, faded, or having any other snag?”

The attendant smiles and replies in a confident tone, “Mam, this is a myth”.

Myth #1: Pre-owned clothes come with snags, tears and stains.

The attendant goes on, “This is not the case with Kiabza. You can visit their website to read all about their stringent quality standards. They accept from sellers such as your friend only those clothes which have no visible wear & tear, holes, or loose threads. Any piece of clothing that is either torn, stained, dirty, foul smelling, faded, out of shape, defective or damaged in any way is not accepted in the first place. Moreover, Kiabza follows a stringent quality control (QC) process to guarantee the quality of all their pre-owned clothes. They screen for all kinds of defects, and ensure that buyers such as you can shop with confidence and expect to receive clothes that are blemish-free and looking as good as new. So there are no snags, tears or stains whatsoever.”

“That’s interesting and really nice to know”, says Zoya. “But you know second-hand clothes are after all used and there’s no telling how dirty they may be. After all, clothes are supposed to be in contact with the body, so there’s always the question of hygiene.” The attendant reassures her by saying, “Mam, your concern is fully valid, and even Kiabza understands this and has addressed this concern. This is why this can also be considered as a myth that pre-owned clothes are necessarily unhygienic.”

Myth #2: Pre-owned clothes are not hygienic

“Kiabza accepts only those clothes that are washed, stain-free and odour-free. Moreover, as part of their quality control, all clothes undergo a ‘Dry Cleaning process’ that fully sanitizes them, makes them spic and span and as good as new. In other words, through their quality control process, all the clothes are completely hygienic for anyone to wear”, says the attendant.

“Hmm… I’ll definitely visit their site today to read all about this”, says Zoya, who is now actually tempted by the thought of wearing all those high-end branded clothes that Tanisha wears, regardless of them being pre-owned. She knows she can’t bring herself to tell Tanisha that she’s ready to buy her used clothes, but she’s ready to explore this option online provided the clothes are really in mint condition and the site follows a stringent quality control process that includes sanitization. “In fact, I think I’ll also visit those other sites that sell pre-owned stuff… like OLX and QUIKR”, she says.  The attendant raises his brows and says, “Err, mam, you can certainly visit those sites as well to find branded apparel, but you’ll realize that comparing them with Kiabza would be like comparing apples to oranges”. It’s a myth that buying apparel on Kiabza can be compared with that on sites like OLX and QUIKR. “

Myth #3: Buying/selling on Kiabza can be compared with that on OLX and QUIKR

The attendant goes on, “Sites other than Kiabza that sell pre-owned apparel follow a slightly different business model. They don’t really take any responsibility as far as quality goes. They sell their stuff in an ‘as is’ condition. This means that they don’t set any pre-defined conditions or rules for sellers. Neither do they screen the clothes for defects nor do they verify the authenticity of the brands.  While other sites allow sellers to directly upload photographs and provide the description, Kiabza first picks up the apparel from the seller’s location and then thoroughly puts them through their quality control process, thereby guaranteeing their quality. They accept only those clothes that are within their pre-approved brand list. They verify the authenticity of those labels. They screen for all possible defects. In fact, they also have a barcoding and tagging system, where each product is allotted a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) number for identification and tracking purpose. The clothes are run through a stringent hygiene process. Once the clothes return from the hygiene process a return QC is carried out on them, and finally, one more QC is carried out just before they are dispatched to buyers. You won’t find the other sites claiming the authenticity of the brands, or taking responsibility for their quality. They also don’t follow any quality control or sanitization process. So as I said, it’s like comparing apples to oranges, mam”.

By now, Zoya is convinced she wants to make her first purchase from Kiabza that night. Tanisha now comes out of the trial room, and asks Zoya, “How do I look?” Zoya says “Stunning!”

The following week at the hen party, both Tanisha and Zoya receive compliments for their black dresses. A friend asks Zoya, “Did you steal a bank to buy this one?” to which she laughs and replies “Not really. I got it for a steal”.

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