By  on April 13, 2017

SHANGHAI — On a visit to Paris, Zhen Yue fell in love with a small Gucci bamboo handbag. Then 23 years old, the white-collar worker was making less than 100,000 yuan, or about $14,500, a year in Beijing, yet she was willing to pay more than 3,000 yuan, or $440, for the fashionable bag. Showing off in front of her friends was important, but so was knowing that she’d be able to recoup some of the costs. “When I fell out of love with it, I sold it online for 1,500 yuan,” the legal secretary said.

In China, 70 percent of luxury goods are bought by white-collar workers like Zhen, who are willing to spend a large part of their income on high-end items, Daxue Consulting found in a 2014 report on China’s secondhand market. Designer handbags are particularly popular. As this aspiring middle class grows rapidly, online platforms are hoping to tap into their demand for luxury fashion by offering authentic goods marketed as “pre-owned.”

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