SINGAPORE Suffering from recession blues and looking to offload that new Rolex watch?
Don't turn to us, say second-hand luxury stores in Singapore, who are being swamped with requests from people desperate to sell their luxury goods.
Traditionally resilient during times of economic downturn, more than 70 second hand shops in the city-state are feeling the chill of recession, as the appetite for expensive goods has fallen sharply despite big discounts.
"Rolex prices have been like a reliable currency in the past, but there are signs that even Rolex is hit by this recession wave," said Ngo Han, an avid watch collector.
"New Rolexes are selling at much lower prices than before and that has trickled down to the second-hand market," Ngo said.
Home to the highest density of millionaires in the world, Singapore is a wealth management center and a shopping destination for the region's wealthy.
Second-hand stores that stock luxury goods, such as brand name bags and flatscreen televisions, experienced a boom in the past few years, as rising incomes and the need to upgrade to keep up with fast-changing fashions created a fertile secondary market for designer wares.
But with the city-state becoming the first Asian country to slip into recession this year, customers are changing their habits.
Where once they would have bought Rolexes or Patek Philippes that can cost over S$10,000, (about $6,775), they now opt for models that cost under S$5,000, (about $3,390), shop owners said.
"Business has gone down about 20 to 30 percent. The interest to buy watches is still there, but whether people can afford to buy is another thing," said Alvin Lye of Monster-Time.
His online store, http://www.monster-time.com/, carries second hand watches from Breitling, Audemars Piguet, Cartier and Longines.
During lunch hour in Singapore's financial district, people fill up May Fong's second-hand luxury bag store, but few are buying, even with many of the bags going at a 50 percent discount.
"There is definitely a drop in business. People are more conscious (of their) spending, even if it's a bargain," Fong said.
A crise já chegou à ROLEX, se a crise continua assim, até a marcas de luxo, entram em recessão.
Isto é que vai uma crise ... e então os magnatas já não compram o luxo?( peço desculpa pelo artigo estar em inglês, mas é só para se preceber que a crise chega a todos).