Fancy buying a million-dollar Ferrari - through a website?

Fancy buying a million-dollar Ferrari - through a website?
PHOTO: LUXGLOVES

SINGAPORE-based e-commerce platform Luxglove would arguably be one place to shop if you are looking for a rare (pricey) gift for someone who already has everything.

Tucked away in one corner of this online portal now is a vintage 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE, believed to be the first classic car, and also among the highest-priced items (aside from property) to be listed on any Asian e-commerce platform.

Its price tag: a cool S$1 million.

It will draw car enthusiasts, collectors and buyers, who, even after buying it, will not even be able to drive it here, as it is a left-hand-drive car; with a few exceptions, such cars are not allowed on Singapore roads.

This model, with its original Ferrari Red exterior and black interior, is the 265th out of only 954 units produced globally.

Luxglove, which curates pre-loved collectibles, told The Business Times that the Ferrari will be sold through an "exclusive private sale", that is, a direct transaction between the buyer and seller.

A Luxglove spokeswoman said: "The purchase of this car would be more for investment purposes or as a symbol of prestige and status."

Talenia Phua Gajardo, founder and chief executive of Luxglove, noted that selling classic cars online is not a new concept, especially in the West. "But being online gives us more exposure and enables us to reach out to a much larger audience."

Atul Goyal, a senior analyst at investment banking firm Jefferies, pointed out, however that the e-commerce market for vintage, luxury cars is unlikely to thrive: "Most consumers would want to test-drive a car, something which an e-commerce platform is unable to provide."

In response, Luxglove said the point is moot because "there won't be any test drives, as the car is a left hand drive".

If the car is sold, it will be Luxglove's most expensive transaction to date.

The next most costly items on the site are a 50-year-old, First-Edition bottle of Yamazaki whisky, bottled in 2005, going for S$85,000, and an art nouveau diamond ring for S$68,000.

Founded only last October, Luxglove offers items in five key verticals - art, furniture, watches, collectibles and jewellery.

It facilitates transactions between buyers and sellers without necessarily holding inventory for these collectibles.

Ms Gajardo said: "Luxglove was founded on the principle that there was a big gap in the secondary market in South-east Asia, and many people are still limited to traditional auction houses which work on fixed cycles."

She added that the selling point of Luxglove is its "constant accessibility" to both buyers and sellers.

The portal is not the first luxury e-commerce platform in Singapore. Reebonz, through which shoppers can pick up premier-brand products at discounted rates from brand owners or distributors, opened in 2009.

It has grown to nine core markets and now ships to more than 17 countries in the Asia-Pacific.

Co-founder Samuel Lim said: "Brand new, off-price discounted luxury is just one segment we operate in.

"We also have pre-owned, authenticated luxury and high-end coveted collectibles and vintage luxury."

Reebonz's most expensive items include an S$89,500 Hermes handbag, the Black Porosus Crocodile Lisse Birkin 35, and a S$26,980 pre-owned 18K Cartier rose-gold-and-diamond La Dona watch.

A July 2015 McKinsey report on digital luxury says the global luxury e-commerce market is expected to hit 70 billion euros (S$108 billion) by 2025.


This article was first published on May 21, 2016.
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