French govt auctions off more than $1m in seized luxury goods

by | Last updated on Nov 10, 2022 at 3:18PM | Published on Nov 10, 2022 | Luxury

The French government has just auctioned off more than $1 million in luxury goods seized by customs. 

About 350 items hit the auction block including a Rolex Sky-Dweller, Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Batman’, luxury handbags, and even a Volkswagen Golf GTD and Audi Q3. 

All the items were confiscated by customs officers at Paris and Nice airports.

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More than 700 people turned up to the Drouot auction in person and another 3000 signed up to bid online. 

While they came looking for a bargain, interest in the goods was at an all-time high, so some of the big-ticket items actually fetched well above their estimates.


The Rolex Sky-Dweller had an estimate of between $15,000 and $25,000 but fetched $31,000 at the luxury goods auction.

While it sold for more than expected, it was still well below the current market price for the Rolex which sits at around $40,000.

The Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Batman’ model also bested its estimate, going for $17,500 which was more than four times its estimate of $4,000. 

There was also a Cartier Tank watch listed for just $600.

Luxury goods auction

A highly sought-after Hermes Birkin bag size 40 was also listed for $4,500 and a couple of Chanel handbags all for $2,000 or under. 

The Birkin, in clemence taurillon leather with white stitching and silver-plated metal fasteners, had a starting price of $4,500 but sold for $11,400.

Meanwhile, the 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTD was listed for $15,000 – well below its current market price of $25,000.

The Audi Q3 was also listed well below its market price, at just $9,900.

Alain Caumeil from the French Finance Ministry, said the auction was about more than just raising money. 

“The goal of this sale aims to show that if anybody breaks the law, the sanctions can be severe,” he told Bloomberg. 


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