The luxury re-sale market is big business. In an age when sustainability matters more than ever and luxury handbags are increasingly viewed as lucrative investments, it is no wonder that the secondary market for luxury goods has sky rocketed. It has been predicted that by 2020 the resale apparel marketplace will be worth an estimated $41 billion.
If you want proof of this you need looks no further than The RealReal. The online luxury reseller went public yesterday with its stock price rising 45% in its first day of trading. The reseller’s shares closed up at $28.90 in New York trading Friday. The company now has a market value of about $2.39 billion.
With the re-sale market gaining popularity, it is now easier than ever to sell your luxury items wherever you live in the world. Therefore, if your designer gems are gathering more dust than compliments, it may be a good time to sell.
When selling your luxury item it is important to think about three main things –
- Authentication – in order to get the best possible return on your purchase you want to make sure that potential buyers know your item is authentic and therefore has been authenticated by an official and reputable company/body of authentication
- Price – it is important you get a price you are happy with (or at least can live with), either that you have chosen yourself or that has been decided by the consignment store (an item will not sell if its price is unrealistic so it’s important you understand what your item is worth)
- Accessibility – you need to be able to send your item to the consignment store easily with little/no expense and be paid in your preferred currency
To Sell or to Consign?
Selling and consigning are two very different things. If you sell your item, whether straight to a consumer through a site like Ebay or to a store for them to then sell on, it means you are exchanging your item for a fixed amount of money upfront. If you’re looking for cash fast and no stress they selling is probably best for you. Consigning, on the other hand, means that a store is selling your item on your behalf and taking a cut of the sale price. If you are willing to be patient this is the option for you as it will allow you to get the best possible price.
If you’re thinking about selling/consigning a luxury handbag then you’re already in luck. It is thought that handbags hold their value the best out of all luxury items.
Many other factors determine whether your handbag will sell at the price you want. These include –
- Brands – the most expensive and luxurious brands tend to hold their value the most, in particular Chanel and Hermès
- Models – if your bag is a limited edition piece or no longer made it is more likely to be desirable on the resale market
- Classics – classic designs that have been around forever are always attractive to the luxury resale market as they are popular and therefore in demand, they also appeal to consumers looking for entry-level pieces as they can be easily associated with a certain brand
- On Trend – if a certain design is featured on the runway and a brand is launching a reimagined version of the design, demand for that style will skyrocket e.g. the Gucci bum bag
- Vintage – a bag is usually considered vintage when it turns 20 however some would argue a bag can be considered vintage if it’s over 10 years old, again Chanel and Hermès come out on top, past designs that have come back into fashion are most desirable
Is Selling Right For You?
Selling/consigning isn’t for everyone. Sometimes the best option is to hold onto your bag and either wait for the style to become popular again or vintage, or simply in the hope that you may fall back in love with your bag! There is a market for second hand luxury items and this market very much dictates what your item is likely to sell for. If you do decide to part with your designer gems you will be entering into a growing market that can no longer be ignored.
Neiman Marcus Group have recently bought a minority stake in online resale site Fashionphile. This signals the luxury fashion industry embracing the growing resale market and others are set to take note. Neiman Marcus Chief Executive, Geoffroy van Raemdonck, told the Wall Street Journal, “The resale industry has grown faster and is now something our customers are much more engaged in.” According to a survey conducted by Neiman Marcus, half its customers buy or sell preowned luxury goods. The department store is eager to capitalise on the success of the resale market. Will you join them?
What pieces from your collection would you let go?
Let us know.