How the second-hand market boom is upgrading luxury brands

How the second-hand market boom is upgrading luxury brands

From addressing sustainability concerns to providing a safer end-to-end shopping experience, the benef‌its behind the resale market will keep luring luxury shoppers.


In one of our newsletters, we briefly touched on how the second-hand market is skyrocketing. However, as headlines on the topic kept popping up across our feeds, we decided to take a closer look at some of the leading categories and digital players at the forefront of it.

Luxury brands in particular seem to be driving the trend, selling pre-owned bona fide goods directly to consumers. According to a Luxe Digital study, the luxury second-hand market is growing 12% per year versus the primary luxury market’s 3%. This past year, Net-a-Porter, Jean Paul Gaultier and Valentino announced they have also ventured into the online resale space.

Big data = big sales

The number of new digital personal wardrobe-clearing services continues to climb.

The benefits of skipping the vintage shops and heading online are clear: Digital resellers can provide a more seamless, mobile and secure end-to-end shopping experience along with a detailed personalisation and curation of products backed by data insights and even a Blockchain-verified certificate of authenticity. Some of these platforms include Rebag, The Luxury Closet and Vestiaire Collective, which got a $209 million investment from Softbank in November 2021.

A new type of shopper

Today’s resale shoppers are not only keen to pay less for unique and exclusive merchandise and contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry. They’re also increasingly affluent and strategic in their selection of products and brands, with nearly 20% of them paying full price for vintage pieces online.

Gen Z shoppers, in particular, are buying second-hand fashion and reselling more than any other generation. According to RealReal’s 2021 Luxury Resale Report (which we highly encourage checking out for other interesting stats), there was an increase of 33% year-over-year in purchases and 86% in consignment among Gen Z consumers on the site. The study also suggests that these shoppers will be the most conscious of all other generations.

No stock for your stockings

Although the pre-owned luxury market has been rapidly growing in the past five years, Covid and the supply chain nightmare has given the trend an extra push. An Adobe report estimates that “out of stock” messages across retailers’ websites were up 172% in 2021 compared to 2020.

We’re looking forward to seeing holiday season numbers year over year, as gift-givers are likely to increasingly jump on the resale bandwagon to dodge delays ahead of Christmas.

© 2022 SOON London Limited