Luxury fashion items (like Gucci purses) have always held its value but the market had always been scarce and without much centralization. Of course, brand-name boutiques had dominated pricing of such items with most wealthy shoppers buying new items that will likely remain in a closet somewhere.
Since its inception, The RealReal had been leading the march of purchasing used goods before brand-new fashion items. This includes buying & selling items through consignment, thrift stores, or internet shopping. The platform that they built is now worth over $450 million and is shifting new buyers into the under-appreciated market.
High-end luxury items in the second-hand market are often faked, especially with Gucci. You wouldn't believe how even fashion enthusiasts can be tricked into purchasing them! This is why The RealReal is meticulous about quality checks to assure that listed items are legitimate.
Buying blindly through Amazon and eBay isn't much better as anyone can make wild claims about their items without presenting proof. These companies do not screen items the way The RealReal does since they do not want the responsibility in their own hands. Of course, amazing deals may be found on these platforms but it comes at the expense time and grief of the customer.
Like The Stock Market
You should really think of luxury fashion items as an investment. Some may degrade over time, some increase in value, and some have its bumps in the market. In the past, the infrequency of trading goods would make it hard to treat it in such manner, but the way this marketplace is set up, trading at high volumes is now possible.
According to the Business of Fashion, the luxury resale market now exceeds $6 billion per year. While it is not comparable to retail numbers, it is still a significant number to get into. If the market capitalization of the market increases, that leaves even more possibilities for your Gucci fashion items to gain traction.
TRR also tries to propagate fashion trends to its users to get selling activity going. For example, an active seller will be notified that a certain piece of clothing is in season or that trend for a certain item is increasing. Their platform is likely the largest data gathering operation in second-hand fashion, so used retailers should follow their trends.
If you consider the rebound of the luxury market in China, there is so much potential in holding onto used luxury brands. Other people share this sentiment because others are definitely holding onto them as an investment. Even if your purchase something new, you are guaranteed the ability to recover your money eventually if sold on the second-hand market.
Even with the fad of smartwatches, the younger generations still find value in vintage watches. Older watches with leather straps definitely have a demand, perhaps because it is full of history and personality than an electronic gadget. Not surprisingly, Rolex and Hermès are the strongest brands in this category.
TRR still has a focus on brick & mortar stores and accommodate both buyers and sellers. The stores include warehouses and packing centers to make it convenient to put items on the market. Each item is tagged with RFID chips to prevent theft and improve real-time tracking during the shipping process.
Not surprisingly, the main branches are in the big cities and tech hubs. If you want to find an in-person store, you will find them in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Considering that these stores reach a new audience that doesn't normally buy new clothes, you may fetch higher prices than normal.