For luxury retail, the usual suspects are once again leading the charge. According to a new report produced and released by Fashionphile, the largest platform in the United States for buying and selling used ultra-luxury accessories, these coveted products are even more in demand due to recent events affecting the world market. Sarah Davis, Founder, President and Chief Creative Officer who started the electronic communications reseller company in 1999 after the platform first launched on eBay, shared the report’s findings exclusively for Forbes, breaking down the data and reasons for their retention of value as the brand plans. for 2022.
2021 has been crucial for the platform as Fashionphile boasts of having hit the 1 million resold handbags and accessories after acquiring its largest inventory since 1999. According to Davis, they still source at the micro level . “Our inventory comes from closets like yours. We have done well through Covid because not only are we moving to the consumer on the buy side, but we are directly FROM the consumer on the sell side. Less than 10% of our inventory is coming from our side. studios in store or wholesale, ”she said, noting that there is only one brand partnership under NDA to sell end-of-life products.
However, that may soon change as brands face pressure from consumers and laws prohibit destroying goods. “Almost all of our brands decide how to handle resale and the new laws preventing destruction of goods. As more brands commit to ending this practice in an effort to support price and demand, we will come in. more in those relationships, ”Davis said. suggests.
Especially since Fashionphile has followed the increase in demand for specific luxury handbags, fine jewelry and watches. For example, the Hermès Birkin bag increased by 32% in value compared to 2018 to 2021, while the Hermès Kelly bag increased by 47% over the same period. The luxury Parisian house is fully on top of resale trends and expressly states on its receipts that you are not reselling your bag, even though legally speaking it cannot dictate what a customer does with their bag once purchased. . Chanel’s Medium Flap bag has grown 64% over the past three years. Other bag labels that remain in demand include Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton.
The Cartier LOVE bracelet, David Yurman Cable Classics and the Tiffany Ball bracelet are the most requested for the second year. Tiffany’s sales have grown by + 29% this year. Bulgari and Van Cleef and Arpels are also in the lead, the latter increasing its sales by + 20%.
The Cartier Tank Française watch retains the first place of last year, the Cartier Panthere watch moving from 19th place to 2nd place this year. Still popular searches for Cartier Tank watches have increased by 71% this year. Other key watch brands whose resales are on the rise include Rolex (+ 15%), Omega (+ 28.5%), Breitling, Panerai (+ 125%).
While these names are typically on the most coveted lists due to their heritage and high retail level, another reason for the increase has to do with the lingering effects of the pandemic, Davis says. “The exclusivity of supply plays a big role. Low quantities made, special orders and sometimes even purchase limitations per customer push demand up. supply and manufacturing have also impacted demand. Covid has created restrictions on physical purchasing (limited access inside and queues at the door) as well as little or no presence in retail electronics have all created a perfect storm of ever increasing demand and prices, “she explains adding.” With a high cost / wear ratio, these brands thrive in both primary and secondary markets. People love to wear names with integrity. ”Others experience increasing popularity when a new designer takes over a house, such as Daniel Lee’s recent tenure at Bottega Veneta.
While the resale site’s biggest customer is between 25 and 34 years old, 2021 also saw an increase in the number of Gen Z consumers, aged 18 to 24, who generated five times as many orders in 2021 than in 2019. They also added to the seller’s pool representing 26% of the sales base. Davis notes that these consumers are aware of sustainability, circularity, and smart economic purchasing decisions. “In the old days, a sustainability-conscious Generation Z buyer would have bought a store-priced handbag made from used seat belt straps, for example. Today, that same buyer will buy a second-hand Chanel quilted flap if they buy with the future of the planet in mind. They know that if they have enough (and they will), he can sell it close to what it was bought for and buy something else to love.
This growth spurt, fueled by the raising of $ 38.5 million in Series B funding in August 2020 and an investment in 2019 and a minority stake from the Neiman Marcus Group, will lead to an expansion on the East Coast in the spring of 2022, when Davis opens Fashionphile’s NYC Authentication Center in Chelsea. “At 60,000 square feet, this is twice the size of our head office in Carlsbad and will support east coast operations. We love the idea of bringing operations to the city – much like fashion manufacturing in the garment district back then. The showroom will accommodate the public where a buyer can sell merchandise against payment on the spot and can purchase all the inventory available on the east coast from the secure cage, ”she describes, explaining the high storage area. temperature controlled safety; aka “handbag heaven”. Buyers and sellers will be able to see the authentication station, peek through the inventory cage, and get a glimpse of the final step of our marketing department: shipping! Davis boasts that Fashionphile customers were posting unboxing long before it became a social media phenomenon.
It differentiates its platform, which only offers luxury accessories, fine jewelry and watches, by directly and generously remunerating sellers by quickly identifying and pricing goods on site, thus eliminating the waiting time for consignment, which can also lead to discounts.
Technology is fueling the authentication process as Fashionphile has invested heavily in sophisticated computerized learning systems to help with the pricing, identification and authentication of pre-owned luxury accessories. The company leverages its database of hundreds of thousands of its own listings of products sold and associated photos, creating progressive algorithms and computer learning models that result in unmatched authentication accuracy and efficiency. .
Davis ditched his eBay destination and turned it into a full-fledged business after discovering that luxury handbags and accessories sold faster and held their value better in the aftermarket than any other category. More than twenty years later, the brand is showing 100% year-on-year growth, with 50% year-on-year growth from the start.