Study: Online resale benefits luxury brands, consumers

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Study: Online resale benefits luxury brands, consumers

By Dan Berthiaume - 10/15/2019
luxury items in box

A new study indicates the second-hand market is a valuable entry point to the luxury niche.

According to “Why Luxury Brands Should Celebrate the Pre-Owned Boom,” a new study from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and online luxury resale marketplace Vestiaire Collective, 71% of pre-owned luxury buyers surveyed lean towards items and brands they could not afford firsthand. 

Of those surveyed, 62% said that they bought a brand they like for the first time second-hand on Vestiaire Collective and almost all of that 62% said they would consider buying that brand again. Research also showed that 57% said they would either definitely buy or would consider buying the item firsthand.

The study also indicates second-hand sellers typically use resale to recoup some of their money back on firsthand purchases, often so they can reinvest in new, full-priced luxury products. Of those sellers surveyed, 32% said they were primarily selling because they wanted to purchase new firsthand goods. 

In addition, most pre-owned sellers do not tend to make many second-hand purchases. For example, of total pre-owned sales on the Vestiaire Collective platform, 70% are generated by sellers who rarely purchase second-hand. Furthermore, 44% of sellers stated that they purchase more expensive luxury items than they would have bought without a resale market. 

Looking at Vestiaire Collective customers, the study finds 96% said that they buy second-hand luxury pieces partly because they are looking for value for money. Six in 10 (62%) are searching for pieces that are either out of stock, from previous season collections or from limited edition releases; while 83% want to purchase products and brands which may no longer be available in the firsthand market.

In addition, over 70% of millennial and Gen Z second-hand luxury shoppers are trying to shop ethically, with 13% saying that sustainability is extremely important to them. Of those that shop ethically, 57% say that environmental impact is their primary concern.

Study results are based on a survey of over 1,000 Vestiaire Collective clients and a survey of 12,000 respondents conducted by BCG and Italian fashion consortium Altagamma.