Earlier this year a report from Berenberg Bank valued the global luxury resale market at over €20bn, or around 10% of the total luxury goods market, and forecast it will grow two to three times faster than the overall luxury market over next couple of years.
The 10% proportion varies across markets, however: in China the resale market accounts for just 3% of luxury goods.
But that seems likely to increase as younger consumers especially are not held back by the sort of cultural considerations that may previously have been associated with pre-owned items – including shame and bad energy – a development that has been noted by existing luxury resellers in Europe.
“We noticed a double and triple-digit growth coming from Asia, without us doing any targeted marketing activity in the region,” Fanny Moizant, co-founder of the Vestiaire Collective website which sells pre-owned designer clothing and accessories, told the Financial Times.
The decision of Vestiaire Collective to open a Hong Kong hub to cater to these consumers, along with significant investment by JD.com in local luxury resale platform Secoo, all adds to the sense that the market is shifting as consumers embrace sustainability and the idea of owning “vintage” products.
Moizant also observed an “emotional component”, since “on our site every piece is unique and looking for it is like partaking in a treasure hunt”.
Nor are people just hunting online: physical resale stores, such as Hong Kong’s Milan and Japan’s Komehyo are also present in China .
While clothes and jewellery are prominent in this market, other categories are exploring how they can tap into this developing trend.
Top-end watchmakers, for example, have been affected by their products being discounted on the grey market. In June, Richemont bought Watchfinder, a UK-based second-hand watch portal, a move one observer felt would enable it to “exert a little more control on the full life cycle of some of its watches”.
Sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff