Today, vintage and resale are becoming an established and formal element of the fashion industry. A recent report indicated that resale has grown 21 times faster than traditional retail over the past three years. By 2023, the market is set to reach $51bn, growing at an annual projected rate of 16%. In 2020 the market beat those projections, with vintage sales growing 67% from the first to the second half of the year.
This growth is driven by a number of factors including a change in perception of second-hand clothes. Customers now place more value in vintage products. Research shows that 40% of consumers under 30 consider the resale value of an item before buying it. Another striking figure is the large number (35%) of high-income shoppers involved in second-hand trade. This number reveals that the growth of the second-hand market is more driven by ethical and environmental concerns rather than financial gain. Consumers are more interested in decluttering their lives than in simply making an extra buck.
A report published by TheRealReal outlines how many pieces are retaining their value on the second-hand market. Iconic bags such as the Hermes Kelly or Gucci Marmont retain respectively 92% and 74% of their retail value. It is also known that designer sneakers are retaining great value from their retail price such as 66% for Dior, 63% for Balenciaga or 72% for Louis Vuitton. What is less known is how many ready-to-wear pieces also keep a lot of their value. For example, Bottega Veneta Trench Coasts (+75% YoY) or Gucci loafers (+25% YoY).
Given this significant consumer behavioural change, it is exciting to start seeing more brands and retailers looking at the value of the resale market.
Brands such as COS, Ba&sh and Balenciaga were quick to the market offering an integrated resale model within their after-sale services. The service provider behind those initiatives is leading resale technology company, Reflaunt.
Later this year, major fashion brands and retailers started to embrace resale most notably Harvey Nichols who announced a partnership with Reflaunt in August, H&M in September and the Yoox-Net-a-Porter from October starting with Net-a-Porter and rolling out with Mr Porter and The Outnet in early 2022.
The YNAP partnership in particular offers customers the ability to resell their designer items across all lead categories – ready-to-wear, bags, shoes and jewellery; an immediate buy-back service for handbags from pre-approved designers and flexibility on customer reward options including instore credit with an extra 10% incentive or direct bank transfer. Additionally, the service includes a complimentary concierge collection or drop off and product listing on Reflaunt’s impressive network of over 25 global resale marketplaces.
So, who is Reflaunt?
Reflaunt is a technology company that brings Resale-as-a-Service to fashion brands and multi-brand retailers. With their leading technology solutions, fashion retailers can empower their own customers to resell or recycle their past purchases in a click, directly on their ecommerce platform, utlising some of its services such as the Concierge Service or Smart Button.
Reflaunt equips brands and retailers with resale ecommerce and tailor-made branded marketplace technology and operations solutions as well as access to its largest global network of more than 25 resale marketplace partners and more than 50 million second-hand customers. Given the access to Reflaunt’s global marketplace network, over 50% of the pieces are sold within a month. They have seen on average 2.5 items listed per customer. And 45% customers have chosen brand vouchers versus a payment in cash.
Reflaunt’s resale service model brings significant value to the brand’s customers. The main one being the ease of putting an item for sale: Reflaunt sources the product description from the brand database to simplify the listing process. The listing process is a seamless journey where customers can create their product listing in a few clicks. The other and considerable value for the customer in this model is the additional financial return they receive in store credit. The store credit scheme gives the customer the option to be paid in cash or receive a higher return in store credits, making it more interesting to resell via the brand rather than reselling on their own. This approach enables customers to unlock the value they have tied up in their garments and support a fundamental change in how they view and engage with the brand.
The value in offering resale services is evident. At first sight it is clear that brands and retailers are eager to get their share of the second-hand market. But beyond the financial opportunity, the resale service can be used strategically as an opportunity to re-engage existing customers in a clever and meaningful way, boosting customer retention and reaching new audiences with a sustainability-driven mindset. The other plus of having an integrated resale experience is that the brand and retailer owns the customer journey, as customers remain on their website for the entire process, continuing their brand experience.
Reflaunt’s mission is to build a world of positive consumption allowing luxury brands to enter the resale market segment with efficient circular models and motivate customers to see fashion’s long-lasting value, thereby extending the life of a product and providing invaluable opportunities to re-engage with their customers.