Life is busy and shopping takes work. So does reselling items secondhand.
That means sellers can snap a photo, upload it to the Rebag app or web site and wait just a few days for the money from that $10,000 Chanel bag to come through. Rebag takes care of all the details, like shipping and verifying authenticity.
“We’re removing the friction; we’re removing the time,” said Charles Gorra, founder and chief executive officer of Rebag.
Gorra, who had a brief stint in business development at Rent the Runway before launching Rebag, said he came up with the idea after realizing how frustrated shoppers were with using peer-to-peer platforms like The Real Real or eBay, where sellers often have to wait months to get the money from their consigned good — if they sell at all.
“Even a consignment venue…you don’t know if it will sell or when it will sell,” Gorra said. “You don’t have any price guarantee. It could be discounted without you knowing. Rebag is really about flipping that model. It’s fast and then you’re done.”
Investors seem sold. Rebag recently secured $25 million in funding, bringing its financial backing to $52 million, led by investment firms like Novator, General Catalyst and FJ Labs.
Meanwhile, industry experts are anticipating a major growth spurt in the resale market, which includes companies such as Poshmark, Tradesy and Amazon. Fashion resale web site ThredUp released a report last year estimating the size of the consignment market will more than double — from $20 billion to $41 billion — in the next three years. Apparel and accessories are expected to be roughly 50 percent of goods sold.
Gorra said revenues at Rebag, which is a private company, have tripled in the last 24 months. The company plans to reinvest the latest round of funding into brick-and-mortar locations throughout the U.S. in places like Florida, Chicago and San Francisco.
“The goal is to operate a footprint of around 30 stores within the next two, three years,” he said.
Rebag, which was born online in 2014, opened its first physical location in New York’s SoHo in November 2017. Gorra said it was originally supposed to be a pop-up, but the store did so well that Rebag opened another one the following year Uptown. Then two in Los Angeles and another one in New York.
The consignment retailer also plans to invest in new leadership roles and more technology, such as analytics that allow it to predict what’s hot and what will sell.
And die-hard bag lovers can swap out bags they bought on the site every few months through Rebag Infinity. The program allows shoppers to resell bags within six months of purchase for a guaranteed 70 percent of the original price. The credit is applied toward their next purchase with Rebag.
“We’ve seen that it’s creating a new cyclical behavior,” Gorra said. “It basically puts customers in this seasonal pattern where they buy a bag and they have the comfort and certainty that they can resell it.”
About 50 brands grace Rebag’s site and stores, Gorra said, including “the usual suspects,” like Fendi, Valentino and Louis Vuitton. Prices start around $300 for small leather goods like cosmetic cases and wallets, but handbags typically go “way north of $10,000.” The most expensive thing ever sold on the site was a Birkin Himalayan for $75,000.
“And it was a good deal,” Gorra said.