Luxury handbag owners have a few choices when it comes to letting go of their valuable investments. One of which is Rebag.
Rebag was founded in 2014 by chief executive officer and founder, Charles Gorra. Its first store opened in 2017 in SoHo, beginning as a pop-up. In February, the company announced $25 million in its Series C funding round, and four months later, the company opened its largest store yet — at 2,800 square feet — in Miami.
Embarking on an aggressive conquest, Gorra has repeatedly said he wants 30 stores in the next few years. Seated confidently at the helm of it all, in his SoHo store on a leather couch in the “men’s corner,” (a pleasant seat for accompanying a perusing shopper or awaiting appraisal at the counter a few steps away), Gorra shared more of the luxury resale industry with WWD.
He calls it an “opaque market,” referencing Rebag’s development of its unique pricing software over the last year as a way to bolster the “level of conviction” in pricing accuracy that fuels how quickly handbags trace the curve of luxury resale, (too fast and it was arguably underpriced, too slow, and the market demand may have dropped on a particular item — perhaps better to hold).
All of these convictions are, for better or worse, marketplace defined. Usually, each player either builds out its own software, AI-powered pricing tools and authentication methods, or enlists a third-party solution provider. But while proprietary technology seems to reinforce each marketplace’s competitive advantage, surprisingly, competition isn’t a deterrent to these players.
“Over the last 12 months, something happened,” said Gorra. All the activity, with Farfetch launching its program, The RealReal going public — “it legitimizes what we’ve been doing.”
The mainstreaming of the resale market has been credentialed by retail analysts, media and industry thought leaders, with reports released this year from Coresight Research, Fashion For Good, ThredUp and authentication solution, Entrupy, among others.
“In the short-term future, every retailer, every department store and brand will be invested in the resale market,” reiterated Gorra, who isn’t the only “canary in the coal mine” sounding alarm for traditional retailing. As pop-up shops directed newfound foot traffic, while serving as a crutch to vacancies and higher rents, perhaps resale opens new customer streams for brands and retailers, by essentially “creating liquidity for customers,” in the words of Gorra. He believes the act of “consuming” is swapped with “investing,” especially among Rebag customers.
With its newfound credibility through its mainstreaming moment, the luxury resale industry determines the enemy is not its marketplace competitors, rather “the main competition is [consumer] idleness,” as Gorra said.
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