Fair condition is good enough for many secondhand shoppers, according to a new report from The RealReal.
Sasha Skoda, senior director of merchandising at The RealReal, said the significant demand for handbags in “Fair Condition” or with heavier signs of wear is one thing that stood out in the 2023 luxury consignment report launched Thursday. Skoda said the response has been “tremendous” since launching items in fair condition early last year with demand doubling, although specific numbers weren’t given.
Items with fading, scratching and light staining fall into fair condition, per The RealReal’s definition. To note, The RealReal only accepts fair condition handbags from luxury players such as Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and so on (versus contemporary).
“We’re enabling more shoppers — perhaps those that don’t have the ability to buy a bag in very good, excellent or pristine condition — to engage with the secondhand market as fair condition bags, on average, are 33 percent less than those at higher conditions. In terms of who is buying fair, the buyer pool skews slightly younger with 42 percent being Gen Z and Millennials,” she added.
Shoppers are also apparently trading down their bags from ultra-luxe to slightly more affordable options, per the report. Compounding the effects of the pandemic, supply chain constraints and dwindling disposable incomes, prices climbed for several ultra-luxe fashion houses — among them Hermès, Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Chanel, for one, hiked prices of its classic bags by 6 percent last year as part of its price harmonization strategy. That being said, resale prices for those brands are on average 17 percent higher than 2019 resale prices, per The RealReal, so value still holds.
“On the ready-to-wear side for men and women, we’re seeing an embrace of a tried-and-true, slightly more formal aesthetic, which may bring comfort, and feel like a smart investment amidst social and economic uncertainty. Think hard-soled loafers, ultra-feminine dresses, couture-level tailoring and more,” Skoda said.
With players like ThredUp now charging $14.99 for its once free-of-charge clean-out kit service the challenge of continually scaling circular fashion while managing costs — and keeping out fakes — is ahead for fashion.
With data-driven authentication and a minimum of 40 hours of training for its authenticators, The Realreal said it maintains rigor in its process, and that it has kept 200,000 counterfeits off the market since its founding in 2011.