5 Things to Know About The RealReal’s Resale Report

SurveysAug 30, 2021

5 Things to Know About The RealReal’s Resale Report

Rolex and Retrouvaí are among the top luxury resale brands, as per The RealReal’s annual report.

A one-of-a-kind Retrouvaí “Lollipop” ring in 14-karat yellow gold, featuring a round green tourmaline set into white quartz ($8,660). The brand was highlighted in The RealReal’s annual Resale Report.
San Francisco—High-value luxury purchases have been on the rise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from The RealReal.

The luxury consignment company compiled data from more than 17 million members in its annual Resale Report to plot out the current state of luxury resale.

“Despite the current economic climate, shoppers doubled down on safer investments from established luxury brands offering timeless styles and strong resale value,” said The RealReal.

Across several categories, like jewelry and watches, sales of high-value items ($1,000 or more) outpaced that of low-value ones (less than $1,000).

Here are five things to know about the new report.

Louis Vuitton claimed the top spot.

Louis Vuitton was in the No. 1 spot, surpassing Gucci (No. 2) for the first time. Its monogrammed tote was its best seller in resale.

It’s the second consecutive year that Louis Vuitton and Gucci topped the list of the most in-demand brands in luxury resale, bolstered by rising demand from millennials and Gen Z shoppers.

However, Gucci is still the No. 1 men’s brand, marking the third year in a row it’s held the title.

Chanel took the No. 3 spot overall, followed by Prada and Hermès.

The most popular Hermès item was its “Clic H” bracelet, priced at $620 and available in a variety of colors.

High-value jewelry and watch sales are booming.

The RealReal’s report found that high-value jewelry sales grew 22 times more than low-value amid the pandemic.

Engagement ring sales spiked in June, said the report.

It highlighted Los Angeles-based jewelry brand Retrouvaí, notable for its “modern heirloom” aesthetic, as an in-demand brand for shoppers looking for “fashion as escapism.”

The brand’s sales more than doubled, up 159 percent year-over-year in 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

Retrouvaí designer Kirsty Stone recently won a Couture Design Award in the “Best in Bridal” category.

However, unbranded jewelry sales surpassed all of the top fine jewelry brands, with unbranded bracelet and earring sales both up 24 percent.

Looking at the watch category, high-value watch sales grew six times more than low-value ones, while the average resale value of high-value watches is 1.6 times stronger than low-value watches.

Rolex watches were particularly popular, with sales up 32 percent, a jump nine times greater than all the other watches available.

Logos are less important.

Logo-covered clothes and handbags were once all the rage, but the report found “stealth luxury” has grown in popularity.

Statement jewelry slightly fell out of favor, with demand for understated jewelry 1.8 times stronger.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Demand for understated handbags was nearly five times stronger than that of statement handbags, as per the report. 

Sales for stealth men’s styles grew 2.4 times more than statement styles.

Streetwear sales are booming.

Streetwear sales are surging, with sales of pieces by traditional luxury brands up 991 percent over the past five years.

“It’s become increasingly clear that traditional luxury houses view streetwear as a force that cannot be ignored—from Dior’s Kim Jones tapping Shawn Stussy to Givenchy welcoming Matthew Williams,” said Sean Conway, sneaker and streetwear expert at The RealReal.

“As the lines between luxury and streetwear continue to blur, shoppers are embracing the new elevated streetwear look,” he said, adding that the luxury brands embracing the trend are some of the top brands in resale.

Balenciaga was the No. 1 brand in the category, with its Speed Trainer sock sneakers being especially popular.

Adidas x Yeezy, the collaboration between the sportswear brand and Kanye West, was in second place, followed by Supreme, Nike, and Off-White.

Interest in luxury resale is on the rise.

Interest in luxury resale overall increased by times 22 during the pandemic, as brands and retailers looked to connect with buyers during the brick-and-mortar slump.

“In a bright spot during these difficult times, brands, shoppers, and consignors alike are engaging in the circular economy,” said Rati Levesque, COO and head of merchandising for The RealReal.

“Gen Z, millennials, and men are the new faces of luxury shopping, and the brands in tune with what they want are rising to the top.”

The number of new consignors increased 27 percent during the pandemic, of which 37 percent were millennials and Gen Z.

Resale appealed to consumers amid economic uncertainty and environmental consciousness, said The RealReal, while virtual appointments made it a more convenient option.

Read the full report by The RealReal here.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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