- Consumers are making fewer yet more expensive purchases, according to data from The RealReal’s 2023 Luxury Resale Report, released Tuesday. Average order values for the site’s luxury resale are up for every generation, and range from a 14% increase for Baby Boomers to an 18% bump for Gen Z.
- Demand for “fair condition” bags, shoes and accessories, meaning “products that show signs of heavier wear,” is up 265%, and demand for fair condition bags specifically is up 130%.
- Gucci is the top-searched brand for the second year in a row, and Louis Vuitton ranks second. Chanel is the company’s third most searched-for brand, and the Classic Flap from Chanel is the company’s most sought-after bag.
Other notable brands in the report include Prada, which made the list as the fourth most searched-for brand and had the highest growth in average sale price. Meanwhile, Hermès was the fifth most sought-after brand and had the highest resale value of any label on the site, with its Birkin bag topping the chart and earning, on average, 127% of its purchase price at resale.
The report, now in its sixth year, is informed by more than 12 years of data, and specifically looks at industry and marketplace trends from The Real Real, a luxury goods resale marketplace. Information in the report charts the state of luxury resale, breaks down the shopping and consignment behaviors of The RealReal’s more than 33.6 million members, and highlights fashion trends that have impacted the demand and resale value of luxury brands and goods.
Reconsignment, or the practice of buying an item and eventually selling it back, is up 24%, with Boomers in particular reconsigning more bags this year than last year.
Perhaps cheekily, the report noted that “everybody wants to look rich,” and added, “it’s the second best thing to actually being rich, right?” It noted that there’s a “long-established” connection between economic instability and a consumer quest for classic, quality pieces that retain value.
The popularity of HBO’s “Succession” may have helped bring Gen Z on board, it noted, because searches for some of the site’s top quiet luxury brands grew by 29% more this year.
“But it also may be a way of working through feelings of uncertainty about the future, which tend to impact young people disproportionately,” the report added.
Perfect condition is no longer necessary either, Samantha McCandless, chief merchandising officer for The RealReal, said in the report.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen shoppers embrace imperfection, understanding that a piece that has wear and tear, but still remains beautiful, truly stands the test of time. Within certain fashion circles, it’s even become a badge of honor,” McCandless said in the report.
Demand is up so much that The Real Real has decided to expand the condition into other categories like ready to wear, McCandless said in the release. The report added that there’s already been interest, particularly among millennials and Gen Z shoppers, because fair condition goods provide “access to brands they might be priced out of otherwise.”
The report also stated that consumers are “fine tuning their personal style” by mixing pieces from different eras and aesthetics into their overall looks. Sales of on-trend items and pieces that capitalize on specific cultural touchpoints, such as Barbiecore, were also up. Products in Valentino’s signature hot pink shade were up 264%, and searches for anything from quiet luxury poster brand Loro Piana, a favorite of “Succession” character Kendall Roy, were up 36%.
“In a time of uncertainty, we’re seeing shoppers hone in on one thing they can control: their style,” Rati Sahi Levesque, president and chief operating officer of The RealReal, said in the report. “This might mean dressing bolder, eschewing norms, or revisiting nostalgic brands and styles. Often, it’s about embracing and appreciating imperfection — both in ourselves and in the items we’re buying.”
She added that trends such as “stealth wealth” reveal a desire to do more with less and represent a new level of class consciousness for younger generations.
“But we’ve learned that value means different things to different people, and a finely tuned sense of personal style allows shoppers to be more comfortable making investment purchases, which they’re continuing to do despite recession fears,” Levesque said.