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Resale has undeniably gone mainstream, new report suggests

Jeremy Lim
14 January 2022

The RealReal has released its 2022 Luxury Consignment Report, revealing a number of emerging trends and behaviours among resale customers and the current state of the luxury resale market.

The 2022 report, powered by data derived from the platform's 24 million members, noted that the resale sector has gone mainstream, with more people from every demographic entering the luxury consignment market.

Among the five generations - the silent generation (77 to 94), baby boomers (58 to 76), Generation X (42 to 57), millennials (26 to 41) and Generation Z (10 to 25) - Gen X leads the way as the most prominent generation to be driving resale, selling vintage pieces to Millennials and Gen Z shoppers.

The report added that 40% of The RealReal's shoppers are replacing fast fashion with resale and 43% are shopping resale because it’s more sustainable. Primary market supply constraints are driving shoppers to explore the secondary market, with sold-out styles attracting 50% more new buyers than standard resale items.

Gucci came out on top as the platform’s most popular brand, ahead of Prada and Louis Vuitton, whilst dresses were the most sought-after product category sold by first-time consignors and bought by first-time buyers.

"High-value" trainers saw the greatest resale value gains, with Nike and New Balance making considerable moves in the marketplace through sold out styles and coveted collaborations. New Balance collaborations reached new heights with a resale value of 387%, following the resurgence of almost forgotten styles under new creative director Teddy Santis.

The average sale price of Nike trainers grew 32% year on year, two times more than other brands while Rolex (16%) and Bottega Veneta (15%) landed the second and third spot for the greatest resale value gains.

Mayank Hajela, The RealReal’s Senior Director of men’s goods said: "While the release of new Dunk styles and ongoing collaborations with brands like Off-White and Sacai made Nikes coveted across generations, it’s primarily savvy millennials who are flipping pairs for profit."

The report also found a rise in gender-fluid designs, with millennials driving the resale value up by 17% for affiliated brands. The RealReal cited a 62% increase in men buying women’s Bottega Veneta bags, a 69% increase in women buying men’s Balenciaga and a 27% increase in women buying men’s suiting.

Rati Sahi Levesque, President of The RealReal commented on the report: "Resale has undeniably gone mainstream, and the luxury sector has one distinction that sets it apart: every demographic actively participates in luxury resale. From Gen Z to the Silent Generation, every demo increased its adoption of secondhand luxury in 2021, and nearly every brand saw rising resale value as a result."

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