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Hermès handbags continue to dominate secondhand market: Rebag

Many luxury brands saw their handbags retain more value in 2020 according to a report from Rebag. Image credit: Rebag

 

Resale platform Rebag has found that handbags from French luxury labels Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton retain the most brand value on the resale market, while two other brands are seeing value retention rise in part to new collections. According to Rebag’s first Clair Report, Hermès handbags retain 80 percent of their value, on average, while handbags from Bottega Veneta and Christian Dior have seen value retentions jump by double-digits since 2019. Luxury resale has shown strength during the pandemic, as affluents look to indulge as they cut back on experiential spending. Resale report Rebag’s report is based on Clair data, the platform’s appraisal index that aims to make the valuation process more transparent. The Comprehensive Luxury Appraisal Index for Resale, or Clair for short, is open to consumers, enabling them to weigh a purchase decision based on resale value or decide whether to sell a handbag they already own. Launched in October 2019, this portal is intended to take some of the guesswork out of purchasing and selling, as well as assuaging some consumer concerns about consignment (see story). For the report, Rebag calculated each brand’s average percentage of value retained compared to their retail prices for handbags and accessories. Rebag’s founder and CEO, Charles Gorra, explains the top trends in luxury resale Chanel and Louis Vuitton trailed Hermès, but still retained an average brand value of 63 percent. Christian Dior saw the most growth in value, up from 43 percent in 2019 to 56 percent for an increase of 13 percent in 2020. Bottega Veneta followed, seeing its average value retention grow 10 percent from 28 percent to 38 percent. On average, handbags from Bottega Veneta’s newest collection retained 83 percent of their value compared to 32 percent average value retention for the previous collection. The handbags with the best returns on the resale market were the BV Jodie hobo and the Pouch. Similarly, demand for Dior has grown since 2018 when the label reissued its Saddle Bag, and the new collection has retained more value than its predecessor. According to Rebag, Dior’s Saddle rectangular belt bag has retained 109 percent of its retail value on the platform followed by the Book tote at 98 percent. Retail trends also shape trends in secondhand. Louis Vuitton’s Eva crossbody, which was discontinued by the brand in 2014, remains highly coveted on the secondhand market. On Rebag, it sells for for between $1,100 and $1,700, depending on condition, despite an original retail price of about $800. Chanel’s classic double flap bag in size small saw its resale value jump 11 percent once the label increased prices due to the pandemic (see story). In the wallet category, the leading brands include Christian Dior, Saint Laurent and Celine and Gucci. Vintage and monogrammed styles are the most in demand, a nod to the resurgence of “logo mania.” Resale growth Purchasing luxury goods secondhand might have come with negative connotations in the past, but with the industry’s increased interest and awareness in sustainability, this market segment is fast growing. Besides making luxury more affordable and accessible to a larger demographic, the secondhand model gives shoppers access to out of stock or off-season items, as well as limited edition releases that have since ended their run (see story). Rebag has also invested in an extensive content marketing strategy to better educate consumers about secondhand luxury and the circular economy. The Vault was developed by Rebag's in-house handbag and accessory experts. Guides, videos, interviews and other features are meant to empower resale consumers to make more informed buying and selling decisions. Rebag launched The Vault in July with a wide range of published content ready for consumption. The “Designer 101” series covers luxury brands — including Gucci, Hermès and Louis Vuitton — as well as iconic handbags such as the Birkin and Chanel boy bag (see story).