The luxury resale market is changing the way people shop for authentic designer goods. Angela Moore reports.
Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton - They are top of the line luxury handbags that usually retail for hundreds or thousands of dollars each. In the past, only a few people could afford these highly-coveted handbags. But now, a crop of new businesses is breaking down the barriers to luxury and is changing the way people shop. The Real Real is one of the new e-commerce sites that sells previously-owned, designer luxury goods at a discount and the company's founder and CEO Julie Wainwright is the market leader. SOUNDBITE: Julie Wainwright, The Real Real CEO and founder, saying (English): "For the consumer, what we really stand for is authenticity. Because we take all items, we inspect them, we make sure they are the best quality and they are real. And we take returns. So we function like a full, retail store on the back end selling authentic goods. Until recently, the idea of buying used or second-hand products was shunned, but retail analysts say that's all changed. SOUNDBITE: Marshal Cohen, NPD Group, chief retail analyst, saying (English): "The consumer has changed. And actually ever since the recession, the consumer became very frugal. They learned what value is, and value wasn't just lowest price. Value is about brand names for less." Amy Wayne of Manhattan says she often buys online for the discounts and says selling her items has allowed her to let go. SOUNDBITE: Amy Wayne, consigner, saying (English): "Now, it's out on a website that sells. My items sell right away. And it's made such a difference to just emotionally be able to let go and get rid of some of this baggage." After six years in business and with five million members, The Real Real expects to sell more than $500 million dollars worth of pre-owned merchandise this year. SOUNDBITE: Marshal Cohen, NPD Group, chief retail analyst, saying (English): "This reused product, resold product, certified pre-owned business, is it really going to grow? The answer is yes. The reason why, this is something that the younger generation is extremely comfortable with and will continue to do and that's starting to spread to even the more mature consumer." Industry analysts also expect online sales to carry the new growth in the luxury market.