August 17, 2020

An Analysis of TheRealReal’s 2020 Luxury Resale Report

2020 has been deemed the year of retail survival with consumers opting to rethink their spending and save more based on their circumstances. However, this is not the case for the resale industry as more consumers are turning toward investment pieces at a pre-owned price. TheRealReal’s 2020 Luxury Resale Report breaks down the state of luxury resale based on 17+ million members along with highlighting major trend shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

High In The Ranks: Luxury and Streetwear

Global events have probed shoppers to take less risks and go for brands who have established names, communities and customer loyalty. The top two most popular luxury brands at the forefront of this trend are Louis Vuitton and Gucci. As told by TheRealReal, this has been the first year in history with Louis Vuitton in first place as a luxury powerhouse. Who are the buyers behind this shift? Gen Z and Millenials’ demand for their mini bags grew 88% year-over-year (YoY) among these young shoppers. Not only have established brands succeeded in the resale market, but streetwear only continued to drive the search for investment pieces. Collaborations such as Adidas x Yeezy and Louis Vuitton x Supreme only rose in popularity creating some of the highest YoY demand growth. TheRealReal measured around thirteen times more shoppers opting for streetwear resale within the last five years. These pieces will continue to retain their value as long as younger generations wait for the end of each season to nab these off of TheRealReal’s platform.

Sustainability, Inclusivity and Escapism

As the year unfolds, an increase in awareness and empowerment between movements has been depicted in the world of fashion as artists and brands come together to develop product lines that fit with ongoing social messages. Brands like Collina Strada and BODE are the most popular sustainable luxury brands in the resale market in 2020. Additionally, Black-owned brands such as Telmar and Victor Glemaud promoting inclusivity have high YoY demand growth as BLM movements turned global. Lastly, as the “new normal” causes daily stay-at-home routines for consumers worldwide, escapism has risen in popularity as a means to cope and adapt to their new lives. Richard Quinn and Retrouvai fills that need with their more unique pieces for buyers to escape to.

The Power of Resale

Despite retailers having to reorganize their operational strategies, resale continues to prevail as the new outlet for luxury goods. As brick-and-mortar sales decreased, online consignment for luxury goods increased as trends shifted throughout the pandemic. Brands started to cater less to suiting and evening bags and more towards loungewear and stay-at-home ready styles. This doesn’t just mean clothes; luxury retailers are shifting more importance into providing home decor in order to maintain their relevance to their loyal customers. TheRealReal found that brands like Tiffany & Co. and Maison Balzac offer the most desired luxury home decor as shown by their 2020 home decor sales. Brands are making the effort to adapt fast, and this waterfall effect is causing a surge in consumers looking for these investment pieces at a resale value.

With over 25,000 virtual consignment appointments held on TheRealReal website and a 27% increase in new consignors during COVID-19, buyers are learning the benefits of buying pre-owned luxury goods. The amount of risk in spending for these items increased but consumer demand was still prominent, and because of this, online consignment shops like TheRealReal saw increases in sales and members looking to be a part of the resale community.


TheRealReal 2020 Luxury Resale Report.

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