What Goes Around Comes Around

Anna Otieno, Head of Research, Strategy & Insights | San Francisco, CA

Contributor
Carli Gernot, Content Development Specialist

What’s Up

Amazon has partnered with What Goes Around Come Around (WGACA), a luxury reseller of authenticated high-end vintage goods in a move to expand its luxury presence. An exclusive WGACA section is featured on Amazon’s site which showcases vintage luxury accessories and bags.

The partnership is an expansion of Amazon’s Luxury Stores experience, launched in 2020, which offers shoppers an “immersive, inspiring experience for luxury brands.”

What it Means

Resale is increasingly important in the luxury space. Luxury resale giant TheRealReal’s Luxury Resale Report 2022found that 27% more shoppers are familiar with resale while the site itself saw 44% more sales compared to the previous year. Those shoppers committed to buying secondhand are also more likely to choose higher quality items: Global Web Index (GWI) shows us that 66% of secondhand shoppers say they buy premium versions of productswhile 64% of affluent shoppers expect high quality materials/production from high end and luxury brands.

Consumers are also concerned with sustainability around fashion and apparel items. GWI data reveals that 58% of consumers say they’re willing to pay more for sustainable fashion items. Often, that concern around sustainability is expressed by way of shopping secondhand, especially if greener credentials aren’t made clear. According to ThreadUp’s 2022 Resale Report, 4X as many consumers said they shop secondhand over “sustainable” fashion with 37% of consumers agreeing that many of the claims made by sustainable fashion feel like “greenwashing.”

Amazon’s partnership with WGACA speaks to the consumer demand for luxury resale items as well as shoppers’ expectation for the convenience and ease of online shopping. GWI tells us that 40% of affluent consumers who are luxury buyers say they find out about brands and products via online retailers like Amazon. We’ve seen other online luxury apparel resellers incorporate authentication services: Poshmark introduced online authentication tools to verify designer items and Balenciaga’s recent collaboration with Reflaunt is positioned to facilitate trustworthy reselling. Even Goodwill has moved into the online luxury and designer resale space — also known as reCommerce — with the launch of Goodwill Finds.

Fashion and luxury retailers and brands alike should look for opportunities to incorporate elements of resale as a way to attract consumer spending and set up repeat business. ThreadUp data shows that 46% of Gen Z and Millennials say they consider the resale value of an item before buying secondhand. These reCommerce systems which allow shoppers to engage in sustainable shopping practices and hands-on circularity are a big part of the future of luxury retail and brands that don’t join in are bound to miss out.