Not to sound like a Uniqlo commercial, but there are a lot of reasons people buy certain clothes and accessories: They're on trend, they're comfortable, they fit well, they're #onbrand and — increasingly — because they're investments. A study conducted last year by European luxury resale site Vestiaire Collective found that 5 percent of participants consider the resale value of fashion items before making a purchase. And based simply on the response to articles on this site containing information about the resale value of designer goods, it's a thing about which people care. And now, whether you're interested in buying or selling, the internet has made finding that information easier.
On Tuesday, Vestiaire Collective began offering its users a genuinely easy-to-use tool — the Resale Calculator — to find the average resale value of an item on mobile or desktop. It's limited to 12 luxury brands: Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Céline, Balenciaga, Gucci, Prada, Dior, Saint Laurent, Isabel Marant, Valentino and Louboutin. Once you select one of the labels, you enter criteria (category, color, style, etc.) and are given a range for how much such an item could be worth. The range is based on data Vestiaire has accumulated over its seven years in business from its over-5 million members.
"Vestiaire Collective is part of a fashion cycle in which the more new products sold in a boutique, the more products will then be added into the secondary market for resale," explained CEO Sébastien Fabre over email. "We found that a lot of our members were spending a lot of time researching the potential resale value of some of their items before deciding if they should sell, so we decided that a quick and handy tool such as the resale calculator would be really beneficial for fashion consumers. Using the new tool they can find out the potential resale value of a piece in under one minute."
It's a smart move by Vestiaire, which expanded into the U.S. in 2014 and has raised $69 million in venture capital (including from Condé Nast) to date: The online resale space is a crowded one, with the company facing competition from a number of similar American sites like Poshmark, The RealReal and Tradesy. This calculator tool, which requires a membership (available to anyone) to use, could help give it a leg up over its rivals.
Although, The RealReal launched a mobile app in 2014 called RealBook, which similarly privates current estimates on the resale price of designer items based on brand and type.
Along with this launch, Vestiaire released some data on what contributes to strong resale value: bags make a stronger investment than clothes; brand activity (like the arrival or departure of a creative director) can increase interest, and therefore value, of a brand; and items are worth more when sold in the same season, or close to the same season, in which they were bought, with the exception of a few collectors' items.
This article was updated to point out the existence of the similar RealBook app.
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