The Rise of the Preowned Luxury Market

It is probably not news to most that there has been a global move towards buying preowned goods, and that the Luxury market is ahead of the game, with sales going through the roof in online stores and at auction. The reason for the trend is a complex mix of sustainability, durability, affordability, and of course the desirability of owning an item that may not be accessible at retail price. When buying second hand, suddenly a new world is opened to you, with access to runway items, limited edition bags that were originally only offered to triple ‘A’ clients, and rare vintage pieces perhaps from before you were born. 

Louis Vuitton Luxury Auction Leonard Joel Melbourne
A Limited Edition ‘Eye Love You’ bag Designed by
Marc Jacobs & Takashi Murakami
Sold for $4,960

The availability of products varies from country to country; however, the internet can sort that out for you. The secondary market in Australia is full of pieces to buy and, speaking from personal experience, many of the items that I have consigned over the years have either never been used or used very carefully, to the benefit of the secondary buyer. I recall one of our early luxury auctions in 2011 when I was offered an extremely rare, limited-edition Marc Jacobs and Takashi Murakami ‘Eye Love You’ bag by Louis Vuitton to sell. It was one of only two such bags offered to VIP clients by Louis Vuitton in Australia. The consigner said that she was in the store within half an hour of receiving the phone call from Louis Vuitton saying that the bag was available. Yet, once the purchase was made and the conquest over, the bag sat in a closet, boxed, and never used until it was brought into our rooms. The gleeful auction buyer could not believe their luck in purchasing such a rare bag; such is the joy of the secondary market.

The worldwide trend for preowned luxury goods does not stop at bags, though they are at the top of the consumer list making up around 70% of the secondary luxury market. Growing markets include shoes, apparel, and accessories. It’s a consumer happy place where you can have chic or prestigious items and give them a new lease of life. You feel better as you have made your purchase without increasing your carbon footprint, and at a price that you are comfortable with. Most of these luxury items were made to last and with care they will see numerous owners. You are not buying into a ‘here today gone tomorrow’ product, but a luxury item that you can be proud of, an investment that reflects you and your personality. 

JOHN D’AGATA / Head of Luxury

Banner Image: A Retourne Kelly Handbag by Hermès | Sold for $9,375

September 2021