If you were poised to spend $1,000, $2,000 or even $5,000 or more on a secondhand designer purse, you’d want to be pretty darn sure you were getting exactly what you expected. And if you were looking to sell a luxury item, you’d want to ensure you were getting a fair price.
To bridge that gap, New York-based reCommerce platform Rebag has unveiled a proprietary new digital pricing tool that not only gives consumers a free appraisal, but also the confidence they need to make high-dollar transactions — usually without ever seeing or touching the item in person.
“Rebag’s overarching goal is to bring transparency and standardization to the luxury resale market, so that the consumer’s buying and selling experiences can be as easy and simple as possible,” Founder and CEO Charles Gorra told PYMNTS, noting that the company’s newest digital tool takes the buying and selling experience to the next level.
Known as “Clair AI,” (Clair stands for Comprehensive Luxury Appraisal Index for Resale) the two-month-old system has been likened to the Kelley Blue Book of the luxury resale industry, as it allows customers to point their camera at the front of a bag, scan it and then get a price for the item in a matter of seconds.
“Clair AI is very much part of this trend to bring functional fashion tech to the mainstream,” Gorra said, adding that with machine learning, the Clair system is getting smarter with each passing day, and building upon a trove of millions of images and data gathered over the past six years.
Given the current surge in consumer purchases of all manner of secondhand items — from sneakers to jeans to jackets and more — it’s no surprise that Rebag has broadened its own product catalog and now stocks over 20,000 items.
“When we launched in 2014, we focused strictly on handbags, committed to excelling in this incredibly vast and deep product category, [and] for five to six years, we fine-tuned our processes and collected data to solidify our understanding of the market,” Gorra said. “Then, in early 2020, we expanded into the accessories category, followed by watches and jewelry in Q4.”
For now, Clair AI is being used to facilitate bag purchases, a massive category that itself ranges from backpacks to clutches and bowlers to wallets — but its future use within other segments of Rebag seems inevitable.
“Overall, it’s an educational tool that empowers consumers to make educated buying and selling decisions while learning more about the bags they love,” Gorra said.
The company also offers an unconditional seven-day return policy, as well as an active trade-in market that typically offers 70 to 80 percent of the purchase price within a year — that is, assuming the bag doesn’t show any new signs of wear and tear (Rebag specialists literally inspect each item with a magnifying glass).
“We take returns very seriously. Our product listings have been optimized over time with thorough condition descriptions and detailed images so that shoppers know exactly what they are purchasing, therefore minimizing the risk of a high return rate,” Gorra said, referring to Rebag’s six-point rating scale that ranges from fair to pristine.
Gorra said that Rebag’s customers span the globe, and are best separated into two categories of clients: buyers and sellers.
The sellers typically shop on the primary (new) market and want the latest and greatest products, so they use Rebag as a reliable and predictable resale option, a reality that spurs confidence and visibility and in turn leads to increased spending in the firsthand market. As for the buyers, they are usually new to the world of luxury goods, and Rebag is their first entry point into the designer market.
Because of the growth of reCommerce and the mainstream adoption of secondhand shopping and support for the so-called circular economy, Gorra said Rebag is increasingly seeing customers becoming both buyers and sellers as they gain comfort with both the luxury market and the site.
For those who still need to touch and see before dropping a few thousand dollars, Rebag currently has seven physical retail locations in New York, LA and Miami, where shoppers can not only inspect the goods, but also get cash on the spot for their trade-ins.
Wherever the purchasing happens, clearly something is clicking with increasingly comfortable high-end consumers, as the fast-growing secondhand luxury sector is already pegged at over $24 billion — and is reportedly outpacing the growth of the firsthand market by a four to one margin.
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