Image of two people in colorful tops
Image of two people in colorful tops

2021 Luxury Consignment Report: How to Earn the Most This Year

Words by Noelani Piters | 1.12.21

In a truly unforgettable and unpredictable year, what was happening in the luxury resale sphere? Which unexpected labels were selling for more than ever, and what unique, Covid-era trends had staying power? Our latest data deep-dive answers these questions and more, capturing the biggest shifts within the secondary market and illuminating what shoppers are hunting for now. Read on for our roundup of key insights from the 2021 Luxury Consignment Report and discover which items, wardrobe essentials and brands will earn you the most in 2021. Get ready to start selling.

 

French Brands Topped the Resale Value Charts

Heritage appeal à la France continues to hold fast. The top 5 brands with the highest resale value — Goyard, Van Cleef & Arpels, Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Chanel respectively — earned consignors the most of their original investment back last year, and show no signs of slowing down in 2021. Read the report to see the full list of top 10 most valuable brands (and don’t miss out on selling watches by #7 … it jumped up three spots from last year!).

 

Our Consignors Helped Make Fashion More Sustainable

Netting higher returns isn’t the only positive outcome of selling — it’s also good for the planet. Thanks to the TRR Sustainability Calculator, we can quantify the impact, and in 2020 the average consignor saved the equivalent of 4,333 glasses of water through consignment. Contributing to the cycle of “Make Well, Buy Well, Re-sell” isn’t just an afterthought for the TRR community, though; according to our surveys, 50% of TRR consignors cite environmental impact as a key motivator for selling.* And what’s more, we figured out the best pieces to sell if you’re looking to reduce your fashion footprint — perfect for those sustainability-focused New Year’s resolutions. Find those in the full report.

 

Investment Bags Really Paid Off

Shoppers spent their dollars wisely in 2020, opting for worth-the-splurge handbags that resulted in significant gains for sellers. “It seems counterintuitive that in a year where people were largely stuck at home, demand for high-value bags skyrocketed,” says Sasha Skoda, The RealReal’s Sr. Director of Merchandising. “But, aside from being a smart investment, a luxury bag adds polish to any outfit, even the current uniform of laid-back loungewear. Shoppers turned to investment bags to add style to the most basic outings, which drove up value for sellers.” The Louis Vuitton Neverfull was the top-selling tote of 2020, with recent releases like the Escale and Game On selling above their original retail price. The average sale price (ASP) of the Gucci Jackie rose 35% year-over-year (YoY) due to the house’s reintroduction of the sleek style, while textural Intrecciato Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie bags sold 1.5X faster than the average bag. See more in-demand bags that shoppers are searching for in the report, and start earning for yours.

 

Statement Jewelry Took Center Stage in the Zoom Era

YoY average sale price growth

As remote work and socially distanced soirées reduced us to frames on a screen, camera-ready jewelry became a go-to accessory and earned consignors more. The average selling price of Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Chanel jewelry rose as monograms brought easy elegance to video calls. All-time fine jewelry classics sparked joy too — especially for consignors, since icons like Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra and Cartier LOVE pieces sold for closer to their original retail price in 2020. You won’t want to miss which emerging jewelry brands made the list — they’re sure to earn you more, especially since you can get 80% commission for your jewelry right now.**

 

Rolex Strengthened its Lead as the #1 Watch Brand

The #1 best-selling watch brand on The RealReal proved to be a solid investment again in 2020, as increased popularity and limited availability gave Rolex more of an edge than ever. Out of the 10 men’s watches with greatest resale value growth in 2020, five were Rolex, with watches from the brand selling 1.1X faster YoY. Collectors were on the hunt for something truly exceptional, and rare timepieces like the GMT Master II “Batman” sold for an average of 170% of the original retail price, while the Rolex Sea-Dweller Special Edition Sommozzatori of Italy’s Polozia Di Stato sold for over 7x current retail at $89,995. If you’ve been thinking about upgrading to something new, it’s the smart time to sell your Rolex and cash out

 

Coveted Kicks Saw Triple-Digit Resale Value Growth

The hype is real. Sneaker sellers capitalized on flex-worthy pairs last year, with high-profile collabs maintaining clout, desirability and standout prices in the resale market. Consignors earned the most for buzzy brands: Off-White x Nike sneakers hit a high of 457% average resale value, with bold sacai x Nike kicks coming in at 365% (well above original retail prices). It may come as no surprise that Jordans netted an average resale value of 260%, with interest sustained by ESPN’s The Last Dance and Jordan brand’s ongoing slate of retro Air Jordan releases. Jordan’s overall resale value increased 48% from the first half of the year to the second, the most of any sneaker brand. Now that’s a slam dunk… a good reason to sell now.

 

Gucci Was #1 in Vintage

#OldGucci is officially a thing. Resale value for vintage Gucci rose 12% last year, with vintage Web pouches holding up to 98% of the original retail price and vintage Gucci nameplate pendant necklaces holding up to 95%. GG pieces weren’t the only items earning consignors bank — top labels from 20 years ago made their resurgence in the resale market as average sale prices of archival favorites like Jean Paul Gaultier rose. Bags of a certain shape also saw renewed demand; take a peek to see which ones are gaining traction with shoppers. 

 

2020 Shoppers Bought Smarter & Wore Better

The Comfort Capsule

The Next-Gen Capsule

In turbulent times, shoppers turned to iconic investment pieces and capsule wardrobe staples like cashmere sweaters, trench coats, puffers, waist bags and luxury sneakers. “In 2020, we saw shoppers upgrading to new essentials for a new decade,” says Mayank Hajela, The RealReal’s Senior Director of Merchandising. “A year of embracing loungewear led to rising demand for elevated comfort pieces with polished edges. As the line between luxury and streetwear continues to blur, it’s resulting in a new set of wardrobe basics for a new generation — one that’s gender-fluid and can easily be dressed up or down.” Sell the pieces that find that sweet spot of luxurious and cozy and fund your own wardrobe refresh.

Read the full report and get more insights about what to sell now.

 

*Based on The RealReal consignors surveyed.

**From 1/1/21 – 1/31/21: Earn 80% of the selling price when you consign a fine jewelry item from a brand on The RealReal’s accepted designer list with a list price of $750 or more. Commission rates subject to change at any time.

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