In 2020, resellers seemed to be a discussion on Twitter every time there was a launch, especially for sneakers. So, what is a reseller exactly? All we know is there is a negative connotation around the word reseller. Both from the consumers and brands. A reseller is defined as a company or individual that purchases goods or services intending to sell them. This is to make a profit.
Online platforms such as farfetched, Net-a-Porter, that sell luxury brands, yes those are resellers too. Two very popular platforms that are trusted and have even collaborated with some brands that they sell. So where exactly does the seedy reputation that they have associated with them, comes from?
A big part of this is the lack of trust between brands and resellers, and the relationship between consumers is similar. Especially for sneakers, consumers complain about the extreme hike in prices. When stock runs out on the Nike app immediately after a release, most consumers already know and blame resellers.
For most brands, it is about animosity comes from the fear that their impact and authenticity is being diluted. And that the exclusivity part (especially luxury brands) is being undermined. An excellent example is the ongoing lawsuit Chanel has against The RealReaI. In which the luxury French house claims that only the brand itself can promise a Chanel bag’s authenticity.
Which is valid. It also plays into the fears most consumers have of being sold fake items, as mentioned before. The RealReal is a second-hand online store that sells gently used luxury items.
Luxury department stores and brands have realized that collaborating with resellers can be a profitable relationship. Such as Stella McCartney collaborating with The RealReal. Shoppers who buy from The RealReal- get $100 off a Stella McCartney from their next purchase in stores or online.
This relationship is not surprising, considering Stella’s stance on sustainability and the environment. It makes sense that she would support a secondhand store. Quite brilliant, really. Because consumers then support both businesses, and everyone benefits.
Therefore, many resell retail owners emphasize the potential benefits of having collaborative relationships.
Resellers are mostly millennial and Gen Z, young people who are obsessed with owning designer items, because of social media culture. They are at the age where they are discovering which brand they like the most or suits their style or aesthetic. By buying from resellers at reduced prices, they build a relationship with a brand that they feel they can commit to financially at a stage in life. And this is how resellers claim to help cultivate and direct new customers for brands.
Resellers can also be useful for brands to analyze what shoppers like the most. Monitoring shopping habits is a useful tool resellers used to understand anything from; which products should be restocked because of their popularity, or when shoppers shop the most and even when or if they should adjust their prices.
Essentially, resellers are on the rise, those who are not collaborating with existing resellers are creating their own reselling platforms. Which seems to be the route most luxury houses will go for. To control the quality, exclusivity and customer base they have.
Resellers are constantly developing to make the shopping experience easier for the consumer. The fashion industry has a knack for being stubborn for changing with the times systemically, and it seems this is a route that cannot be, or should not be avoided rather, if most brands want to stay in business.