Pre-owned fine jewelry and luxury watches are big business. Sales of secondhand “hard luxury” (including watches and jewels) are forecasted to grow an average of 8% every year, according to the Boston Consulting Group.
Rebag, a bricks-and-clicks retailer of pre-owned designer handbags with physical locations in New York City, Miami, and Southern California, is looking to capture a slice of that business.
The six-year-old handbag seller recently announced that it’s accepting and selling premium watches and jewelry from in-demand brands including Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe, Hublot, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Tiffany & Co.
The sibling luxury categories are the logical next step for the company, Charles Gorra, CEO and founder of Rebag, tells JCK.
“Although watches and fine jewelry have their own specificities, they share many characteristics with luxury handbags, including high price points, collector-level demand, and, for some models, rarity,” he explains, adding that the customer investing in designer bags and accessories is also often a watch and jewelry enthusiast, and vice versa. “Since our inception six years ago, customers have been constantly requesting that we add jewelry and watches. This feedback increased since our expansion into accessories earlier in June, both online and in stores. The demand with existing customers is certainly there.”
Unlike the RealReal and other popular secondary market retailers, Rebag buys items from the public outright—it’s not a consignment operation. As with handbags and accessories, clients looking to sell jewelry and watches on Rebag must refer to a list of accepted designers and models, online or at a Rebag store (the company has three stores in New York City, one in Arcadia, Calif., and two in Miami).
Online, shoppers have the option of choosing a buyout of their items through the retailer’s Clair by Rebag program—a system for pricing items based on condition and demand. In stores, consumers can expect an offer for their items in under an hour, and payment for the goods within five business days.
The retailer also maintains a content vertical, called the Vault, that’s meant to educate consumers on buying and selling secondhand luxury items. The Vault now includes wisdom on watches and fine jewelry among its content (think designer histories, analysis of specific styles and models, and styling demos). The latest post is a review of the Rolex Submariner.
Gorra says the company plans to scale its watch and jewelry categories in the months and years ahead, and that the list of designers and styles it accepts will evolve over time.
“We like to make these decisions based on customer feedback and trends within the secondary market,” he notes. “The luxury resale industry is constantly changing…we ensure that we have our finger on the pulse.”
Top: An Omega Speedmaster selling at Rebag (all photos courtesy of Rebag)
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