We have long heard about “certified pre-owned” watches and jewelry. But now online marketplace TrueFacet is introducing a new category: “Brand-certified pre-owned,” which attempts to combat the rising popularity of the gray market.
The program will let the brands as well as their authorized retailers supply the site with pre-owned pieces and excess inventory. Zenith, Roberto Coin, Raymond Weil, Fendi, Fabergé, Frédérique Constant, and Ernst Benz are the seven brands to partner up so far.
All pieces in the program will carry a manufacturer certificate of authenticity and one-year brand-backed warranty.
TrueFacet CEO Tirath Kamdar says this will help companies stop their products from landing on heavily discounted gray-market sites.
“The brands have not been able to control the gray market,” he says. “There is no certified secondary market, like you see the car industry, with certified pre-owned cars.”
This new program aims to give both manufacturers and retailers a place to sell non-moving merchandise.
“This allows them to sell the inventory in a clean way,” he says. “So instead of the retailer dumping it on 47th Street, the brands can tell them: We now have a legitimate partner.”
This, he argues, will help the brands in the long run.
“Other sites depend on people dumping goods,” he adds. “If those [gray-market] goods get flushed out of the market, and they are sold in a clean authorized way, that is a better way to build a brand and a more legitimized, better customer experience.”
Of course, the brands could sell these items on their own sites, but Kamdar thinks that TrueFacet would work better for them.
“We have a platform with 2.2 million users,” he says. “Some brands’ sites don’t get much traffic. When it comes to digital, they’re kind of lost. So we already have a platform, and the brands think it’s better to partner up.”
Kamdar believes that consumers will respond to brand-endorsed sales, especially if they come with new warranties.
“The word certified has been tossed around a lot,” he says. “The thing is: How do you know if it’s really certified? This is direct from a brand.”
Kamdar hopes to bring more brands into the program in the near future.
(Images courtesy of TrueFacet)