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The RealReal Releases Luxury Shopper Insights Study

Luxury buying patterns have changed dramatically; Leaders emerge in expanding resale market

The RealReal —the world’s largest online marketplace for authenticated, resale luxury goods—released findings from its latest Luxury Shopper Insights Study. Based on national research led by Lisa W. Miller & Associates Research, the 2021 study uncovers and identifies key behavioral shifts among luxury shoppers and their impact on retail and resale.

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“As the luxury resale market continues to evolve, its growth is significantly outpacing the primary market,” said The RealReal Chief Marketing Officer Orr Shakked. “There is a distinct divide in resale, with just five marketplaces, including The RealReal, having meaningful aided awareness. In fact, The RealReal has seen a 14 point awareness increase since 2019, a more than 50 percent greater increase than any of the other 24 resale brands researched.”

Luxury buying patterns have changed dramatically

  • Outlets and department stores saw the greatest declines in luxury purchases, down -10 pts and -7 pts since 2019
  • Luxury resale has attracted more new buyers since 2019 than all previous years combined

Male shoppers represent the greatest luxury growth opportunity

  • Men are ~3X more likely to exclusively buy luxury
  • Men are 1.5X more likely to constantly clean out their closets

Awareness drives major divide among resale marketplaces

  • Among 24 resale players researched, only these five have aided awareness above 30%: eBay, Poshmark, thredUP, The RealReal and Sotheby’s

Nearly half of luxury shoppers plan to buy luxury resale

  • 48% of luxury shoppers are very or extremely likely to purchase luxury resale over the next two years (+6 pts since 2019)
  • Resale purchase intent is up across every luxury category, most notably jewelry and watches (+13 pts and +12 pts since 2019)

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In evolving market, customer experience is critical to adoption

  • While The RealReal’s NPS improved, many other players declined, indicating the need for improvement to continue market expansion

“Resale has seen record growth over the past two years, but only 24 percent of luxury shoppers currently purchase pre-owned pieces. Bringing more new shoppers and consignors into the circular economy is essential to creating a more sustainable future for fashion,” stated Julie Wainwright, founder and CEO of The RealReal. “We’ve seen a 13 percent increase over the past two years in The RealReal shoppers citing sustainability as a deciding factor to purchase from us. It’s critical we continue raising awareness of the negative environmental impact of fashion and resale as a solution every one of us can adopt to help reduce the garbage truck’s worth of textiles that are landfilled or burned every second.”

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