Luxury tech and e-tail giant Farfetch is taking tentative steps into the resale market with a pilot program for luxury handbags this week as it boosts its focus on sustainability.
Its new Second Life offer means that customers can trade their “pre-loved” luxury bags and get credits that they can use for future purchases on the site.
It’s working with a vintage specialist, Upteam, on this and is also tapping into its Dream Assembly tech accelerator program in the process as Hong Kong-based Upteam was one of the companies taking part in this.
The move makes good sense as sustainability becomes an increasing focus for luxury consumers and as Farfetch’s unique business model allows it greater flexibility than many other luxury online retailers.
The new offer works by those wishing to sell their bag submitting photographs and information, with Upteam reviewing these and suggesting a retail price. On acceptance, the item will be collected by a free Farfetch courier and the credits will be added to the seller account straightaway.
The luxury resale market is already large but is predicted to double in the next half-decade to reach a value of $51 billion, so the retailer could do well by tapping into what would otherwise be a rival channel.
As mentioned, for now it’s only a pilot program with the company currently testing the demand that’s out there. But if it continues with it, this would put it into direct competition with other resale boutiques such as Vestiaire Collective and TheRealReal.
However, its sheer scale could give it an advantage, despite it being several years behind those other resale specialists. While people selling through those rivals can actually generate ready cash, the fact that Farfetch is offering instant credit before the item has even sold, could be a big selling point for its new program.
And, of course, it’s the ultimate in circularity as its drives customers back to Farfetch to buy more products from its new (or resale) offer.