In the last few years, there have been a host of online resale retailers popping up—Vaunte, The Real Real, Shop Hers—where people unload all the pieces that have been languishing in their closets. It’s a business that’s booming—and so we had to ask Dana Weinrot all about it, who has been in the game for longer than most. Weinrot’s Celebrity Owned is still one of the primary fashion players on eBay, meaning that she has years of experience evaluating Hollywood closets for the pieces that will sell—and the pieces that likely will not. What really blew our minds? A majority of the pieces she takes on have never been worn (New in Box (NIB), or New with Tags (NWT) for eBay newbs like us)—or often, only once or twice. And they’re sometimes from the same season. “Many of my clients will simply not wear something at all—or won’t use a bag for more than a month or two before they’re ready to move on,” she explains. “And so they shop with resale value in mind, knowing that I’ll be able to get them top dollar, and recoup a significant amount of the investment,” she adds. “It’s kind of like renting.” Below, we asked Weinrot to take us through the paces on what sells, and what stalls.
Historically, what brands retain the most value?
The top four resale brands are Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta. With Balenciaga, it’s very much like a cult as there are true collectors who seek special years and colors. With Chanel, the classic quilted flap bag will fetch more than some of their other styles—it’s the most timeless.
Are there any brands that are on the rise?
My clients are usually about 6-12 months ahead of the eBay buyer curve, so sometimes they have to bide their time to wait for demand to pick up. For instance, last year I had a bunch of clients buying Reed Krakoff, but the buyer marketplace is not caught up yet so the resale value is not there. I usually advise my clients to hold out on selling certain brands like that until the marketplace is ready.
Does anything bomb?
Nothing bombs—everything has a value. It’s just really about what someone is willing to pay for something, and for me as a consignor to find that sweet spot and price the item right. Older (10+ years) Prada and Gucci will not sell for more then $250 tops on most styles, though leather may fetch more.
All high-end couture apparel tends to have a very low resale value relative to retail price points. For example, a classic Chanel tweed skirt suit that retails for $4,500 will fetch about $1,200 in the resale market, provided it is a desirable color. The same item in a less desirable color might only command $750. On the other hand, designer and brand name accessories like handbags and sunglasses retain a much higher resale value relative to their retail purchase price. For example, a classic quilted Chanel handbag that retails for $4,500 could resell for as much as $3,400 if it is in excellent condition.
Again, what brands pull down the highest resale value?
Isabel Marant wedge sneakers are a top seller, even used. Fiorentini + Baker boots, all Christian Louboutins, YSL, Lanvin ballet flats, Tory Burch Reva Flats, All Chanel shoes. Jenny Kayne D’Orsay flats are on the hot list for spring.
Are there specific heel heights or shoe styles that do well?
We resell Tory Burch Reva flats, even heavily used. Now, Lanvin ballet flats are popular and I sell them regularly. One client, who operates a retail shoe store, consigns her overstock inventory with me. They sent me a bunch of New in Box (NIB) Isabel Marant wedge sneakers. Every single one of them sold at full retail in colors that you’d generally not expect to sell. Had they been a more desirable color, they might have even sold at above retail.
Are there any brands on the rise?
What designers sell immediately?
Isabel Marant, Chanel, Free City, Hervé Léger, Loro Piana, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Rick Owens, Lainey Cashmere.
Collabs are also really good at creating demand so they sell very well in the resale market. Isabel Marant for H&M was huge on eBay, Missoni for Target did really well, Gwen Stefani Harajuku for Target did well, too. Vans for J.Crew is on the cusp now.
What’s the easiest size to sell?
Probably US 6-8.
What’s the easiest shape to sell?
I don’t believe there is much rhyme or reason but if I had to pick, I would say dresses.
If something was on the runway, does it sell faster?
Runway items are actually a harder sell as they are just naturally priced higher. I just sold the Katy Perry jade green Gucci dress that she wore to the Grammys. I had it priced high at $2,750—an item like that waits for a specific buyer. They are not quick sales.
Does clothing need to be new to sell?
With clothing, New with Tags (NWT) will sell for more, but gently-worn, top-selling brands will still sell.
Dana Weinrot’s Tips
for extracting maximum
Desirable colors command higher resale.
Items that have the original packaging (dust bags, tags, garment bags, sunglass cases…even the sunglass squigy rags) all command higher resale. If possible, keep the box, particularly if it’s Hermès or Chanel. I do believe that buyers are more comfortable spending the extra $$$$ when these items are attached.
Apparel is more difficult than accessories to resale for the obvious reasons around size, fit, and the fact that it’s been worn by someone else.
Bags and sunglasses have surprisingly strong pull. Fit and size aren’t an issue, and there’s not as much stigma around being worn by someone else.
Shoes tend to buck the issues attached to apparel. I presume this is because people have big shoe fetishes. And, if people wear a particular brand, they are generally familiar with the sizing.
Timeless brands—across the board—have higher resale value than less regarded brands at every comparable price point.