A used Hermes may bag higher sale price

A Hermes bag in near-new condition could be worth more than what it cost from the store, according to latest data from home-grown e-commerce retailer Reebonz.

Its new luxury resale index found that a pre-owned Hermes Epsom Birkin 25 - the retail price of a basic version could start from $17,000 - could fetch 125 per cent of the retail price, while reselling an Hermes Lindy 26 could get 120 per cent, on a retail price of at least $10,000.

The firm, which offers new luxury products at lower prices, along with services such as second-hand sales, said yesterday the figures came from Reebonz sales data from 2014 and last year, or group sales of "few hundred million".

"The resale value is derived from products sold within a year in excellent condition with full packaging."

Its findings are borne out by an earlier study last year.

The most prized second-hand Hermes bags can fetch prices up to 20 per cent more than the brand-new equivalents, while other pre-owned brands are sold at a discount of between 30 and 90 per cent, found a study by Exane-BNP Paribas, in collaboration with website InstantLuxe.

Reebonz's index also found that other brands could hold resale value well.

Chanel's 2.55 Reissue 226 and the Jumbo Classic Flap could fetch 75 per cent of their retail prices, while a Lady Dior Medium Bag brought home 67 per cent, and a Speedy Bandouliere 30 Monogram by Louis Vuitton could get 62 per cent.

The luxury resale index was also part of a report Reebonz released yesterday to track the online luxury scene in the Asia Pacific region.

Co-founder Samuel Lim said Reebonz data from 2014 to 2015 showed that the pre-owned category grew 30 per cent, with the sales volume of branded bags and shoes among the fastest-increasing.

Last year, the firm released the Closets app, within the Reebonz app, for its users to sell and buy pre-owned items - and tagged on other services such as free pick-ups and authentication of the item being sold - which was relaunched as a standalone app in July.

This has been part of Reebonz's strategy over the last 18 to 24 months - from shipping products in to sell to developing its marketplaces, allowing individual sellers and major merchants to sell their products on its platform.

If Reebonz's move in the pre-owned segment is right, he said the firm would be able to create a new market, which has traditionally involved browsing in physical second-hand stores.

"Not everyone wants to go into the store to sell or buy their items. We also have a service for high-end customers, who call us and we just go to their house to collect everything and sell it for them.

"Those are about 20 per cent of our sellers, but they have a higher value of inventory.

"The biggest value we've seen coming from one person was about $200,000."

Reebonz is not the only one banking on bargain-hunting fashionistas. Pawnbroking chain MoneyMax earlier this year launched a venture selling pre-owned designer handbags.

Interested buyers can inspect the handbags at its stores.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2016, with the headline 'A used Hermes may bag higher sale price'. Print Edition | Subscribe