Luxury handbag reseller Rebag announced Thursday the launch of the Comprehensive Luxury Appraisal Index for Resale, or Clair. The company's proprietary software determines the value of any handbag from among 50 brands, Rebag explained in a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
Clair generates a resale value instantly for users who input details of their bag's brand, model, size, style, color and condition. The company says it's not just for people interested in selling their bag to Rebag, but for anyone who wants to know what their item is worth. "With more and more consumers contemplating the resale value of their luxury purchases, we've created a taxonomy that provides a more transparent way for consumers to shop more wisely," Charles Gorra, founder and CEO of Rebag, said in a statement.
The tool can be accessed on the Rebag website and mobile app. Rebag said that Clair was developed over five years, and uses what it calls Clair Codes to standardize the many descriptive terms of the luxury handbag market.
Rebag is aiming to make the luxury industry more transparent with its new tool, claiming that reducing time and subjectivity in the appraisal process will make it easier for bag owners to make educated choices about selling, trading or even keeping their luxury items. The secondhand sector could benefit from increased standardization for its long-term sustainability. ThredUp, while not focused on luxury brands, predicts a $51 billion resale market by 2023.
But the process of a company acquiring used items, refurbishing them for sale, listing them online and fulfilling orders is a process that relies primarily on human judgment. At best, that human touch slows down the cycle of availability of high-quality secondhand goods. At worst, it can cause doubts about the reliability of pricing and condition details, especially for the luxury market.
And then there's the issue of authentication, which particularly plagues the luxury realm. Rebag's tool gives users an idea of resale value for their bags, but doesn't investigate authenticity unless an owner decides to sell through the platform.
Retailers and technology partners are testing a variety of methods to ensure their secondhand items are on the up and up. Goodwill announced in early 2019 that it would start using AI-based authentication from Entrupy, which boasts a 99.1% accuracy rate, to verify items before listing them for sale online. Meanwhile, the Kenco-LP tamper-proof tag, produced in collaboration with Primera Technology, debuted in June with capabilities to track inventory as well as verify authenticity.
Partnering with luxury brands may be a way to ease the burden of hands-on authentication while tech solutions continue to be developed. Burberry and The RealReal announced a partnership earlier this month, for example, to promote a more circular fashion economy. But the real value in such partnerships probably lies in the expertise of Burberry's staff and design archives in assisting in the authentication process for The RealReal, which has battled authenticity allegations from brands including Chanel.
Rebag announced in February after a Series C funding round that it would expand from five stores to 30 alongside its web and app presence. It has added four locations since then.