In China, used luxury goods grow in popularity

Chinese is used luxury The property market is growing at a time when the economy is slowing, market experts and business owners say.

Historically, shoppers in China’s $74 billion luxury goods market have bought new, not used, goods.

Zhu Tainiqi is the founder of Shanghai’s second hand, or used, ZZER luxury goods market. Business has been going so well that Zhu is now looking for store space to expand the business.

The 33-year-old business owner has seen an increase in the number of people who want to sell their Hermes Birkin bags or Rolex watches. Additionally, Zhu has seen increased interest from buyers who want to save some money.

“More and more people are aware that they can sell luxury items for some money and the buyer side realizes that they can get a great deal,” Zhu said. “They think: ‘Why not try it?'”

He said the number of ZZER consignors, or people who put their products up for sale, is up 40 percent so far in 2022 from the same period last year. The company now has 12 million members and expects to sell 5 million luxury pieces this year.

The growth of the resale market could have big effects on the business plans of the world’s big luxury goods manufacturers. They are dealing with declining demand in China, a major market.

Iris Chan is a Partner and Director of Client Development at Digital Luxury Group, a market research group.

Chan suggested that luxury goods makers will probably have to “think about how they’re going to solve this (resale) market, and what role are they going to play in the whole process.

China’s second-hand luxury market is expected to grow to $30 billion in 2025 from $8 billion in 2020. That data, released late last year, comes from business research group iResearch. No new estimates for this year have yet been released.

Office worker Wang Jianing is exploring second-hand luxury goods.

“Me consumption definitely will be degraded (this year), but I still like what I like and I can’t control the desire to buy it,” he told Reuters.

A customer looks at bags displayed at a store of second-hand luxury goods platform ZZER in Shanghai, China, on September 9, 2022. (REUTERS/Xihao Jiang)

A customer looks at bags displayed at a store of second-hand luxury goods platform ZZER in Shanghai, China, on September 9, 2022. (REUTERS/Xihao Jiang)

In addition to ZZER, other Chinese companies such as Feiyu, Ponhu and Plum are receiving attention. Each of them made tens of millions of dollars in investments in 2020 and 2021.

Experts expect local companies to control China’s luxury goods resale market, at least in the short term. International companies such as Vestiaire Collective and The RealReal have yet to enter the mainland China market. They told Reuters they have no immediate plans to do so.

Handbags it remains the best-selling item on luxury websites like ZZER, but Zhu said watch and jewelry sales are also growing rapidly.

Prada Messengers or Fendi Baguettes, luxury handbags for women, cost 30 to 40 percent less on resale websites than in luxury stores. But the price difference for some products has widened as more people sell products online.

I am John Russell.

Casey Hall and Xihao Jiang reported this story for Reuters. John Russell adapted it for VOA Learning English.


words in this story

luxury -north. something that is expensive but not necessary

second hand –adj. not new; have had a previous owner; use

solve – v deal with (a person, situation, etc.) successfully

consumption – north the act of buying things

degrade – v diminish in extent, quality, or value

handbag – north small bag or purse of a woman used to carry personal things and money


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