Michael Kors is making a play for pre-loved.
The Capri-owned brand revealed Thursday that it has teamed up with Recurate to launch Michael Kors Preloved, a resale marketplace that will keep its pieces in circulation while reducing waste. It’s currently available only to customers in the United States.
While anyone can shop from PreLoved.MichaelKors.com, only members of Michael Kors’s KORSVIP rewards programs can list items for sale, though the scheme itself is free to join. Because all past purchases made under the KORSVIP account are stored, listing an item directly from the would-be seller’s order history is a cinch, the company said.
“With Michael Kors Pre-Loved, we’re giving new meaning to the idea of timeless luxury,” Michael Kors, the brand’s eponymous designer, said. It’s part of a broader foray into the circular economy, he noted.
The platform is an example of brand-managed peer-to-peer resale, which Recurate says is a “relatively low-lift, low-resource” way for fashion purveyors to grab a slice of a market expected to soar past $82 billion by 2026 in the United States alone.
“You don’t have to build out that warehouse,” Karin Dillie, the resale-as-a-service provider’s vice president of partnerships, previously told Sourcing Journal. “You don’t have to take all the items back and things like that.”
Indeed, KORSVIP sellers will do most of the heavy work. They’re the ones who will be uploading “accurate and truthful” photos of bags and accessories they wish to offload, plus “complete and accurate” about their condition, including blemishes and signs of wear. They can even set the asking price, though the algorithm will recommend one based on an item’s original MSRP and current condition, plus an additional fixed amount for shipping. Michael Kors will also review all submissions to the site for “completeness and accuracy,” and the brand can approve or deny listings for any reason. Certain pieces, including those from its current and core collections, may also be rejected for sale at this time.
Sellers also ship the items once a sale goes through using a pre-paid shipping label emailed from Michael Kors. Once the U.S. Postal Service confirms the delivery, the buyer has three days to confirm and rate the item. If everything is copacetic, the seller receives 80 percent of the sale price in the form of a Michael Kors e-gift card for use on MichaelKors.com or in-store. Someone who sells an item for $100, for instance, can expect an $80 e-gift card in return.
Currently on the marketplace is an assortment of handbags, crossbody bags and wallets. Among them are a new-with-tags Rayne medium saffiano leather satchel, originally selling for $448 and now at a pre-owned price of $190, and an “excellent” Adele logo smartphone wallet, originally selling for $158 and now at a gently used price of $88.
Brand-backed resale is not only another way for companies to interact with existing customers, said Recurate co-founder Adam Siegel, but it can also attract new ones as well.
“Brands are always trying to bring in new customers. That’s very expensive, especially in today’s environment,” he told Sourcing Journal. The data, he added, bears out the fact that resale attracts customers at a much lower cost than traditional marketing channels, including social media.
In a recent Recurate and BBMG survey of 11,000 adults from a dozen different countries, 75 percent of respondents said that recommerce would increase their brand loyalty and frequency. Another 85 percent of people who shopped and sold secondhand at the same time, 74 percent of those who shopped used exclusively and 69 percent of those who sold used exclusively said they would try a new brand if resale was available. Nearly 80 percent of those polled said they trust brand-led recommerce more than third-party secondhand outlets.
“The real benefit is not necessarily in the immediate transaction—you know, the buying and selling of the secondhand item,” Siegel said. “It’s more so about another opportunity to engage your customer, to bring them back into your ecosystem and have the opportunity to grow the loyalty of that customer.”