The Unstoppable Rise of Pre-Owned

Pre-owned is growing and is increasingly seen as a conscious choice

Pre-owned luxury is exploding, growing approximately three times faster than the primary luxury market globally. The Covid-19 effect looks to be accelerating this, as consumers seek to maximize value for money, avoid waste, shop sustainably and leverage the resale market to fund new luxury purchases.

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Shopping pre-owned is a sustainable act, as its environmental impact is much lower than shopping new

On average, purchasing a pre-owned item saves 1kg of waste, 3,040 liters of water and 22kg of CO2.

Source: FARFETCH Understanding the Environmental Savings of Buying Pre-owned Fashion report, 2020
57% of pre-owned buyers state their pre-owned fashion purchases prevented the purchase of something brand new.

The growth in pre-owned shopping on FARFETCH from 2019 to 2020 is massive

FARFETCH is a pioneer in pre-owned luxury, having partnered with its first pre-owned boutique in 2010.

Source: FARFETCH internal data

52% of FARFETCH customers surveyed have bought or sold pre-owned luxury items in the 12 months to Sept 20

Source: FARFETCH Circular Services research, Sept 20
I do feel like buying pre-owned is more sustainable, since one of the key tenets of conservation is to use things that last longer. It even helps redeem items made unsustainably by giving them a second life — no need to discard something just because it was produced unsustainably. That only compounds the waste.

Joshua Davis, Private Client customer, Atlanta, USA

Pre-owned Versace jacket
Pre-owned views have increased 151% with notable growth from March onwards, when the pandemic took hold
Source: FARFETCH internal data
Pre-owned collection on
Pre-owned collection on
Pre-owned collection on

Searches for pre-owned terms have risen steadily, but peaked during the initial Covid-19 restrictions in the spring

Source: FARFETCH internal data
Covid-19 lockdown measures globallyJanFebMarchAprMayJunJulyAugSepOctNovDec

Pre-owned categories

Pre-owned bags dominate, accounting for 63% of sales, but increasingly jewelry and watches provide a place to invest

Source: FARFETCH marketplace sales data
63% Bags5% Accessories7% Watches18% Clothing7% Jewelry
Increase in sales of pre-owned items valued at over $10K from Q1 to Q4 2020
2020 Q12020 Q22020 Q32020 Q4

Covid-19 has increased demand for investment pieces that potentially hold or increase their value

Source: FARFETCH marketplace sales data

Investment brands with the most cachet are those getting the attention

Source: FARFETCH internal data
Proportion of pre-owned page views in Q4 2020

Pre-Owned Louis Vuitton


Pre-Owned Chanel


Pre-Owned Hermès


Pre-Owned Rolex


My go-to is always vintage and pre-owned. Personally, I have been a vintage and resale lover and collector for years. There is something interesting and unique about incorporating a pre-loved piece into a look, not to mention the environmental benefits.

Kristin Smith, Private Client customer, Los Angeles, USA

The highest value pre-owned item sold in 2020 was the Hermès Birkin Limited Edition tote
Source: FARFETCH marketplace sales data
Pre-owned Hermès Birkin Limited Edition tote

But other pre-owned categories also generated big-ticket sales

Highest value pre-owned items sold per category

Source: FARFETCH marketplace sales data
Pre-owned Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak $45K
Pre-owned Cartier Just un Clou bracelet


Cartier Jade and diamond ring $29K
Pre-owned Louise Vuitton x Supreme drawstring hoodie


Louis Vuitton x Supreme drawstring hoodie $11K

Customers are prepared to spend big on pre-owned more generally

Source: FARFETCH marketplace sales data

Most pre-owned items bought by a single customer

183 items

The largest single pre-owned basket

29 items

Customers who bought pre-owned items spent three times more on average than those who bought non-pre-owned items

3x more ASP

The stay-at-home factor

Throughout the pandemic’s lockdown periods, pre-owned, lifestyle items have sold well. 2020 sales were three times those of 2019

Source: FARFETCH marketplace sales data

The Nineties

The 1990s is a key period for pre-owned customers, reflecting trends seen across current in-season fashion

17% of pre-owned items sold in 2020 originated in the 1990s or early 2000s

Source: FARFETCH marketplace sales data
The Margiela years at Hermès are a continuous source of inspiration. There is something so simple yet powerful about his collections for the maison. Truly timeless. Other 90s icons I love are Jil Sander and Calvin Klein. I spend hours searching the internet for vintage pieces... I made a promise to myself to try and find a garment secondhand first, before buying something new. After all, opting for secondhand clothes and therefore extending the lifespan of a product is the most sustainable form of consumption.

Stephanie Broek, fashion writer and consultant, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Stephanie Broek
Future Insight: Pre-owned and circularity
Pre-owned Chanel and Hermès bags

FARFETCH wholly believes that circular fashion represents a significant slice of luxury’s future. This view has been cemented by recent moves from luxury group Kering and others to back circularity-focused businesses.

There is a clear affinity between luxury and circularity. The quality associated with luxury fashion inherently gives it a lifespan that can extend across multiple generations. Its aspirational aspect and the cyclical nature of fashion also mean pre-owned pieces retain their desirability over time. As a result, FARFETCH has set a 2030 goal to drive more sales of circular, low-waste products or enable uses of our circular services, than sales of products made in traditional, linear ways.