According to a Reuters report, the market for used luxury products is flourishing, thanks to the country’s unwelcoming economic weakness.

Such is the story of the Chinese second-hand luxury goods marketplace ZZER, which started as an online platform in 2016. It opened brick-and-mortar locations in Shanghai and Chengdu last year and is now seeking more retail space in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.

Founder Zhu Tainiqi told the publication that more people are selling off their opulent possessions as they know they can squeeze out more money. At the same time, ZZER and other players in the market thrive as they can offer authentic products at lower prices.

Zhu says, “More and more people are now aware they can sell luxury goods for some money and the buyer side is noticing that they can get a great deal. They think, ‘Why not give it a shot?’”

According to Zhu, the number of people looking to sell their goods has increased 40% thus far in 2022 compared to last year. The platform currently has 12 million users and anticipates selling 5 million high-end items this year.

Zhu notes that jewelry and watch sales are increasing quickly, with handbags as the top-selling category.

Although a nylon Prada Messenger or Fendi Baguette costs 30%–40% less on resale platforms than in upscale boutiques, some products have increased prices as more people hurry to sell goods online.

According to China Daily, COVID has been one of the propellers behind the high-end used goods market. 

Liang Qihua, the founder of Shanghai-based offline second-hand luxury store ASEROOM, said customers had switched their interest from international deals to domestic ones. He explains that there was an issue of supply shortage after the pandemic hit Europe, prompting many industries that produce luxury goods to cut back on production.

Liang adds, “In addition, foreign currencies lost value, triggering a rise in official prices of luxury brands, which in turn promoted the entire second-hand luxury market.”

The pandemic has also impeded global travel, which raised the costs for luxury brands in mainland China. China Daily noted that Chanel increased the cost of some of its goods by 8% to 12% in January. In comparison to 2019, prices for several of its well-known handbags have increased by 60%.

ZZER founder Zhu says, “The second-hand market ensures consumers get what they want, while the number of new products is limited and pricing is cost-effective.”

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