The secondary luxury goods market has been growing wildly in recent years, with more shoppers opting to both sell their lightly used luxury goods like clothing and jewelry for cold, hard cash, as well as buying the pre-owned, authenticated luxury goods of others.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the trend is The RealReal, a nearly eight-year-old shopping destination for the growing population of people who might not be willing or able to purchase a new Hermes Birkin bag but are willing to buy one in like-new condition for considerably less. The idea — which seems to be working — is to create a virtuous cycle, wherein the bag’s original purchaser receives the bulk of that re-sale price, then uses the money to buy another new handbag (or a used one) that can be resold at a later point in time.
Another beneficiary of the trend: TrueFacet, a five-year-old, New York-based marketplace that claims to have more than 40,000 watches and 55,000 pieces of pre-owned authenticated watches and jewelry for sale at its site, and that has more recently begun offering pre-owned timepieces directly through brands like Fendi Timepieces, Raymond Weil and Roberto Coin that now partner with TrueFacet to carry their pre-owned timepieces with a manufacture warranty.
Apparently, shoppers are buying what they’re collectively selling. The company, which had previously raised $14.7 million in funding from investors, looks to be closing in on another $10 million round, judging by freshly filed SEC paperwork that shows it has so far raised $7 million in funding and is targeting $9.8 million altogether.
TrueFacet’s backers include Founders Co-op, Freestyle Capital and Maveron, led by partner Jason Stoffer, who also happens to sit on the board of Dolls Kill, an edgy clothing marketplace that we wrote about on Monday.
TrueFacet has some tough competition in the space, including Crown & Caliber, a six-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based company that has never announced outside funding, and 15-year-old, Germany-based Chrono24, which has raised €21 million over the years. Both sell timepieces alone, however.
It also competes directly with The RealReal, which has raised nearly $300 million from investors and sells clothing and high-end home decor, as well as jewelry and watches. (The company doesn’t break out publicly which of these categories outpace the others in terms of sales.)
Interestingly, like The RealReal, which now operates permanent offline stores in both New York and L.A., TrueFacet is also crossing the chasm into the offline world, though it’s taking baby steps toward that end.
Specifically, earlier this month, it announced a partnership with Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry, which sells timepieces to many monied Bay Area VCs and other Silicon Valley bigs at stores in Redwood City and Menlo Park, Calif. For the time being at least, the jeweler will also sell pieces from TrueFacet’s collection.
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