Building a luxury resell experience

Here’s a previously neglected market niche: women who go one place to buy and another place to sell high-end luxury bags.

Neglected no more, however, with the launch of Rebag, both online and in bricks-and-mortar — a 1,500-square-foot location opened in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in November 2017, followed by an 1,100-square-foot location on Madison Avenue that opened in April. The company has since opened three additional stores: two in Los Angeles and one in the Westfield World Trade Center shopping complex in New York.

Instead of buying direct from manufacturers, Rebag procures its inventory from owners of luxury handbags. The company has some 3,500 “partners” — personal shoppers, stylists, salespeople, fashion bloggers, image consultants, closet organizers or just fashion-loving people with a network of friends they can refer to Rebag.

The SoHo location started as a pop-up but was so successful “we made it permanent and our flagship,” says founder and CEO Charles Gorra. Both stores use artful window merchandising to catch the eyes of passing consumers, and interiors resemble a luxury boutique — to the point that shoppers “have no idea we are a re-sell company,” Gorra says. “They look at the prices, and it seems mind-blowing that we can sell so cheap. Then a sales associate explains our buy-and-sell story, and the ‘a-ha’ moment happens.”

Inside the stores, soft yellow walls feature messages such as “Welcome to Handbag Heaven.” Some of the biggest brands, like Birkin, have their own shelves highlighted with product pictures and headers; the rest of the store is merchandised around color stories. Iconic high-end bags are isolated, presented as a work of art on a shelf and only accessible to customers by a salesperson wearing gloves.

While there are no immediate plans to open more stores, “We are digesting what we are learning now,” Gorra says. “But we are looking at other luxury hubs that could welcome a Rebag. We just have to figure out, over the next six to 12 months, where and when exactly we’ll expand.”

New York City
Founder and CEO:
Charles Gorra
Locations: 5