Brands and Resale Platforms Aren’t Getting Along

According to Glossy, a growing rift between brands and resale platforms is starting to turn ugly (and litigious).

As the story explains, “the primary conflict between [brands and resellers] lies in the question of who is authorized to sell what and how they can market it.”

It’s precisely this question that has led to the ongoing legal battle between Chanel and The RealReal. Chanel is alleging that only they can “accurately surmise whether a Chanel product is genuine or not,” and that when The RealReal claims their stock is “100% genuine” they are implying “either that they received the bags from Chanel or that they have some sort of partnership with Chanel, neither of which is true.”

(Because what are words anyways, The RealReal’s counterargument is that its “authentication is an ‘expression of opinion’ and cannot be challenged on a factual level.” 🤨)

There are also some “legally murky” situations that have arisen from brands buying (or investing in) reselling platforms, like when, after buying Urban Necessities, American Eagle hosted a pop-up at their Soho flagship, and put Yeezy and Nike logos on the windows, despite not actually having wholesale accounts with either.

According to streetwear veteran Jeff Staple, that type of marketing is something that “creates a harmful precedent where resellers can mislead people into thinking that these are authorized sellers of the brands in question.”

So even with recent partnerships between Neiman Marcus and Fashionphile, and Stella McCartney and The RealReal, there are still quite a few impediments “to the ultimate convergence of the primary and secondary markets.”

“There’s no reason that primary and secondary markets cannot work together,” Glossy says, “but to do so, their partnerships will have to work on a level that is agreeable to both parties.”

You can read more about it at Glossy.

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  • S.O. Crane

    People shopping at resell know it’s not at an authorized account. The prices alone make it obvious.