Luxury Vintage: Threats

Major Threats:

  1. Asian Market (Investors, Fake)
  2. E-shopping (Online auctions, Internet website base)
  3. Millennial (Y generation)
  4. Influence (Magazines, Blogs…)


Asian Market (Investors, Fake)

In Japan, where jewelry owners are unloading unwanted jewels for cash at a record pace and shipping them off to buyers in China and India. These people want to spend money for travelling rather than just holding a diamond or wearing a diamond ring for just one dinner. – [For some people, cashing in means getting rid of unneeded things to lead a simpler life, a concept known as danshari. Others are selling inherited jewelry or practicing shukatsu — preparing for one’s own death, said Shuzo Takamura, executive director of the Japan Re-Jewelry Council.]

Economics: As the population shrinks and the number of retirees grows, Japan is seeing the market for second-hand goods expand as people unload luxury items acquired during the boom years. Swapping gems for yen also dovetails with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to encourage more shopping and less saving, as the government tries to revive an economy still recovering from the implosion of the bubble economy in the early 1990s.

  • The number of approved dealers who trade second-hand precious metals, jewelry, clothes and other goods has increased 23 percent over the past decade to 741,045, according to data from the National Police Agency. Over the same period, Komehyo, founded in the city of Nagoya in 1947, expanded to 24 stores from just five.
  • Japan’s diamond exports in the first four months of 2015 jumped 77 percent to 38,032 carats from the same period the previous year, the highest since 2007, and the value more than doubled to a record ¥3.01 billion, ministry data going back to 1988 show. India and Hong Kong were the top buyers in terms of volume, each accounting for about one-third of the total.

E-shopping (Online auctions, Internet website base)

  • The big ones: Tajan, Christies, Sothebys
  • the Un-trustable: Ebay, Craigslist, Etsy
  • Rising small businesses: 1stBids, Luca Rarities, Auctionata, Invaluable

–> second-hand jewellery is not actually a very lucrative business.

  • 4% of jewelry online market but increasing in time. Online fashion jewelry sales increasing at a rate of 7% every year (India = largest online jeweler – online sales of fashion and fine jewelry combined are expected to reach $150 million in 2015, while last year it was $125 million. In 2013 it was not even $2 million. – Mithun Sacheti, CEO of Carat Lane)
  • Asia – CAGR of 62.2% from 2011 to 2014. As global luxury e-commerce approaches a tipping point, McKinsey & Company expects the luxury category’s share of online sales to double, from 6% to 12% by 2020, and for 18% of luxury sales to be made online by 2025. That would make online luxury sales worth about $79 billion annually.
  • According to a report from Bain & Company, the online resale industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 16.4%.

–> Consumers are becoming more and more comfortable shopping online, which will only add to the growth of this segment of jewelry sales. Jewelry sellers are capitalizing on the opportunity in this market by coming up with innovative ways, from personalization to curation to home trial options, to address consumers’ concerns.

  • Nowadays the easiest thing to do is trading jewellery online, due to a proliferation of e-trading platforms. On the internet the pool of visitors is much higher than in any retail store. This increases the chances of finding a buyer, allowing sellers to ask for higher prices.
  • But while internet is a tempting option for sellers, buyers are usually more wary. Consumer-to-consumer online services have the advantage of offering a wide range of products at lower prices, but they do not offer much in terms of guarantees.
  • customers are not allowed to see the product before buying it and do not have access to an original certificate. Since there is no independent expert mediating between the parties, buyers can rely only on the seller’s good faith.
  • Implementing some anti-fraud measures that are supposed to curb the problem, but while they are effective in blatant fraud cases (plated metal sold as gold, or zircons as diamonds), they are rather powerless in situations where the quality of the product falls just below expectations.

The big ones: Tajan, Christies, Sothebys : Christies and Sothebys moving towards live online bidders

  • In 2014, Christie’s international jewellery sales totalled an outstanding $750 million which is the highest figure in their entire history of sales.
  • In 2014, Sotheby’s jewellery sales totalled $603 million, the highest annual in the company’s history.

    –> These two auction houses play a leading role in providing the world of collectors and all interested people with the most extraordinary pieces of art and jewellery thereby sharing and passing on hundreds of years of history.

The Un-trustable: Ebay, Craigslist, Etsy 

Second-hand jewellery looks like an old hat in the business. For decades pawnshops, as well as several local retailers, have been offering to buy back engagement rings from consumers. And for those who would rather sell their jewellery on the internet, the United States offer plenty of options, from Ebay to Craigslist.

–> reliability of traditional retailing

Rising small businesses: 1stBids, Luca Rarities, Auctionata, Invaluable

1st bidder – Josh got the idea after a broken engagement, when he realized that the returning price for the diamond ring he bought for his fiancée was only around one-third of its original value. = internet service for connecting heartbroken fiancés willing to get rid of an expensive ring with those who instead were looking forward to buy one at bargain price

Pawnshops take a high risk in trading second-hand diamond jewellery. When they buy, they have two options: disassemble the jewellery piece and sell its component for reprocessing, or hoping for a customer to walk in, like the product, and buy it.


HIROMI HORIE, JUN 25, 2015. Diamonds not forever as Japanese offload jewels for cash. [online ] Available at: [Accessed 08-02-2017].

Matteo Butera, Rough&Polished, 29 june 2015. The rise of Online Second-Hand Jewellery Trade in the United States. [online ] Available at: [Accessed 09-02-2017].


Deborah Weinswig , APR 14, 2016 @ 08:49 PM. As Fine Jewelry Moves Online, The Market Sparkles. [online ] Available at: [Accessed 08-02-2017].

Marco Catena, Nathalie Remy, and Benjamin Durand-Servoingt, October 2015. Is luxury e-commerce nearing its tipping point?. [online ] Available at: [Accessed 08-02-2017].

Rachael Taylor, 2016/03/21. The antique jewellery world is your oyster . [online ] Available at: [Accessed 09-02-2017].

Naomi Howard, 26-07-2016. Two famous auction houses influencing diamond prices. [online ] Available at: [Accessed 09-02-2017].


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