A number of luxury fashion houses—such as Chanel, Prada, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton—have previously declined to sell their goods on Amazon, due largely in part to the fear of counterfeit items and sullying their designer name by touting their products on a website that is largely known for being cheap and fast.
Amazon will start selling pre-owned Hermès handbags and clutches (Credit: SubstanceTproductions / Shutterstock)
Resistance from Luxury Brands
Some of these houses have been extremely adamant about their aversion to Amazon. The CFO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton publicly noted in 2016 that there was “no way we can do business with them for the time being.”
Unfortunately for these brands, Amazon has seemed to find a way to skirt around their wishes.
Amazon’s Strategic Partnership
In October, Amazon announced it would partner with What Goes Around Comes Around, a reseller of luxury vintage and pre-owned designer handbags, accessories, and jewelry.
Kim Kardashian flaunts her legs in a pink Versace mini dress at the What Goes Around Comes Around 25th Anniversary Auction Beverly Hills Preview, presented by Christie’s, at What Goes Around Comes Around on August 21, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California (Credit: Startraksphoto)
This new partnership is a huge addition to Amazon’s Luxury Store, as What Goes Around Comes Around stocks an inventory of more than 2,000 luxury handbags.
And, yes, this includes brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton, which have deliberately chosen not to sell their goods on Amazon. It will compete with eBay, which offers an authentification service to verify the authenticity of pre-owned designer handbags.
This is a sly move on Amazon’s part, as the e-commerce retailer has been lusting over carrying these designer brands for ages, but it also takes some of the heat off of Amazon.
Olivia Culpo, in an outfit by Christopher Esber with Bottega Veneta sandals and a Fendi Moonlight saddle crossbody bag, poses in front of eBay’s luxury handbag machine in Los Angeles on August 12, 2021 (Credit: Michael Simon / Startraksphoto)
Criticism and Quality Assurance
The massive marketplace has frequently garnered criticism for unknowingly selling counterfeit goods or hosting third-party sellers who do so.
On the other hand, What Goes Around Comes Around is an established luxury reseller with extensive experience when it comes to authenticating designer goods. By partnering with them, Amazon is not at fault for any mistakes—should they happen at all.
Currently, What Goes Around Comes Around is the sole third-party retailer of luxury pre-owned goods on Amazon.
Amazon has partnered with What Goes Around Comes Around to sell pre-owned handbags from many of the luxury brands that declined to sell on the site
Of course, Amazon appears to be excited about this partnership, as Muge Erdirik Dogan, Amazon Fashion President, made a public statement, saying, “We continuously expand our product offering. Our customers, especially Millennial and Gen Z customers, have been sharing their interest in vintage and pre-loved luxury. We are excited to bring Amazon’s joyful shopping experience, convenience, and fast shipping to pre-loved luxury product shopping.”
There has been no word from brands like Louis Vuitton or Chanel on this new Amazon partnership, but What Goes Around Comes Around’s cofounder Seth Weisser arrogantly noted: “We have always been a distributor of brands that don’t want to be distributed.”