Consumers' Experience of Luxury Brands Offered in the Second-hand Luxury Market: A Study of how the Evolving Trend of Second-hand Consumption is Affecting Luxury Apparel Brands

Hanne Stoknes Jensen & Helga Rún Pálsdóttir

Student thesis: Master thesis


In recent years, the second-hand luxury market has been rapidly growing, and the young people, namely Generation Z and Millennials, are the market’s largest group of buyers. Young people are generally more concerned about the importance of sustainability than the older generation. They fear the effects will eventually lead to the destruction of the planet. With this rapid increase, the second-hand luxury market is expected to become larger than the traditional luxury market over the next few years. The purpose of this research is to investigate in what ways and why luxury brands should be affected by the evolving trend of second-hand consumption. Furthermore, the thesis explores consumers’ motivations for purchasing luxury brands, uncovering the different drivers for first-hand luxury purchases versus second-hand luxury. Brand experience as a construct was further analyzed to uncover which dimensions, and to what degree, might transpire when purchasing first-hand versus second-hand. Moreover, the customer and its various touchpoints have been studied in order to increase the understanding of consumers’ experiences with luxury brands. To answer the research questions, an exploratory single case study has been conducted. Following an abductive approach, a theoretical framework was constructed based on literature to guide the research. A qualitative method of individual in-depth interviews was applied to analyze consumers’ experience with luxury brands. The findings of the thesis show how young female consumers reflect on sustainability and consumerism when using and consuming luxury brands. Through these reflections, their awareness and recognition of the impact fashion consumption has on the environment, becomes apparent. Being sustainable is considered one of the main drivers when purchasing second-hand luxury brands. According to the research, luxury brands would be wise to consider young female consumers’ luxury brand values. In particular, because these consumers seem to prefer purchasing second-hand luxury over first-hand luxury. The reasons vary from one or more of the following; the financial aspect, comprehensive selection of unique and rare items, and by acting more responsible towards the environment.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages304
SupervisorsKarin Tollin