The peer-to-peer marketplace Grailed made its debut in 2013. Over the past decade, it has evolved into a prominent resale platform known for its extensive product range and brand recognition. This review delves into Grailed's lesser-known history, recent updates, and provides pros and cons of the seller experience. Additionally, we consulted accomplished Grailed sellers, who offered valuable tips for those looking to succeed on the platform.
THE GRAILED PLATFORM
Grailed launched as a menswear marketplace with a focus on high-end and niche designers in 2013. Since its inception, when founder Arun Gupta encouraged early sellers, previously conducting word-of-mouth sales on Web 2.0 fashion forums, to join the newly created Grailed website, the platform emphasizing low seller fees, carefully curated product offerings, and most importantly, a close-knit community of users, has experienced significant growth.
Today, Grailed boasts over 10 million buyers and sellers, with over 5 million listings, complemented by a robust iOS app. And despite its expansion to encompass an all-encompassing range of price points and styles, the marketplace has maintained its reputation as a highly curated platform specializing in archive and rare designer finds.
Notably, in 2022,
- Grailed re-launched its womenswear department. Unlike the previous iteration, where Grailed womenswear appeared as a separate app and website called Heroine, this re-launch reflects the growing prevalence of genderless and unisex shopping preferences and seamlessly integrates womenswear offerings into the Grailed shopping experience.
- Grailed was acquired by the global sneaker marketplace Goat Group. While Grailed continues to operate independently from GOAT's suite of resale platforms, which includes GOAT, Flight Club, and Alias, the acquisition suggests potential future cross-site collaboration and expansion, while further strengthening Grailed’s positioning within the competitive resale environment.
You might also be interested in our Ultimate Marketplace Guide for Resellers!
GRAILED TARGET AUDIENCE AND USER BASE
Early user base: Grailed has traditionally been known for its focus on luxury (Louis Vuitton,) avant-garde (Rick Owens,) and hard-to-find brands (Chrome Hearts) in addition to its emphasis on sneakers and streetwear. The typical Grailed user profile in the mid-2010s followed a similar arc, as illustrated by this meme showcasing a progression towards increasingly obscure and niche fashion designers and houses,
- First: Getting interested in Supreme or sneaker releases, maybe even flipping a piece or two for quick results
- Then: Gradually cultivating a deeper passion for fashion and style, all while learning about little-known and luxury designers through Grailed’s community and editorial presence
- Finally: Embarking on a continuous menswear journey, ultimately discovering your signature style
Current user base: The timeline above remains relevant today; however, the ascent of TikTok fashion culture and the accelerated pace of information sharing have expedited this process, all while drawing in a continually expanding audience into the previously niche world of fashion culture. In other words: Everyone is interested in personal style. This monumental shift is incredibly fortunate for Grailed, which is viewed by Gen Z and millennial audiences as the place for designer and fashion-forward goods.
“I used to know everyone I was selling to,” says Grailed seller and corporate employee Adam Ezzell, who previously hosted a Vendoo-hosted masterclass on selling on Grailed. “But now, Grailed has grown to encompass anything clothing related. Which translates to high end, emerging and even lower-end basics. Truly everything.”
Audience differentiation: Power seller Ezzell, who specializes in luxury designer accessories, notices that Grailed’s user population is uniquely willing to take the time to browse, explore and learn on the platform. “There’s no other marketplace that functions as a resource like this,” he says. “On other sites, buyers know exactly what they want. And they will only look for that specific product. Grailed users, on the other hand, are willing to spend time on the platform to explore unfamiliar brands and styles.”
Womenswear opportunity: Grailed’s womenswear re-launch successfully onboarded a new user base of womenswear buyers. Succinctly: “The luxury and contemporary woman has come to Grailed,” says Nate Dight, a Grailed corporate team member who specializes in seller relations. “Grailed’s womenswear department is dominated by high-end buyers looking for rare luxury goods, who previously frequented sites like Vestiaire and The Real Real. That’s great for sellers with inventory including Chanel, Hermes and the like.”
“Womenswear does really well [on Grailed.] I’ve witnessed a notable uptick of sales to womenswear buyers since the re-launch.” Ezzell says. “Specifically, I’ve sold a lot of designer sunglasses. Now, I’m planning on expanding into higher-end purses in addition to the wallets and accessories I already have.”
- Broad-spanning inventory: Like the name implies, Grailed has built a reputation for finding pieces you can’t find anywhere else. This expands beyond extremely rare archival runway items to include truly worn vintage pieces along with bespoke items such as a 1-of-1 Birkin bag. For sellers: this results in an opportunity to expand your inventory scope to include items that would not as likely attract a customer base on other platforms. Beyond this, it presents an opportunity to create a one-stop shop for a specific style, genre or subculture. Learn more about top selling items on Grailed.
Grailed seller WornHeavy has created a brand around highly curated and well-worn vintage sportswear. “Their price points are very reasonable, and there’s a lot of product to choose from,” says Ezzell. “They’ve established quite a reputation for themselves.”
- Digital Authentication: High-risk items listed on Grailed are reviewed by an expert in-house team of authenticators. Customers can make their purchases with peace of mind, free from concerns about the authenticity of their products. For sellers, this service provides a solution for tricky situations, such as when the certificate of authenticity is misplaced or when the item predates the existence of serial numbers. The specialized team at Grailed will understand this and has the background to credibly authenticate your item.
- Competitive seller fees: There are no listing fees on Grailed. There is also a transparent fee breakdown shown after completing a sale.
- Transparent Communication and Binding offers: Grailed is one of the only platforms where buyer and seller interaction is highly encouraged. You’re able to message directly on Grailed, which often results in a market-equilibrium selling price, and efficient post-sale interaction. And there’s the handy binding offer feature, which translates to a guaranteed sale for the seller. Do note that the final agreed-upon price is inclusive of shipping costs.
- Customer Service: Like the digital authentication team, Grailed’s customer experience team is highly knowledgeable about the platform along with its broad-spanning inventory. In addition to this, items bought on Grailed as guaranteed under Grailed’s purchase protection program, which safeguards buyers and sellers from cases of fraud and inauthenticity.
- Payments: Grailed recently launched a new payments system, which integrates Apple Pay, credit cards and Klarna. Previously, buyers were limited to PayPal and were subject to its third-party adjudication process in the event of a dispute. Under Grailed Payments, the Grailed purchase protection program is directly administered by Grailed’s team.
- It’s the little things: Grailed’s in-app listings process includes a price comparison tool, which shows the price range of similar sold items. You can list highly-detailed measurements while listing, and even offer a partial refund in the app if there’s a small issue with the item, rather than process a full return. A lot of these detail-oriented features stem from Grailed’s history as a menswear app, where measurements and condition of an item matter a lot. And it’s resulted in a highly unique and idiosyncratic app that prioritizes both the buyer and seller experience equally.
- Marketplace Saturation: As the resale economy grows, so does the number of marketplaces. This naturally results in increased competition and possibly lower and slower sell-through rates. To enable faster and more efficient sell-through rates, consider investing time in creating unique and useful hashtags and keywords. This goes beyond the designer and item scope to include elements directly related to the item such as material, genre and trends. Being creative here is key. Make sure to tag a celebrity if they’ve worn your item. Or even tag the designer’s name to get your item in front of as many possible buyers as possible. For example, rather than just “Off-White” also add “Virgil Abloh.”
- No Android app: Grailed said goodbye to its Android app in 2021, which arguably closes off the app to a large segment of the mobile population. However, it’s worth noting that Vendoo has a robust Android app that allows you to manage your Grailed account seamlessly.
- Designer list: Not all brands will populate in the drop-down while listing a piece on Grailed. Yet, there are many workarounds, such as choosing popular overarching tags, such as “Japanese Designer,” which itself has cultivated an allure and culture of its own for original users of the app. However, the official fix for this is to request to add a designer, which is an option within the listing process.
- Swimwear and intimates: Like The Real Real, Grailed’s official policy is to not deal with intimates. However, a workaround is to list items as bodysuits.
GRAILED: SELLING TIPS
- Browse Grailed.com/sold: Unlike other sites, Grailed makes sold listings data readily available. https://www.grailed.com/sold shows all items ever sold on the site and app. And offers an abundance of filters to sort, explore and learn.
- Detailed Listing Photos: Detailed and high quality photos of items will move through the Grailed digital authentication queue faster. Ensure you have enough photos and images of crucial details, such as serial numbers, so your item doesn’t get kicked back to you for follow up information which increases drag, friction and is overall frustrating as a seller.
- Listing Times: The Grailed Seller Success Team suggested sending out binding offers in the off-work evening hours during this Vendoo x Grailed Masterclass.
- Product presentation: Many Grailed buyers discover (and follow!) sellers from listing pages. Maintaining visual consistency is crucial, especially if you offer a diverse range of products. This doesn’t mean that you’re required to have a sterile white background. Different backdrops like a hardwood floor, concrete wall, really anything works as long as it remains consistent across listings.
Grailed power seller Adam Ezzell removes the background of his photos with an app, but doesn’t think it’s necessary for every one. He points out Grailed seller WEAREROLLER who lists items along with succulents, prints and other black and white decor items. “His photos look great,” says Ezzell. “And it’s easier to stay consistent.” Overall, he advises to look for opportunities among brand and product categories. Know what you’re selling and be passionate about it. Then you can answer questions about your times and grow a clientele.
- Square photos: While there's no definitive consensus on whether hanger, flat lay, or model pictures are superior, successful sellers have observed that using square photos (the standard iPhone crop) along with maintaining visual consistency leads to positive sell-through outcomes.
- When Listing Multiple Brands: Make sure to choose the actual/main designer first to get your time in front of the most eyes possible. For example, choose Nike x Vintage, rather than Vintage x Nike. For those wondering, vintage is considered anything 20 years or older.
- Packaging: Shipping quickly and investing in packaging, which can look like new shipping boxes or poly-mailers or even custom add-ons like stickers, will build a brand and reputation.
- Badges: Grailed profiles can be awarded multiple icon badges, which feature prominently at the top of your profile. These include: Speedy Shipper, Quick Responder, and Trusted Seller to name a few.
- Price Drops and Bumps: Price drops within the Grailed app of 10% or greater will notify every user following your item. You’re able to send price drops multiple times a month. In addition to this, every week, sellers are able to bump their item to the top of the feed. Due to the nature of price drops, bumps and binding features, many Grailed sellers recommend listing your item on the higher end, which gives you wiggle room to give someone a good deal.
- Grailed’s Trending Page: Encourage buyers and browsers to follow your store, and favorite your items to increase your relevance in the home page feed, which incorporates these factors in the algorithmically-created landing page.
SO, IS IT WORTH SELLING ON GRAILED?
Grailed's journey from a niche menswear marketplace to a thriving, all-encompassing fashion hub is a testament to its commitment to authenticity, community, and innovation. As it continues to evolve, embracing genderless shopping trends and expanding its user base, Grailed remains a go-to destination for fashion enthusiasts and sellers alike. With its competitive advantages, seller-friendly features, and dedication to personal style exploration, Grailed is poised to shape the future of the online fashion resale landscape.
If you're new to Grailed, you'll discover that it closely resembles the process of selling on other platforms like Depop and Poshmark, making it easy for you to get the hang of it quickly. If you're already an experienced Grailed seller, we trust that this piece has provided valuable insights that may have expanded your knowledge.
Additionally, for those who are new to Vendoo, it's a practical and user-centric service that enables you to cross-list your items on 10 different marketplaces. It also offers inventory management capabilities and tailored data analytics to ensure the success of your business.