April 12, 2021
Reselling luxury packaging: A developing market
A recent trend has emerged where entrepreneurial individuals have started to sell used boxes and packaging from luxury brands and designer labels. That’s right; the empty boxes from these premium companies have value to other people who are willing to spend money on second-hand packaging.
How reselling premium packaging works
Many luxury products come in iconic branded boxes or novelty packaging when they are purchased. Think Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Michael Kors or Prada as examples – the branded packaging is distinctive and seemingly still desirable without the primary product inside. People have listed these empty packaging products on e-commerce sites, such as eBay and on Facebook groups, and have made a fair amount selling them to willing buyers.
Influencer culture has played a large role in this trend. Followers and fans are willing to buy empty boxes once owned by celebrities and influencers, for various reasons. Some buyers like the fact that they can own an empty box once held by an idol; others like the status of owning and displaying these packaging products in their homes. It enables them to show off their ‘collection’ of designer labels on their own social media channels.
Legal implications of reselling luxury packaging
While some sellers can make anything between US$20 and US$60 per branded packaging product1, the reselling market is not a guaranteed way to make money. There can be certain legal implications to this trend, especially in cases where sellers infringe upon trademark restrictions and present themselves as brand representatives2.
People or small businesses reselling branded boxes need to be careful not to market these packaging items as their own products. They must also be clear that they do not represent the company whose logo is on the box. Any unclear practices, such as these, can land the seller in hot water over copyright, trademark and intellectual property infringements.
Another major area of legal violations involves selling knock-off products in these branded boxes. Some sellers are putting cheap products in premium, branded packaging and selling them under the guise of the luxury brand. This is a serious offense counterfeiting is dealt with harshly by most big brands.
Trademark law can be complicated
Trademarks have a set of laws that govern how they are used and these may differ around the world, depending on the country in which the brand is registered. However, once a brand releases its product to the marketplace, it loses the right to prevent the product’s resale in most instances3.
This means that branded packaging and boxes can be resold if they are marketed as such – empty packaging with a genuine logo or design. These products cannot be altered in any way or use fake replicas inside and passed off as originals. Any person looking to resell their branded boxes and packaging must be careful not to mislead the buyer in any way, nor claim the trademarked product as their own.
Reselling luxury boxes online is a fast-growing commercial venture that lends itself to creating a stream of income on the side. As packaging providers, this is an interesting development. Helping to create an iconic pack that has value outside of the primary product will always be a thrilling moment in the life of a packaging designer
Header image: ©IPL Packaging
IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and manage the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.
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