The Lucrative Side Of: RareBrandyMelville
August 14th, 2020
Depop is the place for fashionable, Y2K obsessed teens. Most of the items are relatively affordable and vintage. The other day, I was on Depop and I came across this Rare Brandy Melville tank listed for $85 (USD) with the words “ extremely sought after” in the description. I thought:
- How can a Brandy top be $85?
- How can Brandy be rare?
So first: what is “Rare Brandy”?
Rare Brandy is the term given to old or out of stock items. It’s ‘rare’ because it’s no longer available on their website or in store. Unlike high streetwear brands that drop limited items, Brandy will probably restock their clothing but their website reads:
It’s rare because it’s no longer on their website. The longer an item sold out on their website, the higher the item goes for. Sellers are quick to label and hashtag #rarebrandy hours after sold out on the website.
Take the top on Depop for example:
Listed for $85 with a description claiming it’s highly ‘sought after’. After doing a quick search for Brandy Melville for the same style top (Skylar), I found it was listed for $20. The 325% markup is not uncommon for other ‘rare Brandy’ items. There are numerous items with a similar markup hash-tagged under “Rare Brandy Melville”.
The high price tag somehow works though. Teens are still willing to pay the extreme price increase for Brandy Melville.
Why does this work?
Two words: scarcity marketing. Brandy employs a marketing strategy focused on teen girls who want to emulate the girls and influencers who wear it. By only producing one sized clothing, the brand achieves this level of scarcity and creates a sort of FOMO.
It’s also fitting with the Brandy Melville image – cool girls wear Brandy, skinny pretty girls wear Brandy, white girls wear Brandy. The cult following is built on the idea that you’re a “Brandy girl” by wearing their clothes. The pinnacle “Brandy girl” is white, thin and rich. It works because subconsciously, people want to be a Brandy Girl.
“Rare Brandy” works because it reinforces Brandy’s appeal by creating the idea that there are even more exclusive, more rare and more expensive items that increase their status among other teen girls.
WRITTEN BY ANNA LOWE