The Difference Between Brand and Market Value

The Difference Between Brand and Market Value


Brand Value: What is it and Why Should You Care?

Why is Starbucks coffee so expensive? Do they have the best coffee beans on the planet? Is it their amazing facilities and award-winning brews made by generational master roasters? No. They just happen to have killer marketing and have established themselves as THE coffee.


*Just so we are clear, Starbucks has never won an award for coffee excellence. They have won awards for diversity, humanitarian efforts, branding, all sorts of other stuff but not for their actual coffee lol.


The reason Starbucks can charge you whatever they want for coffee is because they have built such a strong brand and image. They have established themselves as the top of the pyramid. We assume they are the best because they told us that, and they did such a good job of telling us, that we just believe it. No questions asked.


Brand importance in Resale Pricing

What brand do you have? What do people assume about this brand? If you had a random new pair of well-made black leather ballet flats, you could maybe sell them for $40. If you have a well-worn, well -loved pair of Chanel Ballet flats in semi-questionable condition, you could still sell them for at least $250.


Let’s not go as far as Chanel. If you had a funny little pair of polyester washable flats, you could maybe sell them for $30 new. Why do used Rothy’s still sell for over $90 well worn?


Here are the things to ask yourself when pricing your items?


  • Is this a brand a lot of people recognize as good? Desirable?
  • What was this worth retail and how much would someone pay to have a used pair in good condition?
  • What is a fair price for this brand as a consumer? (KEYWORD: CONSUMER. Not as a reseller)
  • Is this a brand that is currently popular and in high demand?


(Ok, hold on to these questions for a second. We are going to switch to Market Value. But don’t worry, we will come back and tie it up and it will ALL make sense.)


Market Value: The Turning Tides of Supply and Demand

Do you guys remember a toy called Tickle Me Elmo? If you are too young to remember, go google Tickle Me Elmo CRAZE. Tickle Me Elmo was a Tyco Toy based on Sesame Street’s Elmo Character. The toy would laugh and say silly things when it was hugged. Ground-breaking, right? (insert eye roll).


Tickle Me Elmo had an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $35. Not bad, right. Well, that was the retail suggested price. Which means absolutely nothing in ideal market conditions. In the month’s leading up to Christmas of 1996, Tickle Me Elmo’s were sold out ALL over the country. People were buying them in store and selling them for THOUSANDS of dollars!


Why? How the heck were people selling a $35 laughing puppet doll for $1000. $2000, $5000? Because they could. Because the demand was there and if you have the product that everyone wants, you control price. It is as simple as that.


Knowing when to sell is key

Ok so, props to the people selling a $35 stuffed animal for $5000. You are the real MVPs. But, what about the people that stocked up on the product right at the cusp, right before the craze died? Can you imagine being the person that stocked up on Tickle Me Elmo’s at $500 a pop hoping to make $1500 per unit and the BAM… the craze is over.


That same silly laughing stuffed toy that was worth thousands only a few months later is now available in more stores. It is no longer sold out. People can just go to their friendly neighborhood Toys R Us and get one. (RIP Toys R US). The demand is gone. You no longer have the price advantage. You lose. 


This is similar to when you walk into a Nordstrom Rack Clearance sale and there are 50 of the same Reformation dresses in the same size. Is that a good buy? Well, it depends. What are the levels of supply and demand? What to do?! Here are your options.


You can either buy the piece and hold it until the market clears and supply is low, or you can pass on it and move on to something that is in demand now. What you can’t do is buy 5 of them, go home and list them for almost the same as retail price and assume they are going to fly off the shelves. It doesn’t work that way.


Plus, you need to imagine that the buys for these stores were similar around the country, so not only does your Nordstrom Rack have 50, every store in the area has at least half of that. In other words, the market is over saturated and a dress that you could normally sell for $150 is not worth more than the $40 you paid.


So, when you are getting ready to price your item, once you have reviewed the BRAND questions above… regardless of what the MSRP, ask these questions next.


  • How much demand is there in the market for my product right now?
  • Is the market saturated with my product?
  • Does the market saturation apply to the specific size I have as well?
  • If there are only a few items similar to mine, does mine offer the consumer more than others? Ie: better condition, original packaging, actual style name listed, sole protectors added, replacement heel caps?


All of these things give you an edge on the market.


In Conclusion

The next time you are about to price your items based on comps (which takes NONE of these CRITICALLY important pieces of information into account) think about what you actually have to offer. Are you holding a Tickle Me Elmo before Christmas 96? Then you better price accordingly.


Are you the girl with the 50 Reformation dresses wanting to sell them at a premium when the apps are FULL of the same dress and same cover photo? You have a slow seller on your hands. Hold until the market supply goes down or, sell at cost,. Get your money back and try again, sister.


I hope you liked this mini lesson! I LOVE talking about this stuff. I could go on and on forever, but I realize you guys have other stuff to do, aka life.


If you have any questions, I would love to hear back from you via Instagram. I am always here to talk about nerdy stuff like pricing, branding, marketing, etc.


Also, I have shared with you my thoughts on brand and market value. My ask: if there is any part of this lesson that really got your wheels turning, please share it on an insta story, so other’s will join us for the next lesson.

Thank you for being here!



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1 comment

Love this! So HOW do you figure out if you’re the Tickle Me Elmo lucky seller, or the Reformation dress seller – where do you find the most reliable information? 😍

Trina Rymland

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