The Growth of The Resale Market and its Effect on the Retail Industry

By Paul Wynter November 7th, 2019

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Despite what all of the TV shows want you to believe, real people don’t always dress in the hottest, newest trends. They also don’t always buy everything brand new off the shelf. Now more than ever, the fashion retailers are starting to pick up on the resale market. No longer are second-hand stores thought to be seedy, sketchy places. They’re a popular retail trend that is even making its way into the big name brand stores through special marketing and branding. But, what does it mean for the resale market and the retail industry itself?

What resale is

The first thing in understanding what the resale market is, is to understand, well, what it physically is. The resale market focuses on taking clothes that have been previously owned and reselling them within their stores (and with their support) to new customers who want to browse and find something new for their closet.

Most resale clothing comes from donations or, in a lot of the more modern cases, it’s purchased from customers at a discounted rate. It’s a great way to earn some cash and know that you are making sure your clothing will get a second life. From the retailer’s point of view, you get excellent priced stock that will bring you a lot of benefits that go beyond the same influx of cash from a sale.

What it does for the retail industry

With the popularity of the resale market in traditional retail culture, companies big and small are taking notice of how it will change their store’s reputation amongst those interested in shopping for clothing.

• It’s an environmentally friendly option: As more and more information becomes available on the process of producing and shipping clothing to retail establishments, the eco-conscious shopper is saying that things need to change. Instead of using heavy chemical production and expensive transportation that relies on fossil fuels, they’re calling for retail companies to take a look a their production and adapt it to be environmentally friendly. Resale clothing is the prime example of hitting all of those checkmarks on the list.

• It brings in the “hunters”: While it’s true that second hand or thrift shop brings in those shoppers that like to take their time looking around and enjoying the thrill of the hunt, this is certainly not a bad thing when it comes to your store. After all, having dedicated customers that decide they want to come in and take a look around your store is always a good thing. It opens up your store to a new set of clientele that is going to be dedicated to having a thorough search around the shop.

• It’s a great way to bring in younger clientele: On that same note, the resale market is the absolute best way to bring in the younger generation. Today’s young shoppers ant to get into vintage clothing and the history of recycled options. This includes clothing, and advertising that you prioritize or offer resale clothing is going to get them coming through your doors and talking about your brand.

• You can post a variety of “new” items daily to get interest: If you are looking strictly at promoting things online through social media, the variety of options that come in through recycled clothing offers you plenty of options that will catch the interest of those who are browsing around online and looking for their next place to shop for a few wardrobe. It also means that your postings will be unique each time because your ticket items will be unique each time — that’s the beauty of resale clothing!

• It encourages clients to spend on bigger ticket items: When your customers know that they can buy something and then resell it later for earned revenue, they’ll be less likely to walk away from those bigger ticket prices. If you want to capitalize on that, resale in the more fancy pieces such as evening gowns or jewelry is a great way to make the most out of attracting your customer and, of course, helping them to enjoy a quality purchase that they can have for themselves for as long as they want. It makes everyone happy and it offers you a quality sale that wouldn’t have as much of a chance before the popularity of resale.

• It is designed for offline and eCommerce stores: While it may not seem this way at first, resale is designed for bricks and mortar stores as well as eCommerce ones. The simple act of shopping online is the same regardless of whether the clothing is brand new or second hand. This is great when you are an online store that really wants to try it out without a physical shop. In fact, it’s even better for the eco-friendly aspect because there is only the supply part of the shipping, not the actual building and its running costs that often get a bad reputation with large, standard shops.

Resale is one of those trends that seems strange, but is certainly making a big and noticeable change to the standard marketplace of small and large retail shops. It seems strange for a lot of the established places to start offering resale clothing, but the benefits are clear. The changes will bring in more customers in different demographics and it will encourage them to come back with friends once they see that you are dedicating to doing your part in promoting environmentally friendly shopping options. There’s no question that the resale market is one that you want to get into when it comes to making the most out of your role in the retail industry. While it seems counter-intuitive to sell clothes that have been previously owned, the writing is on the wall: it brings customers through your doors. And with the competition right at your heels for those same customers, that’s not something that you want to take lightly.

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