Want to update your wardrobe with the perfect vintage or designer find? Looking to save a little cash but still want high quality accessories? Need to buy summer clothing for your ever-growing child? Then check out today’s second hand retail market.
It’s not your grandma’s old flea market, garage sale, or Goodwill experience. Even celebrity fashionistas like Sarah Jessica Parker, Zooey Deschanel, Jada Smith, and Drew Barrymore are rocking second hand looks on sidewalks and red carpets.
Despite slow growth in 2016, the fashion industry remains big business. McKinsey reports it’s worth an estimated $2.4 trillion with U.S. consumers spending more than $250 billion a year. New and successful websites with smartphone apps like thredUP and Poshmark are fuelling the market. Offering deep discounts and new inventory daily, it’s easy to see why consumers are shopping online resale sites at their convenience. ThredUP’s 2017 Annual Research Report claims one third of women now shop second hand. Clothing, shoes and accessories account for 49% of the market. Apparel resale, both online and off, is an $18 billion industry, expected to grow to $31 billion by 2021.
Mindful Millennials and frugal grandmas represent the largest market shopping second hand, at 30% and 32% respectively. Millennials are 75% motivated by eco-conscience and “save the environment” attitude, while women over 65 enjoy savings and value. Today’s thrift shopper isn’t low-income either. In fact, over 46% of all thrift shoppers make incomes of over $250,000 a year (10% are millionaires), 77% are working professionals, 73% live in urban areas, and 71% own a home. These fashion-forward and value-oriented consumers are stretching their apparel and accessory dollars, without sacrificing quality and brand preferences.
Due to the increase in fast fashion cycles of 10 to 12 turnovers a year, there is as much as 30% textile waste. Average Americans throw away 70 pounds of clothing annually. So “donating” and shopping resale are smart alternatives that benefit the planet, local communities and charities.
Where to Buy and Sell
EBay certainly isn’t the only online site for buying/selling second hand. The growing off-price peer-to-peer marketplace includes many new leaders. Simply become a “member” by joining the following hot sites and a new world of buying and selling is a click away.
ThredUP is the world’s largest online fashion resale shop with over 30,000 brands for women, kids and teens at up to 90% off. It caters to special sizes too, including plus and maternity, and features great bargains in mall and designer brand clothing, shoes and handbags.
The RealReal, considered by rack.com to be the mother of all luxury resale sites, is so successful it’s considering an IPO. With women’s and men’s luxury fashion brands like Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Céline, Hermes, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Manolo Blahnik, the site offers a multi-point authentication process.
Four million members across the globe love Vestiaire Collective. Started in Paris, it now has offices in Europe and the U.S. It boasts 20,000 new items per week, all authenticated, pre-owned, luxury couture fashions at 30 to 70% off. Luxury resale buyers also have the option of paying in installments up to a 12-month period for certain purchases.
Poshmark is a leading peer-to-peer fashion destination where people buy and sell new and gently used clothing and accessories at 70% off retail. A smartphone gives you access to women’s, kid’s, and men’s clothing and accessories from a wide variety of brands.
ReSee is a modern vintage and boutique collection site. It focuses on rare vintage pieces from high-end couture labels, including exciting curated collections handpicked by founders Sofia Bernardin and Sabrina Marshall.
Grailed is one of the few online second hand shops for menswear only. You’ll find high-end pieces from men’s designers you love with three selling categories: Grailed (for all designer goods), Hype (for Yeezy Season, Supreme, and others), and Basic (for J.Crew, Gap, etc.).
Tradesy offers 70% savings on new and pre-owned Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Michael Kors. Unique to Tradesy is its full wedding section, selling everything from bridesmaid dresses to wedding stationery, decorations, and jewelry.
Rebagg is the go-to source for luxury handbags online. The designer list is tightly curated with Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Hermes, Celine, and Fendi leading the way.
Material World promises to reduce impact on the environment through the resale of high-end luxury women’s fashions. You can trade-in or shop new or pre-owned brands including Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Chanel, Helmut Lang, and Missoni.
Rebelle, based in Hamburg, makes second hand selling and buying luxurious for its 800,000 visitors each month. It offers 48-hour guaranteed delivery of Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hermes, Prada, Gucci, and Chloé fashions and accessories.
Vinted, with 12 million members in 10 countries, claims its mission is to make second hand the first choice worldwide. It features fashions for the whole family, accessories, and beauty items.
Finally, Collector Square, launched by the founder of Artcurial auction house, has become the global choice for pre-owned luxury bags, watches and jewelry online. The showroom is based in Paris, but over 50% of sales are made outside. Featured brands include Chanel, Hermes, Cartier and Rolex.
The State of Fashion – McKinsey
What Happens When Fashion Becomes Fast, Disposable and Cheap? – NPR
Best Online Retail Sites – Racked.com
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