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Home / Tips and Tricks / Many thanks to these apps for the rise of second-hand retail

Many thanks to these apps for the rise of second-hand retail

Last time you cleared out your closet, you may have considered your local consignment or donation center. These are great options, and many people still rely on them as a first stop for affordable goods. But second-hand shopping apps are creating a renaissance of resale that is changing our shopping and spending habits.

Second-hand mail-order location and mobile app ThredUp has found in a recent report that online retail and mobile apps have seen second-hand retail sales grow 21 times faster than the traditional retail market over the last three years alone , Just last month, Macy's and JCPenney announced that some of their department stores will soon be launching second-hand fashion sections of ThredUp.

The options for selling clothes, shoes, accessories, and even household goods that you use with care go well beyond eBay or Craigslist. Dozens of apps give individuals the opportunity to buy or sell used items. You can even sell your car or home online.

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In August, JCPenney and Macy & # 39; s announced plans to test ThredUp collections in selected cities in the business.


These options deserve some caution and skepticism on such large purchases, but are evidence of the broader trend. At a time when just about everything is being bought online, it makes sense that second hand retailers have a real chance to revolutionize the industry.

What exactly is second-hand retail?

"Used" refers to anything that has been resold to a manufacturer or dealer after the original purchase, regardless of the condition of the item. Whether NWT ("New With Tags"), EUC ("Excellent Used Condition") or "preloved" – second-hand items offer a valuable alternative, even to bargain stores like TJ Maxx or Ross.

You have dozens of options if you want to buy or sell second-hand items through a mobile app. Most of them also have a dedicated website for desktop users. These apps are getting bigger day by day.

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"There is a broad consensus that resale is demographic and cultural on the rise," said John Lagerling, US CEO of Mercari. "For a variety of reasons, people are becoming more aware of their consumption."

Apps, Markets and Services

Selling your used items online is certainly not new. eBay entered the scene in 1995 and set the tone for online second-hand sales. Craigslist came on the market in the same year with a kind of "choose your own adventure" trade. With the advent of mobile apps, social media ads, and the ability to complete virtually any transaction (I see you Tinder ) from your phone, the competition is much tougher.

Online resale can be divided into two basic types: peer-to-peer and broadcast services. Peer-to-peer platforms are similar to eBay, where sellers register and upload their own photos and descriptions of goods and execute shipments. Consignment services provide a more involved third party, where you send your items to the service, and an employee photographs and lists them for you and sends them to the buyer.

There are also luxury options. Some apps contain a special category of luxury, while others focus exclusively on the luxury market. For example, TheRealReal specializes in second-hand goods from hundreds of high-end brands such as Christian Louboutin, Hermes, Chanel and Tom Ford. Like ThredUp, you send in your luxury items to be photographed, cataloged and put up for sale. There is also a personal pickup option for selected cities.

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Mercaris app and associated website includes categories for women's fashion, men's fashion, electronics, homewares, and more.

Screenshot of Molly Price / CNET

All these platforms have one thing in common: they benefit from your sale. No matter which path you choose, you'll have to spend a percentage of your sales, as you would in a traditional stationary consignment warehouse. For most apps, this is a flat-rate percentage of your sales – 10% at Mercari, 20% at Poshmark for sales over $ 15. The percentage of ThredUp depends on the final selling price of the item. The more it sells, the more you can keep and spend a maximum of 80%.

Which way is the best?

For most people, peer-to-peer approaches to sales are the easiest. You can take a few photos, select some features from the product category and set your price. You can also stick to your item until it's sold. For buyers, delivery services like ThredUp offer a second, professional look at your potential purchase. Someone who is not attached to the object will examine it, determine its size, and describe its condition.

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The ThredUp team photographs and lists your articles for you.

Gani Pinero / ThredUp

Regardless of whether it's peer-to-peer shipping or servicing, most of them also offer flat-rate and simplified shipping. For example, Poshmark calculates the same shipping charge for each item. So you can print a label at home, stick it on your box (any box that is in good condition) and have it picked up by your postman. Mercari recently partnered with UPS. So if you do not have a printer at home, you can take your item with a QR code to a UPS store that packs it and ships it for you.

Unlike eBay, these apps do not offer auction sales. But if you're looking for online auction apps, there are certainly many of them. These resale apps offer options such as private discounts for people who like your listing, receive quotes and promote price reductions.

What has made it so successful?

The big resale apps started about a decade ago. ThredUp and Tradesy, both broadcast service sites, were launched in 2009. Poshmark, a peer-to-peer app, was launched in 2011. Other peer-to-peer options came later – Letgo in 2015, Mercari in 2013, and Facebook Marketplace in 2016 Englisch: emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 157 & lang = en In 2019, when we go out on our phones, go shopping, go to the doctor's and attend board meetings.

The second-hand industry has generated billions in revenue over these years. ThredUp's 2019 report, in collaboration with GlobalData, a third party analytics company, is packed with statistics on rising resale trends. Here are a few tidbits from this report:

  • Millennials (25 to 37) and Boomers (55 to 65+) more economical than any other age group.
  • In a GlobalData survey of 2,000 women, 64% said they would be willing to buy second-hand, an increase of 45% in 2016.
  • There is a growing interest in sustainable shopping, and purchasing a used item reduces its carbon footprint by approximately 82%.
  • The used market is currently worth $ 24 billion and is expected to reach $ 51 billion over the next five years.

Interestingly, the report by ThredUp cites some of his recent successes in the "clean-out kits" of the Netflix show Clean Up with Marie Kondo . The company claims that the number of clean-out kits increased by 80% when Kondo's show became viral about minimizing. Alec Oxenford, co-founder of Letgo, made a similar remark.

"It's no coincidence that Marie Kondo and our app have become popular at the same time," said Oxenford. "People are becoming more frugal and aware of what they buy, where they buy it, what it's worth to keep and what they can do with what they no longer need, and new technology makes buying and selling second-hand more accessible because ever done. "

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The Japanese cleanup guru Marie Kondo has inspired millions of people to finally release their homes.

Denise Crew / Netflix

Second-hand retail also has social and environmental aspects. Manish Chandra, CEO of Poshmark, believes that much of the role of Poshmark is not only to facilitate online commerce, but also to act as a social platform for like-minded consumers.

"Consumers crave personalization and want to be seen and heard," said Chandra. "They value transparent and open communication with retailers, so it's the human interactions and social connections between members of the Poshmark community that allow for more personalized, more complete transactions and more than just a shopping experience."

Responsible resale

This growth is not just about clothing and accessories. Apps like Letgo have categories for a variety of items, such as electronics and even cars. All of these companies emphasize their secure payment methods and return policies, but if you want to make one of those expensive (or even small) purchases, there are still plenty of reasons to be cautious on the internet.

We all know that Craigslist is the wild west of online buying and selling, and last but not least, the 24-year-old website has taught us to closely monitor what is advertised. Just like buying or selling items in person, online transactions require caution from all sides. Be smart. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are good tips for buyers and sellers on the internet. Here are some examples:

Know what you're looking for

If you're looking for a high priced item, you know a lot about what authentic models look like so you do not get into a fake nightmare. If you shop at a shipping service, counterfeiting is unlikely. Some websites, such as Poshmark, offer authentication services for expensive items. However, you should take a close look at each photo of the article and know the return terms, as these may differ not only from the website but also from the individual articles.

Stay Local

It is important to act directly on the site and reject those who wish to make transactions by e-mail. Do not share personal information. In these apps, you should not have to tell users much about themselves, just your username. There are options to fill in things like the place, but they are not required.

Read Returns Policy

This is important. Used items will probably not be in perfect condition. That's one of the reasons why they are discounted and can be a lot. It is important to examine photos for errors and to read the entire fine print including the return policy.

When it comes to return policies, eBay protects its customers pretty well. There are protective measures for items that do not appear to arrive damaged or do not conform to the details in the listing. The same applies to purchases on the Facebook marketplace, but only if they are made via checkout on Facebook in the listing. Protection does not apply to products purchased through other methods such as PayPal or personal meetings.

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The 2019 ThredUp report estimates that the future composition of your cabinet has changed.

ThredUp / GlobalData Resale Report for 2019

Poshmark, Letgo, Thredup, and Mercari also provide protection in certain circumstances. Missing items and incorrect listings. However, there are cases when a sale is final and you get stuck with an unwanted item if you are not careful. There is still a lot of care you need to do as a buyer to have the best chance of being satisfied with your used item.

What happens to the Starcourt Mall?

ThredUp's report that second-hand retail has grown 21 times faster than retail over the past three years also assumes that the closet of the future will contain fewer commodity and specialty items. In particular, department stores will lose 13% of their market share by 2028, while specialty stores such as Gap or J. Crew will lose 12%. Macy & # 39; s and JCPenney may be ahead in the integration of second-hand items into their stores, but there is no denying that the future of buying and selling, including new items, is largely mobile.

I urge you to scroll through your social media feeds for a minute without seeing an ad to buy a product right on your phone. With its online presence and fast shipping, Amazon has switched from a bookstore to a megastore. Second hand retailing is unlikely to lag far behind as consumers focus on sustainability, value products with less packaging and look for affordable, refurbished goods.

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