Relentless Resale Market Growth: Can Brands Adapt?

|
Marketing

Resale isn’t new. It’s hugely popular, has been for some time, and this isn’t going to change anytime soon. That said, neither is it going to continuously grow in popularity, nor is it without its downsides. The resale market growth is like the tide, it will ebb and flow, increasing and decreasing in popularity as time progresses for a number of reasons. Bringing in the good, the bad, and everything in between.

Why is fashion resale so popular?

And why now? It’s simple. Clothes are expensive. I’m sure that comes as no surprise, but to put it simply; it’s cheaper to buy second hand than to buy new. Reselling clothes also enables people to afford to buy more, allowing people to update their wardrobe without taking the financial hit. The socio-economic hardship that most people are feeling one way or another will have undoubtedly played a significant part in this, and will no doubt continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Another of resale’s key factors is that people can get their hands on items that are sold out elsewhere. This allows shoppers to access rare and exclusive pieces that they would otherwise be unable to, giving rise to communities such as The Basement. Such groups saw a boom in popularity around 2013/2014, having since been overshadowed by the big resale apps we know today.

download

Alongside these factors, there’s the season’s latest buzzword; sustainability. Though some peoples’ understanding seems to fall short of reality, sustainability is another key factor in resale’s current popularity. Giving new life to old clothes is a big part in pushing back against a fashion industry that often tries to pull the greenwashed wool over our eyes. Sustainability is a particular pull for Gen Z and millennials, who are statistically more passionate about the issue. This is is reflected in their shopping habits, with 42% of both age group buying secondhand clothing.

Resale has always had pockets of popularity for stylistic and economic reasons, however a desire to shop sustainably (for sustainability's sake) has also become more prevalent in recent years. This burst into the mainstream is partly thanks to companies like Depop and Vinted who have introduced the idea to a younger audience via easy-to-use apps. And there’s no doubt that this is also partly due to the pandemic, with more people shopping online out of convenience and boredom. All in all, it’s very clear that people still love to consume however they can…

Gimme gimme, cry the hoards!

And too right, those new trainers WILL look sick. It is this desire for more, for newness, that companies like Depop can capitalise on. Pushing ads featuring trending artists like Charlie XCX to drive home the message that second hand doesn’t mean old, merely ‘pre-loved’. In this way, these celebrity endorsements work to shift perspective on how luxury can be perceived, framing ‘pre-loved’ in a much more glamorous light. This double-speak is at the heart of resale, as the issue of the excessive consumption of new items partly rests with peoples’ perspectives of buying secondhand.

By changing ‘secondhand’ or ‘old’ to the softer ‘worn’, or even the wholesome sounding ‘pre-loved’, brands can build on the idea that the lifecycle of a particular piece isn’t limited to its original buyer. And that people shouldn’t be afraid of the prospect that their beloved jumper might once have been someone else’s beloved jumper. Shocking as that may be.

Another aspect of the resale market growth is that you don’t have to sift through racks and racks of clothes anymore. Pre-worn items can be now be viewed from the comforting headache inducing electric-blue glow of our phones. Rejoice! This evidently appeals a lot to younger generations who tend to be more tech savvy, evident from the social media hype surrounding resale.

What could possibly go wrong?

Departure from traditional brand-customer relationships gives rise to subcultures like Depop Drama. Born from the volatility of human interaction, the absence of brand voice, professional accountability and face-to-face transactions means that people can truly let loose. Regressing to their feral evolutionary origins to bicker and claw their way to a bargain or sale. Buyers and sellers alike; simultaneously shopping, selling, and releasing their pent up rage for their fellow humans in one fell swoop.

Depop Queen interaction

Some people have even received death threats... Teenage Depop seller Blake Robertson rationalised his experience to CNBC, observing that some people “just really want their items.” Wise words indeed, Blake. Sometimes they really do. So yeah, it’s safe to say that resale isn’t the idyllic paradise we yearn for just yet. But death threats and perpetual online toxicity aside, who doesn’t love a sustainable bargain between friends?

That said, Depop recently deleted its comment section claiming that it didn’t help buyers decide on items. But closer inspection would make you think there’s more to it than that - they simply can’t manage the chaos.

The surge in popularity combined with a lack of stringent monitoring results in a space that can’t be kept entirely safe. In 2019 a Business of Fashion investigation revealed how tonnes of sellers were victims of harassment: and although resale OG eBay has experienced similar issues, this can’t become an accepted fact of life.

Though some claim this to be inevitable, it’s abundantly clear that more can be done to keep people safe. The existence of popular online spaces shouldn’t be an adequate or satisfactory explanation for harassment. The issue, of course, rests with the users. So in the absence of external education on why not to harass people, it’s up to these apps to educate their patrons in order to maintain safety.

What's going well?

Despite all of this, the success and popularity of resale apps is undeniable. Depop made $85 million revenue in 2022, while Vinted made $245 in 2021 ($61 million more than they made in 2020). Moreover, both of these giants were in the minus in 2021, cementing the tide of resale analogy.

Both companies took their losses in their stride, comfortably making their money back thanks to an increase in marketing spend allowing them to corner their respective target markets; Depop is notably used more by younger people, whereas Vinted’s users tend to be a bit older and are solely based in Europe.

In short, it’s clear that the popularity of these apps, although prone to fluctuations, is on the up. But it doesn’t stop there, oh no. Retail brands are now partnering with resale platforms to offload extra merchandise in a similar way to how TK Max operates. Even fast-fashion giants like H&M have taken up the practice, which helps reduce the staggering amount of wasted garments companies of this scale churn out. This is by no means a solution to the wider problem of waste, however it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

How can brands adapt to the fashion resale market?

Well reader, I’m glad you asked. Providing that sustainability is a priority, there are a few ways that brands can cultivate sustainable practices whilst still making plenty of money. Firstly, Patagonia’s repair program, which builds solid customer-brand trust even if it isn’t generating revenue directly.

This supports their brand ideology and is further proof in the pudding to show that they actually do care. There’s also Manchester based Uskees, who, in addition to their own similar repair service, have a buy back scheme allowing old pieces to be traded in for 10% off new ones. In this way old material can be recycled and repurposed whilst keeping customers under their wing.

Similarly, Nordstrum opened a resale shop in New York in 2020 offering an “authenticated assortment of pre-loved apparel and accessories from highly coveted brands”. However the authenticity of these products has been thrown into question, with Patagonia accusing them of selling thousands of counterfeit items.

The matter of authentication is also sometimes lacking on resale platforms, so perhaps this is an area brands exploring similar options could focus on in the future. Even fast fashion giant ASOS has muscled in on a piece of the action, eager to make headway with the rising tide.

Furthermore, despite the immense popularity of resale, mainstream brands are largely having no trouble turning a profit, even in spite of their wanton overproduction. So, although it’s clear that sustainability isn’t a crucial component for success, if brands want to authentically stay at the forefront of this for reasons beyond a progressive tagline they must learn to swim, or risk being caught by the tide.

It’s abundantly clear that sustainability isn’t a priority for everyone, however as the future unfolds we can expect it to become a greater priority for customers all around the world, regardless if their head is buried in the sand. Ultimately, brands will need to lend an ear too, whether they’re personally interested or not.

So… What now?

Fear not, dear readers! People CAN still excessively consume! The success of resale apps clearly indicates that public desire for new clothes hasn’t diminished, simply adapted. Brands can cleverly work around this if they choose to, adapting their business to the changing times.  Ultimately though, its safe to say resale isn’t getting less popular anytime soon.

If you own a fashion brand and are looking for a helping hand with your digital marketing book a free call with Joe, Dom, or Freddie today to learn more about how we can help you Soar!

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

ARE YOU READY TO

START SERIOUSLY
SCALING YOUR BRAND

We’re already helping 40+ online businesses scale their profits, so now is the perfect time to hop on board. We promise if we don’t improve your current ROI by 23%, we’ll give you your money back.

TAKE OUR QUIZ AND BOOK
A DISCOVERY CALL TODAY!

Relentless Resale Market Growth: Can Brands Adapt?

|
Marketing

Resale isn’t new. It’s hugely popular, has been for some time, and this isn’t going to change anytime soon. That said, neither is it going to continuously grow in popularity, nor is it without its downsides. The resale market growth is like the tide, it will ebb and flow, increasing and decreasing in popularity as time progresses for a number of reasons. Bringing in the good, the bad, and everything in between.

Why is fashion resale so popular?

And why now? It’s simple. Clothes are expensive. I’m sure that comes as no surprise, but to put it simply; it’s cheaper to buy second hand than to buy new. Reselling clothes also enables people to afford to buy more, allowing people to update their wardrobe without taking the financial hit. The socio-economic hardship that most people are feeling one way or another will have undoubtedly played a significant part in this, and will no doubt continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Another of resale’s key factors is that people can get their hands on items that are sold out elsewhere. This allows shoppers to access rare and exclusive pieces that they would otherwise be unable to, giving rise to communities such as The Basement. Such groups saw a boom in popularity around 2013/2014, having since been overshadowed by the big resale apps we know today.

download

Alongside these factors, there’s the season’s latest buzzword; sustainability. Though some peoples’ understanding seems to fall short of reality, sustainability is another key factor in resale’s current popularity. Giving new life to old clothes is a big part in pushing back against a fashion industry that often tries to pull the greenwashed wool over our eyes. Sustainability is a particular pull for Gen Z and millennials, who are statistically more passionate about the issue. This is is reflected in their shopping habits, with 42% of both age group buying secondhand clothing.

Resale has always had pockets of popularity for stylistic and economic reasons, however a desire to shop sustainably (for sustainability's sake) has also become more prevalent in recent years. This burst into the mainstream is partly thanks to companies like Depop and Vinted who have introduced the idea to a younger audience via easy-to-use apps. And there’s no doubt that this is also partly due to the pandemic, with more people shopping online out of convenience and boredom. All in all, it’s very clear that people still love to consume however they can…

Gimme gimme, cry the hoards!

And too right, those new trainers WILL look sick. It is this desire for more, for newness, that companies like Depop can capitalise on. Pushing ads featuring trending artists like Charlie XCX to drive home the message that second hand doesn’t mean old, merely ‘pre-loved’. In this way, these celebrity endorsements work to shift perspective on how luxury can be perceived, framing ‘pre-loved’ in a much more glamorous light. This double-speak is at the heart of resale, as the issue of the excessive consumption of new items partly rests with peoples’ perspectives of buying secondhand.

By changing ‘secondhand’ or ‘old’ to the softer ‘worn’, or even the wholesome sounding ‘pre-loved’, brands can build on the idea that the lifecycle of a particular piece isn’t limited to its original buyer. And that people shouldn’t be afraid of the prospect that their beloved jumper might once have been someone else’s beloved jumper. Shocking as that may be.

Another aspect of the resale market growth is that you don’t have to sift through racks and racks of clothes anymore. Pre-worn items can be now be viewed from the comforting headache inducing electric-blue glow of our phones. Rejoice! This evidently appeals a lot to younger generations who tend to be more tech savvy, evident from the social media hype surrounding resale.

What could possibly go wrong?

Departure from traditional brand-customer relationships gives rise to subcultures like Depop Drama. Born from the volatility of human interaction, the absence of brand voice, professional accountability and face-to-face transactions means that people can truly let loose. Regressing to their feral evolutionary origins to bicker and claw their way to a bargain or sale. Buyers and sellers alike; simultaneously shopping, selling, and releasing their pent up rage for their fellow humans in one fell swoop.

Depop Queen interaction

Some people have even received death threats... Teenage Depop seller Blake Robertson rationalised his experience to CNBC, observing that some people “just really want their items.” Wise words indeed, Blake. Sometimes they really do. So yeah, it’s safe to say that resale isn’t the idyllic paradise we yearn for just yet. But death threats and perpetual online toxicity aside, who doesn’t love a sustainable bargain between friends?

That said, Depop recently deleted its comment section claiming that it didn’t help buyers decide on items. But closer inspection would make you think there’s more to it than that - they simply can’t manage the chaos.

The surge in popularity combined with a lack of stringent monitoring results in a space that can’t be kept entirely safe. In 2019 a Business of Fashion investigation revealed how tonnes of sellers were victims of harassment: and although resale OG eBay has experienced similar issues, this can’t become an accepted fact of life.

Though some claim this to be inevitable, it’s abundantly clear that more can be done to keep people safe. The existence of popular online spaces shouldn’t be an adequate or satisfactory explanation for harassment. The issue, of course, rests with the users. So in the absence of external education on why not to harass people, it’s up to these apps to educate their patrons in order to maintain safety.

What's going well?

Despite all of this, the success and popularity of resale apps is undeniable. Depop made $85 million revenue in 2022, while Vinted made $245 in 2021 ($61 million more than they made in 2020). Moreover, both of these giants were in the minus in 2021, cementing the tide of resale analogy.

Both companies took their losses in their stride, comfortably making their money back thanks to an increase in marketing spend allowing them to corner their respective target markets; Depop is notably used more by younger people, whereas Vinted’s users tend to be a bit older and are solely based in Europe.

In short, it’s clear that the popularity of these apps, although prone to fluctuations, is on the up. But it doesn’t stop there, oh no. Retail brands are now partnering with resale platforms to offload extra merchandise in a similar way to how TK Max operates. Even fast-fashion giants like H&M have taken up the practice, which helps reduce the staggering amount of wasted garments companies of this scale churn out. This is by no means a solution to the wider problem of waste, however it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

How can brands adapt to the fashion resale market?

Well reader, I’m glad you asked. Providing that sustainability is a priority, there are a few ways that brands can cultivate sustainable practices whilst still making plenty of money. Firstly, Patagonia’s repair program, which builds solid customer-brand trust even if it isn’t generating revenue directly.

This supports their brand ideology and is further proof in the pudding to show that they actually do care. There’s also Manchester based Uskees, who, in addition to their own similar repair service, have a buy back scheme allowing old pieces to be traded in for 10% off new ones. In this way old material can be recycled and repurposed whilst keeping customers under their wing.

Similarly, Nordstrum opened a resale shop in New York in 2020 offering an “authenticated assortment of pre-loved apparel and accessories from highly coveted brands”. However the authenticity of these products has been thrown into question, with Patagonia accusing them of selling thousands of counterfeit items.

The matter of authentication is also sometimes lacking on resale platforms, so perhaps this is an area brands exploring similar options could focus on in the future. Even fast fashion giant ASOS has muscled in on a piece of the action, eager to make headway with the rising tide.

Furthermore, despite the immense popularity of resale, mainstream brands are largely having no trouble turning a profit, even in spite of their wanton overproduction. So, although it’s clear that sustainability isn’t a crucial component for success, if brands want to authentically stay at the forefront of this for reasons beyond a progressive tagline they must learn to swim, or risk being caught by the tide.

It’s abundantly clear that sustainability isn’t a priority for everyone, however as the future unfolds we can expect it to become a greater priority for customers all around the world, regardless if their head is buried in the sand. Ultimately, brands will need to lend an ear too, whether they’re personally interested or not.

So… What now?

Fear not, dear readers! People CAN still excessively consume! The success of resale apps clearly indicates that public desire for new clothes hasn’t diminished, simply adapted. Brands can cleverly work around this if they choose to, adapting their business to the changing times.  Ultimately though, its safe to say resale isn’t getting less popular anytime soon.

If you own a fashion brand and are looking for a helping hand with your digital marketing book a free call with Joe, Dom, or Freddie today to learn more about how we can help you Soar!

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

ARE YOU READY TO

START SERIOUSLY
SCALING YOUR BRAND

We’re already helping 40+ online businesses scale their profits, so now is the perfect time to hop on board. We promise if we don’t improve your current ROI by 23%, we’ll give you your money back.

TAKE OUR QUIZ AND BOOK
A DISCOVERY CALL TODAY!