‘Explosion’ in second-hand clothing helps fill vacuum created by supply chain and vacation demand

As the supply chain crisis threatens to disrupt the holiday shopping season, more people are turning to an unlikely source – used clothing – to fill the void.

November has traditionally been known as one of the best months to find deals. This year, however, many hot products are scarce or more expensive than usual due to supply chain bottlenecks. And while discount sales started earlier this year, the second-hand clothing market is growing in popularity.

“We have seen an explosion in sales of small leather goods, accessories, scarves, items that we consider to be gift items, with an increase of 60% year on year”, Tracy DiNunzio, founder and CEO of Tradesy, an online marketplace where people can sell their second-hand luxury goods, Yahoo Finance Live said Thursday.

Second-hand and online consignment platforms have grown in popularity even before the pandemic hit last year. In 2019, this segment extended 21 times faster than the conventional clothing trade.

Thanks to the resale boom, there are plenty of options when it comes to saving these days. However, Tradesy is different from other popular online used marketplaces like Thredup, Mercari, and Poshmark.

“Tradesy is one of the only sites where you can find all the luxury brands on earth, from Louis Vuitton to Chanel, Gucci, to the new independent brands that have just been released,” said DiNunzio.

“The reason we focus so specifically on luxury is that we want people to buy better quality products that can have multiple owners throughout their lives and never end up in a landfill,” he said. she adds.

The second-hand market has evolved over the years. Yet Tradesy relies on a “peer-to-peer” business model, which means it facilitates direct commerce between buyer and seller.

“We don’t do any inventory. We do everything with technology. We have replaced human intermediaries with smart technology, to minimize the amount of shipping and handling needed to sell each item, which is the lowest cost in luxury, ”said DiNunzio.

“Tradesy sellers earn more while Tradesy buyers pay less,” added the executive.

While Tradesy’s luxury space competitor The True takes a commission on sales between 15 and 60%, DiNunzio explained that “our salespeople pay us 17% of the sale, this is the lowest in the luxury category by far as a new seller on your first item, you would pay 19.8%. “

Used sales boom

SANTA MONICA, CA – NOVEMBER 08: Tradesy CEO Tracy DiNunzio and artist Illma Gore arrive at the Tradesy Showroom Opening on November 8, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici / Getty Images for Tradesy)

Meanwhile, seventy-seven percent of American adults said they expect to buy at least one second-hand item this holiday season, according to a report by Mercari, an online marketplace for US consumers who want to buy and sell items that are no longer in use.

That means $ 69.2 billion could be spent on second-hand items from October through December 2021, up 24% from last year, data shows.

Another reason for the sudden interest in second-hand clothing may be related to the economic uncertainty associated with the crisis in the supply chain. Even so, young buyers become big fans of second-hand clothes.

The younger generations are more attached to the idea that their habits, especially consumption, will determine the future of our climate.Tracy DiNunzio, CEO of Tradesy

Gen Z, the demographic born between 1997 and 2018 (ages 7-22), have embraced the growing clothing resale movement, which advocates buying less and selecting slightly used items over new ones. , mainly for sustainability purposes. This demographic are turning to second-hand shopping at a rate 250% faster than other age groups, according to a 2020 Mercari survey.

This trend is in line with what Tradesy discovered: 44% of Millennials and Gen Z US consumers now buy second-hand fashion, up from 20% in the same age group in 2016 and 3% in 2010. .

“Younger generations are more convinced that their habits, especially their spending habits, will determine the future of our climate,” DiNunzio told Yahoo Finance.

“Fashion and clothing are the source of 10% of all our global greenhouse gas emissions, it is the younger generations who are really taking the initiative to change in this industry, moving away from fast fashion. and going to great lengths to buy second-hand items and sell things. that they no longer wear, ”she added.

Unemployment figures, despite having fallen sharply in a surprisingly hot job market, are still above pre-pandemic levels and the cost of living on the rise. These factors make second-hand clothing shopping an attractive way for consumers to search for bargains while on vacation.

Meanwhile, over 40% of the items on Tradesy are brand new with tags, so customers can gift used items, while still offering something in mint condition.

“A lot of our salespeople are selling things that they thought was a good idea when they bought retail, but never wore them and left the tags behind, that’s a great deal. It’s a great way to get a gift that still has tags, ”said DiNunzio.

Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @daniromerotv

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Elizabeth J. Harless