In the context of the general downturn in the retail industry, second-hand luxury goods are experiencing a sales boom.
Tradesy, the P2P online luxury goods consignment store, released a report saying that in the past few weeks, its sales have soared, with customers hoarding large amounts of second-hand high-end shoes, jewelry and handbags. Tracy Dinonzio, the CEO of Tradesy, said that compared with last year, ring sales have soared 92% this month.
According to online reseller ThredUp, the entire second-hand market, including online resale and traditional thrift stores, will reach 80 billion US dollars by 2029.
While the pandemic caused entities to close, consumers found more choices and cost-effective deals in the resale market. Tradesy was founded in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis. At that time, shoppers who had previously dismissed second-hand fashion began to discover that they could save money and be stylish at the same time.
This time, wealthy consumers with disposable income also joined in. The economic uncertainty caused by the epidemic and the deep recession that followed have also made them pay more attention to value.
Dinonzio said: “They are gradually turning to high-quality, well-known brands that can maintain their value. Customers become very savvy and regard buying luxury goods as an investment.”
Driven by the enduring brand recognition, exquisite craftsmanship, and limited-edition promotion, designer works can become eternal status symbols, so they are expected to be resold at high prices. Consignors of high-end sneakers and handbags have received generous returns.
In addition to consumers searching for luxury goods, some young people are also shopping in the resale market.
According to ThredUp, Gen Z shoppers prefer bargains more than other age groups. Karen Clark, the company’s vice president of marketing communications, said: “They are not ashamed of wearing old clothes and care about the sustainability of their shopping behavior. This is a way to demonstrate their values.”
Although some people have criticized fast fashion before the pandemic, pandemic has accelerated people’s acceptance of second-hand shopping, making the role of circular business models recognized by consumers.
Michael Stanley-Jones, a project manager of the United Nations Environment Programme, said that reselling to extend the life cycle of clothing and ultimately reduce its environmental impact is noble, but achieving sustainability goals requires more than frugality. He explained: “Companies, manufacturers, consumers and investors must work together.”