Posted by Alex Jackson on 22nd Mar 2019
We previously looked at the world of fast disposable fashion and how its fortunes have suffered of late as a result of changing consumer spending habits, changes in tastes and A growing awareness of the true cost of fast fashion. Now there is emerging evidence that the industry is under threat from yet another direction and that is the increasing popularity of second-hand clothing. Second-hand has gotten a significant boost in prestige in recent years. It’s not relegated to dusty thrift stores anymore it’s gone mainstream and high tech too, look at sites like threadUP, Poshmark, and the RealReal which have become wildly popular and specialize almost exclusively in second-hand clothing be it everyday apparel or top of the line designer brands. It’s estimated that the second-hand apparel market was worth about 24 Billion dollars in sales in 2018 compared to fast fashions total of about $35 billion. The second-hand market is expected to more than double over the next ten years to an estimated 64 billion according to retail analytics firm Global Data. It’s evident that second-hand is slowly siphoning off sales from fast fashion retailers but what’s the appeal with second-hand? For starters a plethora of options, you’re not just stuck with the limited options that the fast fashion retailer has to offer this season. Second, its affordability sure fast fashion is known for its affordability, but second-hand offers some higher end and often better quality items at similar fast fashion pricing. Last but not least it’s the environmental appeal that unwanted apparel is getting a second life and its one less garment being produced and one less piece of clothing not ending up in a landfill.
What does second-hand clothing have to do with sellers that specialize in reselling liquidation clothing? Consumers are far more willing than ever before to spend on items that are not deemed as first run items. This is a huge plus for resellers who focus primarily on customer return condition merchandise. No tags, no packaging no problem! As long as the quality and price are right, that’s not an issue. Customer returns are essentially first run second-hand goods maybe worn once and then returned, not like true second-hand which could be worn and washed multiple times. The best part, this trend is on the upswing, the demand is going to keep growing meaning increased sales with better margins. What is the key to success with this approach? Buy at the right price and the right items. Customer Return condition lot are discounted even more heavily than shelf Pulls often with higher dollar brand mixes. Look for that high demand, high dollar filled lots with the best possible pricing and take the plunge. Dirty or damaged items? Clean them up and prep them for resale it’s still possible to sell those high dollar items such as winter coats or designer handbags with some prepping and minor repairs.
Consumers are not turning their back on fashion and don't expect to see the fast fashion industry disappear overnight but there are clear signs that consumers realize the benefits of second-hand and that used should not be considered a dirty word.
Check our our selection of Customer Return condition merchandise here.