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According to a recent study, 61 percent of American consumers are comfortable with receiving a used gift—especially if the item is rare or difficult to find—and Millennials and Gen Z’ers are embracing the movement at a quicker pace than older generations. Of those in the age groups, 49 percent say they’d give secondhand gifts, while 38 percent of consumers age 55 and up would do the same.
Members of the Millennial and Gen Z generations are collectively more eco-conscious than their older counterparts, and many are embracing used, secondhand, and refurbished products as a way to reduce their environmental footprint. In fact, the majority of 18- to 29-year olds—74 percent—choose to spend their money on brands that prioritize sustainability, making ethical retail practically an expectation at this point. What’s more, people aren’t just buying used goods for themselves, but for friends and loved ones, too—which means Santa’s elves may not be making as many toys this holiday season.
While this trend can be seen as a threat to the fast-fashion industry, it also creates a new opportunity for retailers. The normalization of “used” gifting really highlights the vast expansion of resale retail, which according to ThredUp’s 2019 annual report, is a market that’s grown 21 times faster than new clothing sales and is expected to reach $51 billion over the next three years, leaving the fast-fashion industry tens of billions behind. This offers retailers and brands a chance to explore a new stream of revenue by leveraging the right distribution partner, and some already are. Secondary markets are in full swing for companies like Macy’s, Madewell and J.C. Penney, all of which announced partnerships with ThredUp this year; similarly Burberry launched its new resale platform with The RealReal.
For retailers looking to capitalize on the secondhand retail trend on a larger scale, having the proper partner is key. B-Stock provides a platform where retailers and brands can sell their returned, excess and other obsolete merchandise directly to thousands of vetted business buyers from around the world. Our auction-style online marketplace encourages competition and drives up demand for products, helping our clients earn competitive market value for their overstock and improve their business’ bottom line, all while maintaining control over who is buying the inventory and how it enters the secondary market. It also enables a second life for inventory and a socially conscious disposition channel that consumers can get behind.