As fast fashion continues to go out of style and retailers remain under the microscope for ethical and sustainable business practices, the apparel industry will need to shift its approach regarding returned and secondhand clothing. If a recommerce solution is not on your radar, it should be. Here’s why:

Driven by sites like Poshmark, ThredUp, and the RealReal, the apparel resale market is outpacing the primary and becoming the go-to fashion staple for socially conscious Millennials and Gen Z. Consider this: these two generations are likely to spend more money with their favorite retailers if those retailers sell secondhand apparel or have an environmentally conscious way of dealing with returned and excess stock. This clear shift in consumer behavior is putting pressure on retailers to have sustainable business practices and implement recommerce solutions for their returned and excess merchandise.

Depending on your goals (revenue boost; community by leveraging or creating a sales brand loyalty, brand protection; offset loss, operational efficiency), there are several recommerce solutions:

Returned, Inspected, Resold to Consumers via a Private Label Site

Brands like REI and Taylor Stitch have launched online, private-label sites to resell used, repaired, or rebuilt items to consumers. All the items have been inspected and are sold at a discounted, set price; in most cases demand is greater than supply and items sell out quickly. 

By having their own recommerce sites, these retailers are able to not only manage, but dominate their brand’s own resale market. The marketing, quality, and channel control—and the ability to capture previously untapped revenue—are a huge win; not to mention the positive brand image and loyalty that is established. 

Third Party Resale Marketplaces 

Secondhand sites like Poshmark, ThredUp, and the RealReal are driving a secondary market ecosystem of selling and buying, but in a polished and trendy environment. What’s more, they are serving as small business incubators: what began as someone selling a handbag out of their closet has shifted into a full-time reselling business (and with it, a need for consistent merchandise to resell).

You can take advantage of this growing apparel reseller community by leveraging or creating a sales channel that caters and markets—on your terms—to this specific buyer group. This might include selling via a B2B recommerce marketplace that connects your returned and excess merchandise directly to fashion resellers. 

A Customized B2B Online Auction Marketplace 

Many retailers—including nine of the top 10 U.S. retailers—are opting to build their own B2B marketplaces in order to auction bulk quantities of returned and excess merchandise to business buyers around the country. From salvage and discount store owners to online sellers to mom-and-pop shops, refurbishers and exporters, a robust buyer base exists for just about every product regardless of condition. The advantage of an online auction channel is that it makes it just as easy to sell to a thousand business buyers as it does to five jobbers. More buyers generate more demand, pushing prices up and allowing for a faster sales cycle, creating a network effect. 

As the stigma of used fades and secondhand becomes in vogue, it’s time for retailers to jump on the recommerce bandwagon. B-Stock’s B2B marketplace solution can be customized and scaled based on each retailer’s needs and goals. That’s why nine out of the top 10 U.S. retailers are leveraging our platform to drive demand and achieve higher pricing, as well as a faster sales cycle—all while maintaining brand integrity. 

If you’re ready to give your returns and excess inventory a second life, request a demo today.

And sign up for our upcoming webinar, The Power of the Network Effect and Pricing in the Secondary Market. 

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