Fashion resale is booming. If you take a moment to look at the industry, you’ll find new apps, marketplaces, and ways to buy pre-owned clothing. But is resale changing for the better? It seems that resale is currently in a state of fragmentation.
Here are 3 changes you’ll see coming to the world of online fashion resale in the years ahead.
1) Brands get involved
Brand involvement is the most significant change coming to clothing resale.
For examples, look to Patagonia and Lululemon. Theses are two brands with a brisk trade in the used market. So it’s interesting, but not a big surprise that they’ve created a resale business of their own. You’ll find a dedicated space for pre-owned goods on their websites, which feels much like another clearance area.
Brand involvement will surely increase, but will a vast majority of designer brands invest in resale? Will they participate in selling used goods? This is an open question for now. You can imagine store trade-ins becoming common practice in the retail industry, similar to vehicle trade-ins. It’s more likely, however, that more of these items are in fact customer returns rather than previously worn and laundered items. Retailers will not encourage customers to haul in their old stuff (dirty laundry, broken items, etc). In other words, the sourcing of items will be in a closed (or at least back door) system.
2) Niche sites emerge and succeed/fail
From the giant swirling mass of used stuff on eBay, some niche categories are being spun off into separate businesses.
Niche sites tend to connect enthusiasts to each other with great efficiency. They are often left out of the discussion, with “luxury resale” getting most of the attention (ahem, dollars).
Stores offering plus-size resale, sneaker resale, suit resale, 90’s resale, are all viable to a certain degree. Some of these niche companies won’t generate enough revenue to thrive, and therefore won’t last. Others could be tremendously successful.
The best niche companies would connect enthusiasts and casual shoppers equally well. Those who can arrange straightforward buying experience (not an intimidating or tedious process involving a lot of core/insider lingo) will grow and succeed.
3) Videos bring products to life
Videos, now a standard practice for mainstream e-commerce, are finally making their way to resale listings.
Galaxy, an app just launched this week, claims to use video chat to facilitate online sales on fashion items.
eBay is slowly rolling out their video capability, allowing users to upload video to a listing’s media gallery.
I expect the style of these videos to look informal, much like Tik-Tok, the company that popularized this macro social media trend.
Although the additional clarity of video could certainly boost sales, most resellers will not be on board. It’s simply too much time invested for the sale of a single, modestly priced item.
Photo credit: Ivan Radic on Flickr