Re-commerce is the new evolution in retail

Re-Commerce: Reselling and Buying Secondhand Rises

We are in the middle of retail revolution. Brick and mortar is having a mid-life crisis. Stores are closing, liquidations are occurring and “everything must go.” Yes, traditional retail is going through a metamorphosis, but there are some interesting side effects. In turn, one of those is the rise of re-commerce. Re-commerce includes the resale of secondhand goods encompasses everything from clothing to home items to sports gear. Re-commerce is expected to grow annually at 13 percent and will almost double by 2021 and there are a few catalysts for such changes in the retail landscape.

There’s an App for That

Build an app and they will come should be the mantra of the century. Reselling began to gain momentum with sites like PoshMark, The Real Real, amongst others. Consumers enjoyed being able to enjoy the e-commerce experience on an interactive platform in which they could be either the buyer or seller. Consequently, it is no surprise that with the introduction of C2C from the convenience of the smart phone, re-commerce has had a resurgence.

Those Damn Millennials

Who is always on their phones? Millennials. As the most tech-savvy generation, it is no shocker that Millennials would take up re-commerce on its offer to buy and sell clothing at a deep discount. In addition, these platforms allow for consumers to interact with each other and create relationships through the buying and reviewing process. All things considered, these sites and apps act as an extension of social media. We all know how much Millennials love social media…Also, due to the financial situation many were thrust into upon graduation, the age group also is in need of a good bargain.

E is for Economics!

The recession may be over, but the economic downturn of the late 2000’s is like a bad former break-up. Yes, it’s over and we’ve moved on for the most part, but we will never be the same.  Most Americans had a brutal financial awakening and had to restructure their buying patterns. ThredUP, a re-commerce website, conducted a survey that found almost, “94 percent of American women rarely purchase clothing that isn’t discounted.” In the mind of many Americans, if it is not discounted you are overpaying and re-commerce offers the deepest slash in price of all other retail models.

Consumers have also found benefits of re-commerce on the other end as a seller. People have had to get savvy and find new channels in which to make extra income and found these as plausible options. Americans found themselves knee-deep in items they no longer used or needed and turned that into fast cash.


Minimalism is Hot

I apologize for the amount of times I have mentioned the recession. If this was a drinking game you would be drunk by now. See your college professor wasn’t lying; economics can be fun!  But joking aside, it’s hard to ignore the downturn impacted the retail and buying patterns on a micro-level. In the post-recession era, minimalism has emerged. Consumers saw that so many things that they previously owned/ usually would buy were gratuitous, in short, they learned to live with less. Re-commerce platforms allowed consumers sell those extra items for cash and continue buying what they did deem necessary at 80 percent off. Recent concerns about the environment has sparks interest in minimalism as well. Through reselling and purchasing secondhand, Americans have been able to recycle goods and give them second life, reducing carbon footprint and negative environmental impact.


Author:  Christine Duff

Christine wants to live in a world filled with cutting edge fashion, beautiful words and and an endless supply of leather jackets and boots. A product development grad of FIDM, she was the Editor-in-Chief of MODE Magazine where she reignited her love of storytelling. She has diverse experience within the industry with trend research, art direction and styling editorial spreads. She gained her most notable experience working in Los Angeles at the satellite operation for GQ and Vogue Thailand. Christine is passionate about social science and the role it plays in the consumer goods industry and apparel in particular.

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