Resale rises in holiday gift purchases in December

NEW YORK — Used. Like new. Saving. Don’t buy anything. Gently used. There are many ways to describe consumption in the booming resale market.

Add “Merry Christmas!” to the list.

Resale has taken off among those looking to save the planet and spend less on gifts during what may be the most wasteful time of the year – the December holidays. This year’s supply chain delays provided additional motivation.

“Gifting should be all about thought, and arguably more thought goes into finding a meaningful and interesting second-hand gift for someone than just hitting the ‘buy’ button on something. everyone gets from Amazon,” said sustainability expert Ashlee Piper. and author of “Give a Sh(asterisk)t: Do Good.” Live better. Save the planet.”

One of her favorite gifts was a tattered copy of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” that a friend found for $2 at a thrift store.

“It’s kitsch, thoughtful and totally unique,” Piper said.

The resale market is far from dominant overall and spans all ages. Industry reports have indicated that recent gains are driven primarily by Gen Z and millennial shoppers.

Players young and old reap the benefits.

Luxury resale market The RealReal, which has more than 23 million members after going public more than two years ago, said it saw a 60% jump last year over the year previous among those who chose gift boxes with purchases during the holiday season. Last month, the online site, which has 16 brick-and-mortar consignment stores in the United States, saw orders for gift sets jump 73% from the same month last year for unbranded jewelry. Those purchases were up 62% for Gucci items and 53% for Louis Vuitton selections, according to company data.

“The stigma is gone,” said Marshal Cohen, consumer behavior and retail analyst for the NPD Group. “There is a new vision of the value of part of the resale product. Gray market sales of new and used items are now reaching new heights. Branding a great item that others can only dream of is the new form of luxury.

Sales of gift cards for online savings giant ThredUp, which went public earlier this year, rose 103% in the first two weeks of December compared to the whole of November, said Erin Wallace, Vice President of Integrated Marketing.

Kristi Marquez, 36, of Jupiter, Fla., has two young daughters. She reduced her gift list from around 20 people to 10 this year after her family opted to buy only for their children. A good three-quarters of his gifts will be resale items. She used Thriftbooks.com and other book retailers to purchase titles she previously owned at deeply discounted prices. Facebook Marketplace and local mom groups have proven successful for toys.

Sometimes, she says, reselling isn’t about the environment or saving money, especially this year.

“At the top of the list of our oldest is the Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron. At first I didn’t realize the toy was so popular and was shocked to see it sold everywhere except at more than double the price. resellers on Amazon and Walmart,” she said. “After wading through potential scammers, I finally got my hands on Poshmark for $99. It’s not the eco-friendly toy we were hoping for and it’s still overpriced, but we’re glad we found the main toy she asked for this year.

The plastic toy, which makes sounds and produces mist after kids create a “potion”, retails for $69.99.

As more retailers added resale as an option, tech intermediaries stepped in to help. One company, List Perfectly, offers tools for resellers to list their wares on 11 marketplaces.

“Resale does not necessarily mean used. Many resellers are reselling new items that are currently in short supply because they have planned their inventory for months to meet holiday shopping demands,” said Clara Albornoz, co-founder and CEO. “Shoppers can see a variety of options, easily compare prices, shop from home, get their items quickly and affordably, and have them delivered directly, usually with the ability to return if something goes wrong.”

Another company, Recurate, allows brands to create their own reselling platforms on their websites.

“Recurate sales during the week of Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday were more than 50% above average,” said Karin Dillie, vice president of partnerships. She said customers seek out resale items “to satisfy their own search for deals as well as to purchase as gifts.”

Catering specifically to Gen Z, the Galaxy Resale Marketplace offers live broadcasts allowing buyers and sellers to interact in real time. He recently hosted a five-day holiday event involving 40 top sellers.

“By being able to have real-time conversations via live video and SMS messaging, sellers and buyers can build a relationship. This often leads to sellers becoming trusted curators of your wardrobe and vacation shopping,” said Danny Quick, co-founder and CEO.

Sadie Cherney, franchise owner with three Clothes Mentor resale stores in South Carolina, said resale is a market shoppers should be wary of.

His advice: look for brand new items with tags, do your homework on return policies, make sure things like zippers are functional, check for stains and tears and, perhaps most importantly, decide if you will tell the recipient of the gift that you have purchased. resale.

Kahlil Spurlock, 32, of Jersey City, NJ, turned to reselling holiday gifts this year in a bid to reduce his carbon footprint. He used Grailed, a site similar to The RealReal but focused on menswear.

“I was buying for my 20-year-old brother, who buys on resale,” he said. “Some items are so cool, like some street clothes, that you can only find on resale.”

Spurlock bought two brand name items for his younger brother.

None of this is new to Amanda Spencer, 50, in suburban Philadelphia. She’s a longtime resale hunter on Facebook Marketplace, local Buy Nothing groups that offer free items, and events like sales at her church.

This year for Christmas, she found a series of books on Facebook that her daughter wanted. And from a Buy Nothing group, she picked up a bean bag chair her daughter had requested.

“He’s not exactly who cares,” Spencer said.

For her son, she found Minecraft cube building toys at a garage sale.

“Most of the things they’ve bought throughout their lives have been either second-hand items or consignment stores,” Spencer said. “Why bother paying full retail price? »

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