Resale rises in holiday gift purchases in December


NEW YORK (AP) – Second hand. 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 unnecessary time of year – the December holidays. This year’s supply chain delays provided additional motivation.

“Giving at the base should be a matter of thoughtfulness, and arguably more thought goes into finding a meaningful and interesting second-hand gift for someone than just hitting the ‘buy’ button on something. that everyone gets from Amazon, ”said Ashlee Piper, a sustainability expert. 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” 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 extends to all ages. Industry reports have indicated that recent gains are primarily attributable to Gen Z and Millennial buyers.

Players large and small are reaping 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% increase last year from the previous year among those who choose gift boxes with purchases during the holiday season. Last month, the online site, which has 16 physical consignment stores in the United States, saw gift box orders increase 73% from the same month last year for unbranded jewelry. Those purchases rose 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 for the value of certain resale products. Gray market sales of new and used items are now reaching new heights. Tagging a large object that others can only dream of is the new form of luxury. “

Gift card sales for online savings giant ThredUp, which went public earlier this year, rose 103% in the first two weeks of December compared to all of November, said Erin Wallace, vice president of integrated marketing.

Kristi Marquez, 36, in Jupiter, Florida, has two young daughters. She narrowed her gift list from around 20 to 10 this year after her family chose to buy just for their children. A good three-quarters of his gifts will be resale items. She used and other book dealers to purchase used titles at heavily discounted prices. Facebook Marketplace and local mom groups have proven to be successful for toys.

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

“At the top of our oldest list is the Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron. At first I didn’t realize the toy was so popular and I was shocked to see it sold everywhere except at more than double the reseller price 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 toy. principal that she had requested this year.

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

As more retailers have added resale as an option, tech intermediaries have stepped in to help. One company, List Perfectly, provides tools for resellers to advertise their products to 11 marketplaces.

“Resale does not necessarily mean used. Many resellers are reselling new items that are currently scarce because they have planned their inventory for months to meet holiday shopping demands, ”said Clara Albornoz, Co-Founder and CEO. “Buyers can see a variety of options, easily compare prices, shop from home, get their items quickly and affordably, and deliver them direct, usually with the option to return if there’s a problem.”

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

“Recurate’s sales during the week of Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday were over 50% above average,” said Karin Dillie, vice president of partnerships. She said customers are looking for resale items “to satisfy their own search for offers as well as to buy as gifts.”

Aimed specifically at Gen Z, the Galaxy Resale Marketplace offers live broadcasts that allow 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 sellers to become trusted stewards of your wardrobe and holiday shopping, ”said Danny Quick, co-founder and CEO.

Sadie Cherney, owner of a franchise with three Mentor clothing resale stores in South Carolina, said resale is a market where buyers are wary.

Her advice: Look for 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 notify the recipient of the gift you purchased resale.

Kahlil Spurlock, 32, of Jersey City, New Jersey, turned to resale for holiday gifts this year in a bid to reduce his carbon footprint. He used Grailed, a site similar to The RealReal but focused on men’s clothing.

“I was buying for my 20 year old brother, who is buying the resale,” he said. “There are some items that are so cool, like streetwear, that you can only find for resale.”

Spurlock picked up two items from popular brands for his younger brother.

None of this is new for Amanda Spencer, 50, in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She is a long-time researcher of the Facebook Marketplace, local Buy Nothing groups that offer free items, and events like sales in her church.

This Christmas year, she found a set of books on Facebook that her daughter wanted. And in a Buy Nothing group, she picked up a beanbag that her daughter had requested.

“It’s not exactly that one but who cares,” Spencer said.

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

“Most of the things they’ve gotten throughout their lifetimes have been either labor or consignment stores,” Spencer said. “Why bother paying retail? “


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