Do retail collaborations with resale blur the lines?

So as avid fans of resale you have probably heard the news about retailers entering the resale space either on their own or using ThredUp's resale platform. 

What do you think about big retailers such as Macy's J.C. Penney, Gap, Athleta joining the resale space? Do you think it takes away the essence of what traditional resale means?

Take Nordstrom as an example; they announced that they were launching their own resale shop called "See You Tomorrow" where customers can browse "used" apparel via one brick and mortar locale in New York. Nordstrom's definition of "used" is either items that are purchased from Nordstrom but are then returned, or if an item is received by a customer damaged, Nordstrom refurbishes it and it is then made available for sale at "See You Tomorrow". That doesn't sound like traditional resale to us - does it to you? 

Typically (and we appreciate things are forever evolving) an individual with a bulging closet would have the option of selling their unwanted items via a bricks and mortar consignment store or now, more typically, via a resale website. But with retailers entering the space does that mean it will push out the individual fabulous closet? 

Could it just be said that big box retailers are attempting to muscle in by using the buzz word "resale" which makes them look cool and sustainable in order to enter the resale space to boost their decline in sales.

Guess we will just have to sit back and watch the chips fall where they may. In the meantime we would love to know what does resale mean to you or what your take is on it all?
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Resale Reality

8/5/2015 10:16 AM

Resale Reality

What would you say people’s perception of apparel consignment is? Do you think that for the majority of people, consignment (that we like to call resale) conjures up an image of years gone by when such a store contained old, unwanted and used clothing that had a smell of grandma’s attic? Or do you think life has moved on, and that people have now caught onto the savvy way to buy designer and high quality brand items? Here’s why we ask what you think:

We recently participated in the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce's Sidewalk Sale that supports the community in which is based. As an online consignment site we don't have a physical store anywhere, so to say "hello" to our customers (new and old) we hold fun shopping events in chosen venues and thought Sidewalk Sale would be fun. At this event we schlepped a large selection of our inventory to showcase the fabulous things we have to offer to the shoppers that come from far and wide to snag a deal.

Our inventory generally comes from those who are financially fortunate and who in some instances, elect to donate their percentage of a sale to their desired charity or cause. This means that they are “giving back” while allowing the rest of us to buy something we may not otherwise be able to afford. Or, in some cases, where the item is no longer available elsewhere but we have located that very item in someone’s closet. The quality of our consigned items have been referred to on many occasions as “sample sale quality”. We are exceptionally lucky about where we obtain our stream of consigned items, they are either new still with the tags, or have been worn a couple of times, where there is no evidence of wear whatsoever. Whichever way, we have OCD where quality of merchandize is concerned; but let’s get back to the subject at hand, why do we want to know what you think about people's views on resale?

From our experience, people either love resale or don't. One such example was a woman who was collating a pile of children’s Graphic Ts at Sidewalk Sale all priced at $4.00 each. Some of these Ts had never been worn, while the others had no signs of wear whatsoever. She seemed content with her pending purchases, when someone she was with, strolled up to her and said in a disapproving tone, “Did you know this is consignment?”. She instantly put the Ts back. Her friend then said “You would never know though would you?”. As ridiculous as the statements they made may sound, it is true.

On the other hand, we had shoppers coming back three times in one day because they couldn’t get over the quality and price of the merchandize we had to offer at the Sidewalk Sale, they just couldn’t resist a bargain. These shoppers had arms full of clothes to try on and were thrilled to have items fit, look great and not break the bank when they paid for them!

It does take all sorts to make the world go round, we know, but we find it’s such an interestingly stark difference in reaction – there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground when it comes to resale.

But here’s what we think is the reality; whatever you wear, no-one knows where you bought it from. Who wants to be the one to pay over the odds to the tune of $155 for Kate Spade Meada Bag that retails at $295.00 when you can buy the same bag from us, brand new for $140? We know what makes sense to us - do you? Now that sounds like a challenge!

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