Should your business venture into preloved sales?


From experience, the best things to buy preloved are fashion items, furniture and tech products. If your business sells any of these, you might want to consider including a section on your website where you re-sell your own products. 

Shopping second-hand is transitioning from a money-saving hack to a sustainable movement people believe in. Within fashion especially, considering 10,000 items of clothing are being sent to landfills every five minutes, it is now urgent that more fashion companies encourage reselling. Good quality products can outlive their owner and give other people the chance to enjoy them too. I saw a TikTok video recently of a lady whose grandfather sent her boxes full of vintage clothing and shoes that belonged to her grandmother. I’ve watched another video of someone who inherited a couch from her parents and customized it to her taste. Beyond sentiment, these are sustainable gestures that I now appreciate the more aware I become. They are also a testament to the quality of products being produced by some companies. If an item is able to survive generations, then it must be made well, right? 

Who’s buying second-hand products? 

No, it’s not just climate activists who are buying second-hand items. It’s everybody now, both old and young. I believe this is partly because as a consumer, it’s impossible to read about the amount of waste in the fashion industry and not squirm a little. If you are an avid social media user then you’ll agree it’s impossible to escape news about the environment because people are always talking about it on the likes of Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. The more I learn about these things, the more I want to do my part to help personally, as much as I can.  

A few years ago, I decided to curb the number of times in a year I bought a new outfit for a different event. I’ve also started lending out shoes and bags I don’t wear frequently on the coolest social rental platform called By Rotation. This company was started because Eshita Kabra wanted nice clothes to wear on her honeymoon but, during that trip, she was confronted with the high level of textile waste in India.  

I now feel like an investor when I shop because I’m aware of the returns I can get if I spend wisely. This, in turn, makes me more strategic in how I spend. More than the financial benefit I stand to gain, I also get to feel proud of myself for contributing to the circular economy. 

If not you, it will be them 

As a business, if you don’t encourage reselling through your platform, another platform will. This means that money that could have come to you will go to them. For a long time, luxury retailers left money on the table by not providing resale options for their own products. You can only imagine how much was being lost by not tapping into an industry that was reportedly worth $130 billion last year. This is what inspired platforms like Vestiaire Collective to exist. Thankfully, now more brands are waking up and recognising the value of resale. Even brands like Mulberry have started reselling their own products on their website.  

It’s also great to see large marketplaces like Farfetch are encouraging resale. In their announcement of their “second life” venture, which they piloted in Europe in 2019, Thomas Berry, Director of Sustainable Business agreed that, “Extending the useful life of fashion items is absolutely critical to the sustainability of the industry.” You can read more about it here. 

Getting pricing right with negotiation 

The obvious issue with reselling products remains in determining the right price. New products are priced based on craftsmanship and material, but sometimes even preloved items are priced higher based on exclusivity and access. As a consumer, it can be difficult to know how much I want to pay for a preloved item. At the point where I’m searching, all I know is I want it for less than its original price. This is when I appreciate the opportunity to make an offer. However, the traditional way of making an offer often takes too long either because the seller is on holiday or they have too many offers at a time to respond to. 

This negotiation process can be a lot faster when automated, reducing the time taken to respond to your first offer. It can also result in a better price that works for both buyer and seller. This is what we do here at Nibble, and we’re proud to help support the circular economy. This year, we’re offering our services, including premium benefits, at 50% of our usual fees to sustainable businesses. If this is you, get in touch with us below for a demo and a chat. 


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