3 sensational resale secrets our industry needs to tell

November 10, 2016

“Can you keep a secret?” That’s a question I hate to hear. Listen to me loud and clear, I cannot keep a secret! It’s not because I just have to tell. It’s because I forget I’m not supposed to. Our industry has at least 3 resale secrets we need to shout about. Each one of them is a game changer in making the industry as a whole stronger.

 Resale Secrets #1  We’re part of the “sharing economy”

To fully understand the “sharing economy,” you have to look at companies like Uber, Airbnb and Rent the Runway. Built from the philosophy that ownership isn’t exclusive to one person, they believe people should share (for a price) their possessions. Millennials (age 21-39) and the upcoming Generation Z (21 and under) take part in the “sharing economy” because they don’t want to be burdened with ownership. Research has found that a growing number of consumers in these 2 age groups are buying pre-owned goods (up from 10% to 44%).  If the target market for your merchandise is 40 and under, let them know that your secondhand store is a big part of the “sharing economy.”

Resale Secrets #2  We’re “cool”

We’ve moved past being “uncool.” When I grew up, you were mortified if anyone knew you were wearing secondhand or “used” clothing. Receiving a “hand-me-down” from an older sibling was humiliating. Everyone had to have the same outfit and believe me, it didn’t come from your older sister’s closet! Today, a shopper is considered smart and savvy if they’ve found a designer bargain at a resale shop. Forbes magazine had an article last year titled, “Being Thrifty: Why What’s Old Is Now Hot.” Today’s Millennials want to stand out. They don’t want to wear what everyone else has. They’re also earth conscious. Did you know that Americans send 10.5 million tons of clothing to landfills every year? Couple this fact with incredible student debt and the lack of good paying jobs, and resale is the coolest secret in town!

Resale Secrets #3  Challenging the expected

My 95-year-old mother lived through the Depression. She shares stories about eating lard bread; the rag pickers who came to her back door and how she didn’t own a doll for years. When I was growing up, finding the best price on every major purchase was incredibly important. We’d head to some “bargain barn” to buy carpet or look at the “scratch ‘n dent” area for appliances. The stores were dingy and usually filthy. Today, however, resale, thrift and consignment shops have become trendy destinations with store names that include the words “designer,” “boutique,” “upscale” and “couture.” Unfortunately, many shoppers haven’t overcome their pre-conceived notions of “secondhand” stores. Used items are considered dirty, out of style, broken or completely unwanted. It’s time to educate and change the mind of shoppers.

For additional ideas, read 3 quick tips to improve consignment sales.

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Coordinator for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.