Resale gifts gain popularity amid supply chain and coronavirus crises

  • Second-hand shopping is on the rise this holiday season as more Americans turn to retailers like The RealReal and ThredUp.
  • Recent surveys indicate that consumers are increasingly interested in sustainable purchasing and profitability.
  • Second-hand gifts have also become more popular as second-hand shopping is de-stigmatized.

Between the supply chain crisis and the outbreak of the Omicron coronavirus strain, it has been a particularly difficult year for holiday gift shopping.

Despite the hurdles, a growing number of Americans are turning to resale and savings options like The RealReal and ThredUp to purchase gifts for loved ones as they seek more cost-effective and environmentally friendly options. According to a study from the online marketplace Mercari, about 77% of Americans said they were likely to buy at least one second-hand item this holiday season, with a primary motivation being to save money. silver.

“With inflation on the rise, COVID raging across the country again, and greater sustainability awareness, consumers are embarking on the online thrift store scavenger hunt, especially for nostalgic items that may bring them and their loved ones the comfort and joy they so badly need. this holiday season, “Greg Castronuovo, chief operating officer of the Two Nil Holdings marketing services network, told Insider.

RealReal, which specializes in luxury and high-end resale consignment, has also found that buyers are increasingly cost-conscious and interested in eco-friendly options. In data shared with Insider, The RealReal found that 43% of respondents to a recent survey said sustainability was a driving reason to buy from the company and 29% said they made their first luxury purchase from used in 2021.

The company has also seen an increase in searches for gift sets year over year, with high demand for investment items like handbags and jewelry, as well as items from big brands like Hermès. , Louis Vuitton and Chanel.

“Shoppers are realizing that they can find rare and unique items that they can no longer find in the main market, making them the perfect and remarkable holiday gift for that special someone,” Samantha told Insider. McCandless, senior vice president of merchandising at The RealReal. “When you combine that with the current supply tensions in the primary market, second-hand gifts are not only accepted, but almost preferred. “


A woman packs boxes in a ThredUp facility.

AP Photo / Matt York

McCandless said the increase in gift shopping during the holidays can also be attributed to the reduced stigma of buying second-hand clothing and accessories. In recent years, “shopping and reselling has become a badge of honor,” she said.

“Over a decade ago, the sustainability aspect of reselling didn’t resonate with consumers, but now it’s a key motivator,” McCandless told Insider.

At the same time, a survey conducted by ThredUp found that 52% of those surveyed were concerned about the cost of freebies this year due to the impact of the supply chain crisis on inflation, while about a third were concerned about inventory shortages.

The survey found that both givers and gift recipients are more open to second-hand gifts than they were five years ago, and this sentiment is even higher among Gen Z shoppers. ThredUp’s most popular thrift items for holiday gifts this year include Converse sneakers, Lululemon track jackets, Torrid jeans, Ugg boots and Reformation dresses, according to the report.

Jonathan Treiber, co-founder and CEO of promotional marketing platform RevTrax, echoed McCandless and said that an increase in holiday gifts saved reflects the greater popularity of second-hand shopping as a whole, because it is becoming a common form of shopping.

“These types of gifts signal a level of thoughtfulness, awareness of value and concern for sustainability that is becoming increasingly popular and desirable among all consumers,” Treiber wrote in an email to Insider. “Second-hand luxury has become almost all the rage in today’s consumer market, there is less stigma associated with it and therefore more acceptable to offer second-hand luxury items to customers. ‘other people. “

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