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5 charts showing what resale ecommerce growth means for your brand

Next year, ecommerce will make up 75% of total US resale volume and reach $90 billion, according to our forecast. US resale is also growing faster than overall retail sales, and retailers want in on the market. Whether you’re launching a resale program or examining the opportunity, here are five charts to help.

1. Young adults buy into resale ecommerce

Just 9% of US adults ages 55 and older have bought clothes from online secondhand stores, according to October 2022 CivicScience data. But among adults ages 18 to 24, that figure jumps to over 50%. That habit won’t go away as young adults age. US online resale platform sales will grow by 15.8% this year, and that growth will accelerate to 19.7% in 2026, per our forecast.

2. Breaking down platform use

Some 64% of US adult secondhand shoppers have used eBay, according to November 2022 Morning Consult data. That’s no surprise, considering eBay is the fourth-largest retail ecommerce company by sales volume in the US, per our forecast.

Facebook Marketplace is also used by more than half of these shoppers. Marketplace is what makes Facebook a leader in social commerce, which isn’t all good for Meta. On the one hand, it’s a helpful tool during an economic downturn; on the other, Meta has trouble actually profiting from these consumer-to-consumer sales.

3. What about brand participation?

Brand participation in online resale has skyrocketed, according to thredUP. Brand-owned platforms and brand deals with existing platforms are a good idea for a few reasons.

  • Brands can profit from their own resale markets, rather than passing those dollars along to another platform.
  • Brands can control product quality, exclusivity, and messaging.
  • Brands drive loyalty through encouraging shoppers to return to brand sites or partner sites and make return purchases.

4. The top 10 brands winning resale

Athleta sits atop US online resale, with the biggest shop among competitors despite having only launched last year, according to thredUP. Tea Collection is also succeeding on its online resale platform, likely because its category—children’s clothing—lends itself well to resale as children often outgrow their clothes.

Even though luxury makes up a solid portion of US resale ecommerce, luxury brand platforms haven’t cracked the top 10, either because customers are listing those products on third-party sites like eBay or because they have fewer listings due to product exclusivity.

5. Resale extends to gifting

Resale has a role in holiday spend as well, especially with price inflation eating into discretionary spending. More than half (51%) of US adults planned to purchase resold clothing as holiday gifts in 2022, according to Deloitte.

Sustainability can make resale a feature, rather than a caveat, for gift givers. Twenty-three percent of US and UK consumers said sustainability is a brand bonus when buying, according to an October 2022 survey from Coveo and Arlington Research.

 

This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.