Secondhand Market Presents ‘Big Opportunity’ for Retailers Ahead of Holidays

Over the past 18 months, the marketplace for B2B overstock sales and liquidation has faced what Marcus Shen calls “a tale of two cities.” At the onset of the pandemic, the chief operating officer of B-Stock said, both buyers and sellers slowed their activity as the economy shut down. But a few months later, a surge of secondhand inventory came online as retailers tried to move excess products out of supply chains, helping fuel a boom in secondhand sales.

“A lot of these small businesses who sell on their own store or Shopify or eBay or Poshmark or whatever it may be … had rising demand for this type of inventory to resell to consumers,” Shen told PYMNTS in an interview.

Shen said from a consumer perspective, demand for secondhand items “went crazy” during the pandemic as the world increasingly shifted online and supply chain disruptions caused rolling shortages of certain new items. A report released by thredUP and GlobalData earlier this year projected that in apparel alone, resale is expected to grow 11 times faster than the broader retail clothing sector over the next five years, with the secondhand market reaching $77 billion by 2025.

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