According to the 2017 Annual Resale Report, “It’s not your mama’s fashion industry anymore.” As the report states, gone are the days of going to the mall to pick up the same clothes as everyone else has. The modern woman is an agent of change – speaking with her wallet and creating a massive shift in the fashion industry from retail to resale. Shopping secondhand isn’t a sacrifice; it’s an investment in you.

The apparel resale segment of the fashion industry shows explosive growth and is currently an $18 billion industry. Clothing, shoes, and accessories show the largest upward trend on the resale landscape with a 49% share of the whole. By comparison, electronics make up 10%, media 11%, books 14%, and 16% for anything else. Interestingly, millenials and grandmas are the most likely groups to shop secondhand. And where do these folks who shop secondhand fall on the income scale? Actually, high-income shoppers are 35% more likely to try secondhand than low-income shoppers. Here’s how it breaks out: 36% earn between $250K and $1 million, and 10% are millionaires.

The fact is resale, primarily through online websites, is thriving while retail is struggling and intent to shop resale far outpaces its full price counterpart. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the average discount on resale goods is 80% according to one top online reseller. One of the big perks of resale according to the 2017 report is that “It’s fun, you never know what you’re going to find.” For those who enjoy browsing through the offerings, it can be a real treasure hunt. Seventy six percent of shoppers say the fun factor is one of the top three reasons they engage in resale.

All of this adds up to the untapped potential of the American closet and the fact that the average woman doesn’t wear 60% of her clothing. The retail value of unworn clothing in women’s closets across the country – an astounding $220 billion! That’s a lot of apparel that can be dispersed for resale and why so many are jumping into the fray of not only buying resale online but selling as well.

Full disclosure – as the writer of this article I too have jumped on the resale bandwagon with a “closet” named “I Love Purses…and more!” on a top selling resale website named Tradesy. The purveyor of upscale designer wear, the site is buyer and seller friendly. “I Love Purses” offers pre-owned designer purses (Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan, Gucci, Brighton, Furla, and many more) along with high-end shoes, wallets, and other accessories at an average of 60% to 80% off retail prices. I’m finding that it’s not only fun to buy resale but to sell resale too.

The 2017 Report also tells us that the fastest selling category in resale is shoes with an average of 79% savings on a killer pair of heels, the best selling category is denim with an 80% savings on premium denim, and the fastest growing category is active wear with a 56% savings. Importantly for many women, resale is the secret to buying designer fashion for much, much, less. Who doesn’t feel special sporting and authentic Gucci or Louis Vuitton on her arm or wearing a never-before-affordable pair of Prada sandals?

The bottom line is resale is here to stay. Saving money and looking like a million bucks, often wearing the best for less is an unbeatable combination. Give it a try!

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