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Why resale platforms are the future of retail

With the strong shift towards sustainability in recent years and consumers becoming increasingly aware of the impact that shopping has on the environment, the second-hand goods market has been booming and is reshaping the e-commerce industry. 

The resale market has picked up further steam in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with consumers around the world turning to online shopping and second-hand marketplaces. 

The online second-hand goods market is attracting global players and investors. Sustainable shopping habits are also creating new business opportunities. Global e-commerce giant  Alibaba Group launched its own second-hand goods marketplace, Idle Fish in 2014, which allows premium brands to operate their own official resale stores. 

Since its launch, 50,000 metric tons of pre-owned clothes have been sold on Idle Fish, including 23.7 million books, 3.66 million mobile phones and 1.45 million large appliances. The platform saved 130,000 ‘single’ Bluetooth earbuds – 60 per cent of which are Apple AirPods – from being thrown away in 2020 alone.

Alibaba Group has now fully integrated Idle Fish into its digital ecosystem. Shoppers have seamless access to Taobao and Tmall, as well as Alibaba’s other platforms. By using platforms like Idle Fish, consumers can afford to buy second-hand designer goods at affordable prices, which benefits not only them but also the planet. 

In Australia, brands such as David Jones and The Iconic are partnering with companies like AirRobe and Blue Spinach, to allow pre-owned love pieces to have a second life. Customers can enter the circular economy and reduce their carbon footprint by reselling their items online.

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