Second-hand Goes Mainstream
is big business. Books, cars, clothing, furniture, video games and more
are all finding a second life being sold second-hand through a variety
of venues in store environments and online.
to a survey conducted by the National Association
of Resale & Thrift Shops (NARTS), 77.9 percent of the stores selling
second-hand goods experienced an increase in new customers during the second
quarter of 2009 compared to the previous year period.
same study found 64.1
percent of 263 stores taking part in the survey had seen an average sales
increase of 31 percent. Of the remaining stores, 11.5 percent said sales
were flat while just under one-fourth experienced a decline.
slumping economy may draw people in, but once they visit a resale shop
for the first time they are pleasantly surprised with the high quality
of merchandise and are forever hooked on a new
way of smart spending,” said Chris Cowman, president
of NARTS and owner of one more time in Columbus,
Ohio, in a press release. “The popularity of resale has never waned,
and we believe our members will come out of this recession in a stronger
position – with a larger customer base – as a broader section of consumers
explore the many options the resale industry has to offer.”
not only see second-hand goods as a way to save money, they have also
found it provides them with the means to make some, as well. Just under
63 percent of stores participating in the NARTS research said they had
seen more merchandise coming into their stores than before.
True Dismukes, owner of Collage Designer Consingment in Birmingham, Ala.
and a past president of NARTS, said in a press release, “Consumers can
maintain the high standard of living they have become accustomed to on
a fraction of what they used to spend, and they can also sell items they
aren’t using and get cash or store credit to use on items they want or
Price Books, a 106-store chain that sells mostly used books and magazines,
is seeing an upswing in its business.
are buying more books than ever before so people are selling … It started
last year with people coming in and selling books for gas money,” Kathy
Doyle Thomas, executive vice president for marketing and real estate,
think people are okay with buying used … it is also part of the growing
culture of recycling,” she added.
Gropper, a consumer in the Dallas market, told Reuters, “Whenever
I finish books I bring them back and get more. I do the same with clothes.
For me it’s a recycling thing. We also did it before the recession but
we are even more careful now.”
Questions: Will consumers who are now buying second-hand continue
to do so even after the economy has fully recovered? What categories do you
see having the biggest
potential for second-hand in the future?