We’ve seen a recent rush of major fashion brands to join the resale market – it’s about time! For many years QSA Partners has supported resale as a first step circular business model and it’s fantastic to see it growing in scale. I do have a few questions about where the market is going, though, and whether brands are really getting maximum value from their new resale propositions.
Are you already missing out on the resale market?
There are many examples of thriving resale models and platforms but the last month or so has seen a raft of new brands joining in. This is important, because these brands now clearly recognise it’s essential to have a resale offer, and a recent article in Glamour highlights that many companies realise it’s a savvy move in a market where younger buyers are hunting out high-quality used garments.
If your brand doesn’t have, or isn’t currently setting up, a resale business model (or an even more circular one) then you’re already way behind the curve and you need to get moving now.
Takeback vs buy-back?
Some resale models are simply taking back items and selling them on – rather than buying the garments from the customer. This misses out on understanding the true value of the items and fails to fully reward the customer for taking part: take-back models are relying on the customer’s goodwill…and how is the brand going to ensure that in future?
A truly circular business model functions on the true value of the item and, done properly, shares that value between all the participants. A clear buy-back value increases loyalty in two ways: it ensures you get the garment back and reinforces the customer’s perception that your poducts retain a high value for a long time (and differentiates you from other brands who don’t offer that value.)
Is it really circular?
Buy-back and resale is the first step on the circular journey. The theory is that someone buying a used item will no longer need to buy a new one. We know, from our own previous research, that only some resold items prevent the buyer from purchasing a new item. As many as 1 in 3 resold items are merely additional purchases on top of the new items that customers are buying.
The other side of resale is what the “source” customers do with the money given to them for their traded-in garments. Will they simply spend it on more clothing? Or a flight to the Med? Or something more essential?
Of course, buy-back and resale is an excellent first step for both customers and companies moving towards the circular economy – and for this reason I welcome the lift-off in fashion resale…provided it’s not the only change we see.
What is your brand doing?
Maybe you’re thinking of exploring resale business models, or even something more circular. The truth is, you can’t afford to put this idea on the back burner any longer.
We’ve helped brands of all shapes & sizes (and sectors) create, launch and scale circular business models, from resale to rental to fully circular.
Get in touch with use at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.