Sep 1, 2020
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UK's secondhand e-fashion sales surged in lockdown

Sep 1, 2020

E-sales of secondhand fashion jumped during lockdown (and afterwards) as consumers’ options for buying new fashion in-store narrowed or disappeared altogether.


eBay said that sales of secondhand goods rose as much as 30% between March and June, which meant the first half’s sales of such goods rose 10% overall year-on-year.

In fact, the company said secondhand/vintage fashion is its fastest-growing and largest category. That’s despite it having focused more heavily on new, fixed-price items in recent years. The Guardian reported that between January and July this year, secondhand fashion sales on eBay were more than 200 times the level of those of just two years ago.

It also reported that youth-focused rival Depop saw record sales in the UK (as well as in the US and Australia) this year and was signing up 20 new users a minute in July, while seeing a year-on-year tripling of traffic to its app.

Charity shops have also benefited from the changes that have happened this year with Oxfam’s e-sales up 111% last week compared with the same week last year. The company launches a campaign this month to encourage shoppers to buy secondhand.

The developments come as lockdown closed off many fashion shopping avenues for consumers. But also likely to be playing a part is a changed mindset in which many consumers are now more focused on ethical fashion. That means reducing waste and recycling as much as possible. eBay admitted that this played a part in the lockdown surge.

And economic factors could also be playing a part as furloughed or laid-off consumers seek ways to get their fashion fix on a budget, as well as to make money by selling.

Depop’s COO Dominic Rose told the newspaper: “Over the past six months, we’ve all had more time at home than usual. We’ve really seen Gen Z in particular embrace resale as a way to use this time as creatively and productively as possible whilst earning money in the process and opening up the possibility of building a business from their bedroom on Depop.”

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