By Kaitlin Dunn
Long gone are the days of hauling bags of unworn, new-with-tags clothing to Plato’s Closet only to be offered five dollars for your efforts.
With social media on the rise for more than just Tweets and Instagram posts, people are taking to utilizing their platforms to not only make money off of not just their old clothing, but to capitalize off of high-demand products.
Apps like Poshmark, Mercari, Depop, and GOAT allow individuals to turn what was originally a simple side project into a business opportunity, with some even turning it into a full time job, such as Natalie Gomez, who was featured in a CNBC article in 2017 for turning her resale business into a six-figure salary for herself.
“What started as a single, nervous purchase of a $9.95 dress she wasn’t sure she’d be able to resell became a full-fledged business,” CNBC writer Zack Guzman said.
Reselling clothes is an opportunity to work for yourself within the contstraints of your own schedule, making it a lucrative opportunity for those who are unable to work traditional jobs, such as stay at home moms or busy students.
“I had this dream of staying home with our future babies, nurturing them, soaking them in, and not having to worry about bills being paid. So I fought to make that a reality,” stay-at-home mom “Natasha” said in an interview with blog Hustle and Slow.
Being able to create one’s own hours and schedule is one of the lucrative aspects that attracts people to reselling over traditional jobs.
However, while reselling is often a casual hobby for most, some take it to extremes, buying out stock from thrift stores or in-demand brands and reselling them for double or triple the price, creating false scarcity and taking advantage of the product’s demand.
“Lululemon’s clothing can both maintain and increase in value over time. Once I saw a Lululemon Define Jacket in Royalty Space Dye sell at auction for $500! These jackets retail for $99. This particular color first appeared in Hong Kong in late July of 2011. How does a jacket fetch over five times its retail value within two years of being released? Simply put, it’s Lululemon,” Tradsey CEO Tracy DiNunzio said in an article with RACKED.
Resell websites such as Depop and GOAT see a great deal of this phenomenon, with people reselling $80 Converse for $300, and $20 Brandy Melville t-shirts for $80.
Some highly sought after brands have even taken measures to discourage these arguably unethical reselling practices, such as luxury brand Telfar.
“The brand, helmed by designer Telfar Clemens, has adopted a new Captcha system that requires consumers to answer questions and identify objects in order to complete their purchase. The move blocks resale bots from stockpiling — although shoppers are seeing the added security as another obstacle in the way of their Telfar,” INPUT writer Maya Ernest wrote.
Reselling has its supporters and naysayers, with those who enjoy collecting sought after products, such as shoes or specific brands, having a certain level of contempt for those who buy out entire size lines of products with the purpose of reselling.
“It’s been a slow and painful demise for the collector, with the #boostvibes era perhaps foreshadowing the current sneaker economy. In many ways, collectors have been replaced by an ever-growing legion of resellers, armed with the weapons of mass consumption known as bots. Rewind back to 2005, I recall being able to walk into my local skateshop to buy the latest pair of SB Dunks. Not a reseller in sight. Hell, I was even able to try ‘em on to see whether I liked how they looked on-foot,” Boon Mark Souphanh said in an article for SneakerFreaker.
Wherever you stand on the reseller debate, there are those who will stand with you and against you in your quest for sick digs.
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Featured Photo Caption: Brands such as lululemon, Converse, and Nike see larger numbers of reselling and price gouging in comparison to other numbers due to the amount of special edition collections and scarcity within the brand.