What is reselling and why is it so controversial?
With the UK's fashion industry valued at over £26 billion and is the biggest creative industry in the country, it's no wonder that every year thousands of young creatives are attracted to the fashion industry looking to make their fortune.
The popularity of so-called limited edition, rare and cult items which fluctuate with every turn of the trend cycle, has opened up an entire new gap in the market, and an opportunity for entrepreneurial minded fashionistas to make some serious moolah through reselling some of the most in-demand and coveted goods of the moment.
So what exactly is a reseller? Like many things resellers come in different forms and specialise in different areas, but can be summed up as an individual who buys goods with the intention of selling them for profit. Some say that reselling really took off with the rise streetwear; brands who work with limited edition drops such as Supreme and Palace, along with luxury sneakers and designer collaborations saw some resellers have monthly turnovers of up to $70,000 in the brands respective heydays.
But reselling has become a much broader practise, aided by marketplace apps such as Depop, Vestiare Collective and Grailed; expanding off into multiple fashion genres including luxury handbags, interiors, vintage and archival, and is a steady source of income for many people.
Are resellers bad? Yes and no, to many the practice of re-selling is widely regarded as a taboo subject. Like any business strategy with the potential to make a serious profit, it will breed greed, dishonesty and unethical practices if left up to the wrong people. The thing people take the biggest issue with is the fact that when resellers buy stock of limited edition items, they're taking it away from regular consumers who are then forced to buy it back from them for triple or quadruple the price, which I think we can agree is a bit of a shit thing to experience.
But everyone has to make money right? True, and don't get us wrong, not all reselling is bad, especially when what most resellers do is just sell on items for their typical market value which, if there's a high enough demand will be more expensive than it's original price.
Selling Vintage also brings new questions into the conversation, there's more effort in sourcing items for one, and with one of a kind pieces, many argue that the inflation in price is down to the efforts on the sellers-behalf to source & curate such an array of pieces, along with the actual value of the item, which at times isn't cheap. Also easier ways to buy vintage pieces online means you're offering an alternative to buying from fast fashion brands, which to us is a win.
So, should I buy from resellers? If you really want something and it's in your budget then why would't you? Yes, there are a few times where resellers really can take the mick, which is when you're perfectly in your rights to tell them where to get off. But for the most part resellers are genuine fashion lovers who are taking the initiative and running their own business, putting the time in to find beautiful pieces and curate their own platform. So do your research; ask yourself if this business seems ethical, like the right person to give your money to, do they actually genuinely care about the stuff they're selling or are they just trying to scam me out of a quick buck?
But whatever you're buying, remember the number one rule, make sure it's fabulous! And don't get scammed.