There is a certain stigma and shame surrounding reselling clothing and this is based on misconceptions about what resellers are actually doing. Reselling secondhand clothes should be celebrated and thought of as a proper job/career as there is so much work involved but also so much good thats comes from the act of reselling.
1. Buying from op shops and reselling is WRONG, you are taking from the poor:
Well firstly If a homeless person wanted this dank 60s floral shirt they should have got to the op shop at opening time like I did and fought me for it!
Let’s be real guys… op shops are flooding with stock. There is so much stock that they are actually having to throw some of it out or send it overseas. There is no shortage of garments for the underprivileged and obviously if I was actually fighting a homeless person for a 60s floral shirt, they’d win because I’m weak af.
Another point to make here is that resellers are contributing the same amount of money to the charity as the less fortunate would for that item. We don’t get to walk into an op shop, flashing our ‘Vintage Resellers Card’ and get 70% off. Nope, we pay the full fare and often we are paying inflated prices because these damn shop assistants are so savvy! Love that for them!
2. Resellers are increasing op shop prices:
No…. Resellers aren’t increasing prices. The op shops are increasing their prices and we are happily paying them. This pisses some people off, but overall this means more money for the charities.
The real reason charities are putting up their prices is because they are inundated with donations and running at full capacity means higher expenses. Putting on more paid staff, marketing more to get the word out, running rubbish and recycling disposal facilities and don't forget the expenses that relate to what goes on 'behind the scenes' of these charities: 24hr crisis support, providing meals and housing to those in need, funding education, supporting refugees and so much more. These services cannot run for free and the op shops along with donations sustain this.
3. Marking up items and making a profit is unethical:
Actually it’s just business. You buy low and you sell high. What’s unethical is brands like Zara and H&M charging you $80 for a shirt that was made for $0.40 in a sweatshop. But alas, they're still doing okay!
When I on-sell items that I have sourced from an op shop my prices cover my expertise and eye for vintage, my website, marketing, travel expenses, parking tolls, laundering, steaming equipment, hours of styling, photographing and repairing items and finally the eco packaging it all gets wrapped up in. This is a business and like any business you must account for your expenses and factor this into your prices.
If you think it’s unethical to make profit from secondhand items and you prefer to sell at the same price you bought it for or even at a loss, for the love of it, that’s awesome and I love that for you! But that’s a hobby and this is a business.
Still not convinced? I will leave my sass at the door and calmly jot down why I think we should be proud to tell people we are resellers, we play a very important role in the fashion industry and create positive change in the world.
- Resellers are reducing waste by not selling new, poorly manufactured garments to their customers. By choosing to sell clothing that already exists in the world, resellers are putting no extra strain on the environmental crisis that's very heavily impacted by the fashion industry.
- Resellers build strong relationships with their local charity op shops and often become a friendly reliable source of income for these charities.
- Instagram resellers promote charities and second hand clothing for free on their platform. Encouraging the masses to wear secondhand and to think 'Secondhand First'. Thrift hauls, op shop opening ceremonies, VIP nights & op shop styling videos all help to increase awareness and bring even more value to those charities.
- Beautiful styling and photography on resellers platforms makes secondhand clothing more appealing to those who may not have considered it as an option for them.
- Online resellers are bridging the gap for those who may not be able to handle the overwhelming nature of an op shop or those who may be physically incapable. Customers are now able to access more curated secondhand collections of clothing online that align with their style and values.
So if someone is hitting you up with some hooey about how 'unethical' it is to resell clothing from charities. Don't feel bad, don't get all heated just hit them.....
With the facts!