As resale gains in popularity, Drapers examines the different business models used by the established and emerging players
Launched in: 2009
How it works: Vestiaire Collective allows customers to buy and sell “authenticated” pre-owned luxury fashion. Sellers have two options: they can list the item themselves, or ask Vestiaire to do it for them.
When items are added to the site, Vestiaire’s team checks the images provided and ensures that the brand, colour and size match the description. The seller can add more pictures and detail, adjust the price and interact with potential buyers. A calculator shows how much they will receive once the item is sold – typically 75%-80% of the selling price.
After the item sells, the seller receives a prepaid label to ship it to Vestiaire’s Paris headquarters. The quality control team carefully inspects it to check it is not counterfeit, and that it matches up to the original description and is not broken. If it passes the inspection, the item is shipped to the buyer. If not, it is returned to the seller.
Vestiaire charges a fixed commission of £13 on items with a value up to £130. For every item over £6,500, the fixed commission is £1,300. For all other amounts, the commission depends on the selling price, but is set at a maximum of 25%. In April, it introduced an “authentication fee” for buyers of up to 2% of an item’s listed price.
Through the “concierge service”, sellers ship their item(s) to Vestiaire and its team takes the photos and sets a price. Sellers typically receive about 75% of the selling price. The site also makes money through its paid-for premium service, which allows customers early access to newly listed products, the ability to reserve their favourite items, free shipping and priority selling status.
Launched in: 2011
How it works: Gen Z-focused shopping app Depop is part second-hand clothing marketplace, part social network. Its users – the vast majority of whom are under the age of 25 – can use the app to buy or sell clothing, as well as message each other, comment on or “like” posts, and browse through and explore a feed similar to Instagram.
Sellers are responsible for photographing and uploading their items, and setting the selling price – which can include a delivery fee – and shipping to the buyer. Depop charges 10% commission on every successful sale.
Launched in: 2012
How it works: Lithuanian online marketplace Vinted allows its users to sell, buy and swap second-hand clothing. It is free for sellers to list their products and they set the price.
Vinted does not charge a commission fee – instead it adds a protection fee for buyers, which is 3%-8% of the selling price of the item plus a fixed fee of 30p-80p. This covers secure payments and protection for your orders; in-app postage options and tracking; and customer support. The fee is applied to the order before a customer pays.
Sellers are expected to pay for postage, so must include the delivery fee within their selling price. Sellers with detailed profiles and good reviews can become verified buyers.
Vinted also generates income through special features that it offers to its members where listings get bumped to the top of Vinted’s feed and search results for more visibility.
Launched in: 2017
How it works: Loopster specialises in second-hand children’s and baby clothes. Users create an account and request a “Loopy Clear-Out Bag”, in which they must enclose a minimum of 15 items. Certain brands and categories are excluded, such as the supermarket clothing brands, or underwear.
Once Loopster receives the bag, it assesses how much it will pay for each item based on the condition and quality. A price is then offered for each. If the sender does not wish to sell for that price, the clothes can be donated to charity or returned to the customer at their own cost. The same two options apply to clothing that is deemed ineligible for sale.
The price paid varies by garment type and brand. It quotes, for example, £2.20-£2.40 for a Zara dress for girls aged five. It estimates that a bag of 15 eligible items could be worth at least £49. It will then resell the items on its site for a price of its choosing.
Farfetch Second Life
Launched in: 2019
How it works: Second Life is a pilot scheme by Farfetch, which enables consumers to sell their designer bags and in return receive a Farfetch credit, allowing them to purchase new designer clothing and have money paid towards it through their store credit.
Consumers upload photos of the bag they would like to sell and, within two days, Farfetch tells them how much credit they would earn based on the cost, quality and brand of the bag. Customers then schedule a pick-up time and, once the bag has been received and verified at Farfetch’s warehouse, the credit is added to the user’s account. If items are badly damaged or do not meet the guidelines, Farfetch returns them to the seller free of charge. Farfetch has not disclosed any commission fees.