Resale’s popping off — for good and bad

Some people “just really want their items,” Blake Robertson, a teenage Depop seller who received a death threat from a customer, told CNBC.

Threats are rare, but long negotiations with bargain hunters and bidding wars have become common on reselling platforms in a way they haven’t in traditional stores.

Thrifting has always been a popular hobby…

… but it’s boomed online in the last few years, with people turning to platforms like ThredUp, Depop, and Poshmark to browse beyond their neighborhoods. Other contributing factors:

  • The pandemic: Bored at home, people shopped online (and for fashionable Zoom outfits).
  • Inflation: They want the deals!
  • The environment: Gen Z and millennial shoppers, in particular, are seeking more sustainable options.
  • Brands — from fast-fashion giants like H&M to higher-end retailers like Reformation — are partnering with resale platforms to offload extra merchandise.

Forget it, Jake, it’s the internet

Depop — purchased by Etsy for $1.6B in 2021 — recently deleted its comment section, telling CNBC comments didn’t help buyers decide on items.

  • On Reddit, some sellers discussed the rude comments they’d received from buyers wanting cheaper prices.
  • A 2019 Business of Fashion investigation revealed sellers — many of them teens — received inappropriate messages from creeps

Long-time resale champ eBay has similar issues; heck, people even send spicy messages on LinkedIn.

In many ways, the rise of harassment and bad behavior is simply an unfortunate testament to a platform’s popularity and we wouldn’t be surprised to see more guardrails in the future.

Until then, please enjoy some @depopdrama.

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