Ever since 2013, the stigma of buying at second-hand shops has been almost completely lifted. In fact, many retailers have unfortunately gone bust in May of this year, while the second-hand shops have displayed nothing but prosperity, owing to the younger generations. Question still remains, though, what has caused this sudden takeover of thrift shops?
The Change in Trend
A couple of decades ago, buying in thrift shops was a sign of poverty and low status. Many children who had experienced a childhood void of luxury probably recall being scared of being seen in one of these, now more than popular, stores.
Well, second-hand shops owe a great deal to the current ‘vintage’ culture. Coming up with a top-notch, seamless look perhaps was the name of the game in the 90s and 00s, but nowadays, it’s all about coming up with worn clothes, that make one appear as if they didn’t care for their fashion. This, in fact, extends to such a degree, that there are large numbers of online tutorials for making the brand new clothes appear old and worn.
Instead of coughing up wads of cash only to try and make one’s clothes appear old, people have started digging through heaps of used clothes in thrift shops to find the size and look that is right for them – all this at mind-bogglingly low prices!
Take Swap, for instance – although this online second-hand retailer offers men’s, baby & kids’ clothing and accessories, it has reached a peak in its popularity by pitching women’s items, perfect for frugal moms.
The trend, however, transcends clothing. It is the choice of many to dig through websites, such as eBay, Amazon, and the like, which have truly played a major role in promoting the second-hand retailing business and truly can be regarded as online thrift shops.
In fact, the former, eBay, has managed to achieve the amount of expansion that everyone is aware of nowadays exactly by enabling the users to make second-hand item transactions with no more than a couple of clicks. If one was to think about it, it is basically a win-win situation – the seller is trying to sell a perfectly functional piece of equipment, clothing, etc. while the buyer is looking at prices significantly cheaper than the alternative of buying brand new items.
Back in the 90s, charity shops weren’t exactly too popular. Their business basically boiled down to hard-core fanatics being able to find vintage items, such as decades-old vinyl and other rare collectables.
This has all changed over the course of the past decade – nowadays, charity shops are borderline fancy, visually gripping and even occasionally run by celebrities. While all this truly does sound cheesy, even if the intentions weren’t exactly pure here, the fact remains that these shops are selling quality products at low prices for those unable to afford them otherwise.
Charity retailers, such as Oxfam boast a great deal of diversity, age and gender-wise alike, which serves to bring about an even larger number of customers.
Even charities, such as Red Cross are learning from mainstream retailers, trying to remain aware of the trends and design.
The fact that the second-hand shops are currently thriving, while your regular retailers are going bust, doesn’t mean that this trend is going to last. However, it is a firm belief of many that there is something for everyone out there – after all, not everyone shares one and the same taste, and while one person will enjoy dressing up and wearing neckties and high heels, the other will settle for a more worn out look, absolutely obtainable within thrift shops.