The Rise of Re-commerce

Re-commerce: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Join the Trend



person in black pants and yellow sneakers standing on grass field
person in black pants and yellow sneakers standing on grass field

Re-commerce is a growing trend in the retail industry that involves selling and buying secondhand goods. It is also known as resale commerce or circular economy. In this article we will explain what re-commerce is, why it is becoming popular, and how you can benefit from it as a consumer or a seller.

What is Re-commerce?

Re-commerce is the practice of selling and buying pre-owned items, such as clothing, accessories, electronics, books, furniture, and more. Unlike traditional commerce, which involves the manufacturing and sale of new products, re-commerce focuses on extending the lifespan of pre-owned items, reducing waste, and saving resources.

Re-commerce can take various forms, such as:

  • Online marketplaces where individuals can list and sell their unwanted items to other buyers.

  • Online platforms where companies buy back used items from consumers and resell them after refurbishing or repairing them.

  • Brick-and-mortar stores where customers can bring their old items and exchange them for cash, store credit, or new items.

  • Subscription services where customers can rent or borrow items for a period of time and return them when they are done.

Why is Re-commerce Becoming Popular?

Re-commerce is gaining popularity for several reasons, including:

  • Environmental awareness: Consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of their consumption habits, especially in the fashion industry, which is one of the most polluting and wasteful industries in the world. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the global fashion industry produces 10% of global carbon emissions, 20% of global wastewater, and 92 million tons of waste annually. Re-commerce helps reduce these negative effects by promoting reuse, recycling, and circularity of products.

  • Economic benefits: Consumers can save money by buying secondhand items at lower prices than new ones. They can also make money by selling their unwanted items and generating extra income. According to online thrift store ThredUp, the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing per year, which amounts to $563 worth of value. By participating in re-commerce, consumers can capture some of that value and use it for other purposes.

  • Social trends: Consumers are influenced by social media, celebrities, and influencers who promote re-commerce as a way of expressing their style, creativity, and individuality. Re-commerce also allows consumers to access high-quality, luxury, or rare items that they might not be able to afford otherwise. According to luxury resale marketplace The RealReal, 32% of its customers say they shop re-commerce to find unique or one-of-a-kind items.

How Can You Benefit from Re-commerce?

Re-commerce offers many benefits for both consumers and sellers.

For consumers, re-commerce can help you:

  • Save money and budget better by buying secondhand items at discounted prices.

  • Discover new styles, brands, and products that you might not find in regular stores.

  • Support sustainability and reduce your environmental footprint by reusing and recycling products.

  • Declutter your closet and home by getting rid of items that you no longer need or want.

  • Have fun and enjoy the thrill of finding a great deal, a hidden gem, or a rare piece.

For sellers, re-commerce can help you:

  • Make money and generate extra income by selling your unwanted items to other buyers.

  • Clear space and free up storage by getting rid of items that you no longer use or wear.

  • Reach a wider audience and market your items to millions of potential customers online.

  • Contribute to social causes and donate your items to charities or organizations that support re-commerce.

  • Be creative and showcase your skills and talents by upcycling, customizing, or repairing your items.


Re-commerce is a growing trend in the retail industry that offers many benefits for consumers and sellers. It is a way of selling and buying secondhand goods that supports sustainability, saves money, and creates value. If you are interested in re-commerce, you can start by sorting out your own items and deciding what to keep, sell, or donate. Join the movement that is not only good for the planet, but also for your wallet and your style.