How and where to buy and sell used menswear
Welcome to the golden age of re-commerce, where secondhand shopping grants you access to the limited-edition drops you missed, collectible classics that are hard to come by and luxury items that are out of your budget when buying at retail prices. In an era of menswear where anything goes, “thrifting” has never been cooler.
Just look at the numbers. Grailed, one of the leading men's online marketplaces for luxury streetwear and vintage fashion, raised 60 million dollars at the end of last year to grow even larger. The RealReal, the world's largest online resale marketplace, sold more than 3 million items in 20221. And StockX, after a record year of revenue, just completed another funding round that values the high-end sneaker reseller at $3.8 billion. A growing number of start-ups and established players are getting into the resale market, but most of them have been focused on females.
Which is why MR PORTER wanted in on the action. They've partnered with the tech-driven reseller, Reflaunt, to launch a new program called MR PORTER Resell. Its goal is to help you make room in your wardrobe by quickly and easily listing your old clothes for sale. According to MR PORTER's managing director, Fiona Firth, the new program reflects a larger shift in how men shop now. A recent survey of the e-commerce giant's shoppers reveals that over 75% of customers make purchases based on a product's sustainability credentials, and about half have already been shopping the online resale market. It's kind of a win-win, really: A sustainable solution that extends the life of your clothes and makes you a little money (ideally, to spend on more clothes).
The whole service is white-glove and hands-off. MR PORTER will pick up the high-end clothes you want to sell, and along with Reflaunt's technical capabilities, vet them for quality control and produce product descriptions, pricing and listings for all your items. The expert team handles all the photography and sales, you just decide how you'd like to get paid. You can collect your choice of MR PORTER credit (with an extra 10% bonus) or as cash via bank transfer.
Unfortunately, the Resell products won't be sold through MR PORTER directly. Instead, once they're in the Reflaunt system, they'll be listed across their network of resale sites, including eBay and Etsy. Personally, I'd like to sift through the products being sold by MR PORTER customers. But if you want that experience, you could try MARRKT, a marketplace focussed on quality pre-owned and deadstock workwear and classic niche branded menswear.
Founded by Lewis Hull, who owns The Real McCoy's shop in London, the site looks and feels less like a consignment shop and more like a high-end retailer. You can shop the “Daily Drops” or browse by brand and find everything from RLL and Drake's to Engineered Garments and Norse Projects—all in great condition and at deep discount. And if you're looking to sell, simply fill out a form explaining what you've got. They'll send you a shipping label to send your items to their warehouse. (For those of us outside of the UK, there's a small shipping contribution requested.)
Similarly, Levi's now runs a successful Secondhand program. According to the company, if everybody bought one used item this year, instead of buying new, it would save nearly 450 million pounds of waste. What started as a conscientious move to boost sustainability, resulted in an easy way to score perfectly worn-in and beat-up vintage jeans that have been professionally cleaned and cared for. In fact, it's become so popular, that Dockers just launched their own Vintage collection of pre-loved and pre-worn pieces from the '80s and '90s that have been restored and repaired.
I recently cleaned out my closet. And while some stuff had to be pitched, others were bagged up for donations. But there were a few items I was hanging onto, not because I wear them, but because I loved them. A heavy chore coat that's too thick for my Southern California lifestyle and a pair of pleated trousers that are beautifully tailored but just never quite flattered my body enough to wear them regularly. They're too nice (and I paid too much) to simply give them away. They should go to someone who will truly appreciate them the way I did. And, you know, also pay me for them.
Tips for Selling
Resellers grade the condition of each item they receive before deciding on the final listing price. A proper dry cleaning before selling is an investment that almost guarantees you a higher selling price.
Recreate theRetail Experience
Still have the boxes and bags? Include them. Dust bags for shoes? Include those, too. (And remember this when buying big ticket items you might consider selling later.)