Supporting those who resell ethically

Zaynab Kouatli, Opinion Editor

A person who purchases products at a low price and sells said products to their customers at a higher price is known as a reseller. There are several kinds of resellers from sneaker heads and antiques to games and vintage clothes. However, vintage and antique resellers have been receiving a lot of backlash on their businesses across social media.  

Thrift stores were a place to find unique items to decorate your home or body. Many shuffle through the isles anticipating to find an item that is a name brand or even better- vintage. However, this hunt-like ritual has shifted from scouring for a new wardrobe on a budget to financial gain.  

Here is the thing: I am on the side of most resellers. I will pause for a gasp and eye roll. My own mother is actually a reseller and has been for my entire life. I was literally raised in a thrift store and vacation time was going to garage sales. My family’s income relied on my mother’s vintage reseller business, and I would not have it any other way.  

I can hear you muttering that I am a “class traitor” but my family’s business is not a way to get rich, it is a way to put food on the table. The ethics around reselling have not always been clear but not all resellers are unethical.  

My main reason for defending resellers is because they are helping to stop fast fashion. Overconsumption in clothes is on the rise and the focus on thrifting and second-hand is in fact helping to slow down our expenditure. I also dislike the argument resellers are stealing all the good stuff. THERE ARE SO MANY CLOTHES IN THRIFT STORES, BINS AND NOW OUR LANDFILLS. You cannot accuse resellers of taking all the “stuff” because there is ample “stuff” to go around.  

There is a moral code I believe all resellers should abide by. Resellers need to be aware of the privilege that comes with their business. I understand many resellers depend on their business to provide for themselves, but they also need to be informed about the influence their business has on the prices of items in thrift shops. At the end of the day, thrift stores are some of the only places low-income individuals have access to affordable items.  

If you are a reseller, stick to a niche, so you are not hoarding everything that is valuable. You do not need to buy out the entire store- leave stuff behind for others to enjoy. Limitation when reselling is the best way to make sure that thrift store remains affordable and available to all.  

Influencer culture around reselling vintage is ruining the prices of thrift stores for resellers and low-income consumers. When several influencers boast how they bought a lamp for $2 and sold it for $400, that is what is making the prices of items in thrift shops rise.  

Resellers also need to make sure the price margins are fair. Of course, there needs to be a profit, but prices should reflect the time you put into purchasing the item and the true value of the item. Many resellers are not truly aware about the worth of their items and are marking up their merchandise beyond what it should be. To be ethical, you need to be well-researched in what vintage really is. I have noticed a lot of influencers selling fast fashion vintage look alike claiming they are vintage.  

At the end of the day, reselling cannot be 100% ethical because nothing is ethical under capitalism. However, being mindful when it comes to reselling and being well researched in the merchandise you are putting out is the only way we can keep reselling and thrifting morally ethical.