Holiday Sales Sprint   //   December 8, 2023

Gift guides & livestreaming: How resale platforms are wooing shoppers this holiday season

Resale platforms are ramping up their holiday marketing to try and earn a place on shoppers’ wish lists.

This year, Poshmark held its first holiday-themed Posh Show, a live-shopping series it started in April, to showcase top trends and gifts for the winter. GoodwillFinds, now in its second holiday season since launching in October 2022, has expanded its merchandise assortment and begun grouping items on its homepage into top-selling seasonal categories like electronics and toys. StockX has a “seasonal favorites” section on its website and says its new shipping service enables three-day delivery “just in time for the holidays.”

Already, these campaigns are helping drive traffic. GoodwillFinds saw a 321% increase in Black Friday orders this year compared to last year, while The RealReal saw increased demand for fine jewelry like link bracelets and station necklaces during Cyber Weekend. At StockX, Black Friday trades were up 200% from the week before. And, Black Friday 2023 was the second-biggest day in StockX’s history for first-time buyers.

Now, heading into Christmas, resale platforms are working to maintain that momentum by holding more sales, offering more promotions and updating their sites to reflect which categories are performing the best.

Marketing methods

At the moment, GoodwillFinds is “leaning into” top-performing items on its site such as electronics, collectibles, jewelry and sports memorabilia, GoodwillFinds CEO Matthew Kaness told Modern Retail. Compared to last year, when GoodwillFinds was still getting its site off the ground, the platform has a much broader selection of merchandise this year, which it is now highlighting on its homepage. The site has even curated a vintage section to draw on the spike in interest it’s seen around 1980s and 1990s fashions like concert T-shirts.

GoodwillFinds has also extended its “buy more, save more” offer, which allows shoppers to save $15 on orders of $50 or more, $25 on orders of $100 or more and $75 on orders of $200 or more. This option is particularly attractive to Goodwill shoppers who are looking for items to resell for a profit on platforms like Poshmark or Depop, Kaness explained. Bulk jewelry, for example, is one of the most-searched for categories at the moment.

“This reseller community has found our site and they love it,” Kaness said. “Instead of having to travel to the dozen Goodwill stores in their area, like driving one by one, they can just shop our catalog from their house.” Kaness added that shoppers appreciate that GoodwillFinds takes care of logistics, especially since its site aggregates items from the more than 150 Goodwill locations across the country.

Poshmark, meanwhile, is turning to live Posh Shows on its website and app to try to drive traffic, Steven Tristan Young, chief marketing officer at Poshmark, told Modern Retail. In the past, Poshmark has not focused so heavily on live-shopping before the holidays. Poshmark’s holiday show on Nov. 16 racked up 4,000 views in an hour, with items completely selling out. Poshmark also paired up with for more than 30 Posh Shows during the week starting Nov. 19.

Additional sellers held Posh Shows on Secondhand Sunday on Nov. 26, featuring items from popular gifting categories like athleisure. Together, viewers watched more than 10 million minutes of Posh Shows between Thanksgiving and Secondhand Sunday, according to Young. The shows involve giveaways that give viewers a chance to win $500.

On social media, Poshmark is partnering with TikTok creators to develop videos that share ideas for secondhand gifts and encourage consumers to sell on Poshmark as a way to make extra cash for holiday expenses. Poshmark is also hosting a $50,000 listing challenge that enters sellers into a giveaway every time they upload an item to the platform. And, as in years past, Poshmark has released an annual gift guide for consumers with suggestions for everything from luxury items to home goods.

StockX, which lists items such as sneakers and collectibles that are in brand-new condition, launched new social giveaways and promotions during Cyber Weekend that led to 10 million visitors opening its website and app, Jacob Fenton, StockX’s vice president of customer experience, told Modern Retail. StockX also launched a brand campaign for Cyber Weekend that highlighted StockX’s verification process. The advertisement ran on streamers, connected TV and live broadcasts on StockX’s social channels, Fenton said. Over the next couple of weeks, StockX will test out even more social giveaways and promotions.

StockX is also encouraging users to use new features launched in time for the holiday season. These include StockX Lists, which allow users to curate lists of the products they want most, then share them with family and friends. As an extension, StockX rolled out shareable lists, allowing customers to shop from the wish lists of Stock X influencers. To promote this, StockX ambassadors — including video game creator Chica — will host live Twitch streams offering viewers the chance to win products from their lists. In addition, StockX released paid- and owned-channel editorial gift guides around buzzy holiday products.

Finally, OfferUp, which sells everything from cars to bathroom appliances, has a holiday marketing strategy that involves highlighting top seasonal products like electronics and games. “We’ll see increases of between 30% to 50% and more in gift-oriented categories during the holidays as people start turning their attention to that,” Ken Murphy, senior vice president of product at OfferUp, told Modern Retail.

In addition, when it comes to messaging, “more and more, we are leaning into some of the other increasingly-important factors [about resale],” Murphy said. These include points about sustainability and recycling, “the feel-good factor,” he explained. “Those are important messages that we tend to use these days as secondary-continued enhancements and reinforcements.”

The staying power of resale

Secondhand shopping for the holidays is not new, nor is this the first time that resale platforms have tried to take advantage of the holidays. Last year, for instance, ThredUp launched its first-ever holiday up-cycled collection. Also in 2022, online resale marketplace Vestiaire Collective kicked off Black Friday with an announcement that it was banning fast-fashion items like Shein, ASOS and Fashion Nova from its marketplace by 2023.

However, there’s some signs that resale might resonate more this year, sources say. For one, there appears to be less of a stigma against secondhand shopping, especially among younger consumers who are more conscious about the environment. In fact, 82% of shoppers this year are open to receiving secondhand gifts during the holidays, up 11% from 2022, according to a new study from OfferUp. About 60% of GoodwillFinds’ customers are 35 years old or younger, and “there’s an acceleration happening online [with that age range] who are finding the category,” GoodwillFinds’ Kaness said.

In addition, Kaness said, “this year, I’d say there’s some social equity in saying, ‘I bought this secondhand.'”

“There’s now such a heightened awareness that not only is secondhand much better for the environment… but also, there’s so many cool trends and vintage that are off-mall, where everything in the mall is so same-same,” he added.

The economy likely plays a role too with shoppers turning to resale to stretch out their dollars. In OfferUp’s study, 94% of respondents said inflation affected their holiday budgets. More than 50% said the mandatory return of student loan payments played a role in how much they planned to spend on gifts as well. In ThredUp’s annual holiday survey, nearly one in two shoppers said price is most important to them when shopping this year, and more than half said they refuse to pay full price this holiday season.

Compared to several years ago, resale platforms are much more ubiquitous today, OfferUp’s Murphy said. “There’s more visibility,” he said. “The fact that there are so many more platforms that focus on providing access to resale goods, and doing it in a way that presents them in a high-quality manner, highlights the fact that these items are fantastic opportunities at great bargains.”

Emily Gittins, CEO of Archive, also sees secondhand continuing to take off. Archive works with companies such as Hanna Andersson, The North Face and Faherty on their branded resale sites. “We’ve seen leaders in the space double their resale revenues over the past year,” Gittins wrote in an email to Modern Retail. “We can expect this trend to continue into next year, especially as brands are expanding their resale programs globally into new markets and audiences.”

By 2028, recommerce is projected to account for 8% of the total retail market, up 2% from 2023, according to OfferUp’s report. “I think these attitudinal shifts are going to make it more and more relevant for people to continue to seek value in this way,” Murphy said. “And a lot of it, too, is about our ability as platforms to continue to enable it.”