Service of Second Hand Clothes: Good Enough to Give

December 19th, 2019

Categories: Fashion, Gifts, Second Hand

I wrote about J. C.  Penney’s second hand clothes department in “Service of Second Hand Clothes: Thrift in Unexpected Places.” At Poshmark, his online business, Manish Chandra has added cachet to used clothing.

Chandra told Charity L. Scott in The Wall Street Journal: “We expect this to be a marquee year for secondhand items being gifted. I remember, a few years back, you might try to hide that you bought it on Poshmark. Today, it’s actually fun to say, ‘I bought it on Poshmark,’ and it’s something that people are even sharing shopping tips on.”

Scott reported: “Poshmark looks and behaves much like Instagram, incentivizing sellers to give and receive comments and ‘likes’ and allowing users to follow their favorite sellers. Similar to eBay, sellers take photos of their own items and sell them directly. Poshmark takes a 20% cut of many sales.”

The company added home goods to its offerings. In eight years, it says it paid “more than $2 billion in sale proceeds to its roughly seven million sellers.” Chandra said “Our mission is to empower anybody to become a retailer, [so] we want to keep the playing field super level.”

Chandra said “We think of Marie Kondo” [responsible for the trend to de-clutter] “as a specific moment in the evolution of reselling and re-commerce.” Kondo is the Japanese organizing consultant and author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” [2011].

Would you give a second hand item as a gift? Have you sold or bought something on Poshmark or any of its competitors such as Mercari, eBay, Etsy, Tradesy, Amazon or Wish? Do you browse and buy from thrift stores?

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12 Responses to “Service of Second Hand Clothes: Good Enough to Give”

  1. Edward Baecher Said:

    Edward on Facebook: I think it is a fantastic idea.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Home goods sure–think antiques and family heirlooms. Hand me downs within a family sure. Fashion–for me from strangers–no.

  3. JBS Said:

    I wouldn’t ever give a gift of secondhand items, but I do buy them for myself!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    We used to go to a beach on Long Island that had a bathhouse, one for men, one for women, where you could shower, use the WC and rent a bathing suit. I was very young and the thought made me squeamish. This thing I have about second hand clothes is stupid and I know that clothes I buy at a store have often been tried on by strangers [and try not to think about it]. I believe in the concept–I went out of my way to take a bus–several times–to a Good Will Industries store with countless heavy bags of clean, and good men’s and women’s clothes at our last move and for years before as well. It’s just me.

  5. Edward Baecher Said:

    Edward on Facebook: but society today is so trained to be disposable, cheap worthless garbage from across the pond bought with money they don’t have. 😕😕

    I have so much used beautiful furniture bought for pennies on the dollar, the same can be done with fashion, great idea.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    As I responded to JBS, I am squeamish about second hand clothes for me so I’m not buying them for others. I repeat: I took multiple bus trips to a Goodwill store rather than toss bags and bags of clean, good clothes. [They no longer pick up which is a shame.]

  7. Edward Baecher Said:

    Edward on Facebook: Loving those who pay $400 for ripped jeans.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Do you see me wearing a $12,000 handbag? That’s a different subject.

  9. ASK Said:

    Every time I drop off a bag of clothing at my Salvation Army store, I see many people going through the racks. And I was told there was a real need for larger sizes in both men’s and women’s apparel. I don’t buy used clothes, but do buy household items and books. A good find was a 1930s cookie jar in the shape of a bunch of bananas from a defunct Ohio pottery. Great shade of yellow!

  10. BC Said:

    Give my shrinking clothes to my cleaning lady. She passes them around the trailer park.

    In the 90’s , I bought clothes at the Salvation Army for my Mother, as she was in a nursing home, where some of the clothes “walked”. She was a size 2. I was able to buy a new cashmere tan jacket for $5! That was my Best Buy, and she wore it all the time.

  11. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I have bought plenty of second hand books and household items as well.

    There is a need for large size clothing based on stats: According to Woodruff Lab, “in 2020, the vast majority of adults in America will be overweight or obese and more than half will suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions, according to projections presented by Northwestern Medicine researchers at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions recently in Orlando.”

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I know women who could well afford to go to Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf’s who scour thrift stores.

    One I wrote about in the first post about second hand clothes. She had the most amazing wardrobe of furs that she bought at a thrift shop where the staff knew her and called her when a goody arrived. She had mink and seal and fox and ermine that I knew of. She never wore her furs to a business meeting however. She, like me, was in PR. She said “you never want to be better dressed than your client.”

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