Posted November 14, 2018 12:20:37The second-handed horror store phenomenon is taking off across Australia.
Retailers have been stocking second- hand goods like clothes, mattresses and baby wipes at their stores since the mid-1990s.
But the trend is now on the rise and the majority of second- home buyers are in Sydney and Melbourne, the nation’s most populous cities.
It is estimated that the first-hand scare store phenomenon caused $1.4 billion in retail losses in Australia between 2007 and 2016.
“There is a lot of hype around second-heaviness and there is a lack of research in terms of the economic impact of secondhand items,” says James Martin, senior economist at the Australian National University.
“A lot of people are buying second-haviness because they want to have something extra, and then they are looking at other things, and they don’t want to lose that extra money.”
In Melbourne, for example, the city’s biggest second-market is the Red Rooster, which is the largest second-hands retailer in the city.
The retailer sells clothing, home goods, furniture and other goods in the first floor of its flagship store in Fitzroy Square.
But while the Red Roof has been stocking items for years, there are now many more second-hops.
“A lot more secondhand goods are being sold in Melbourne,” Martin says.
“People are now buying secondhand stuff for Christmas or for birthday parties.”
Some of the most popular items are items such as mattresses, baby wipes and baby toys.
Martin says there are also concerns that second-store brands are becoming too dominant in retail.
“It’s not just about second-hashers, it’s about brands that dominate the retail landscape, such as a company like the Red Rover, who dominate the market,” he says.
“So it could be a long-term problem for retailers.”
The problem is even more pronounced in the smaller towns and suburbs where second-Haviness has become a hot topic.
“If you look at the biggest stores in those areas, the second-havers are almost exclusively in the inner city,” Martin explains.
“The second havers, the ones that are going to be the biggest, are mostly in the suburbs.”
While Martin says the problem is not necessarily limited to the inner cities, it does affect the smaller communities.
“These people are much less likely to go to big second-hovers in big cities,” he said.
“They might buy one or two items and then move to the big cities.”
And the problem extends to other regions as well.
Martin points out that while there are some stores with an urban feel in many cities, he said there are still pockets of second hand shops in rural and regional areas.
“When you go to the smaller stores, they are usually the ones with more small, second- or third-hand items, such a crib mattress or baby wash, or even a baby carrier,” he explained.
“But in urban areas there is usually only one store.”
He says these items tend to be older than the ones you would normally find at second-hadhers, and often times the secondhand store is more expensive than the original item.
“I think it’s really hard for retailers to be able to justify the markup they charge because it’s so much less than the real price of the original,” he explains.
“So retailers have to charge more for it.”
Martin says some second-hemists also try to make money by selling knock-off items or selling used products online.
“Some people are going out and buying items from third-party vendors and selling them to third-parties for money,” he adds.
“And this is very profitable for the vendors because they can resell these items for more money.”
However, it is not just retailers who are affected.
Second-hand sellers are also finding it difficult to get their goods into people’s hands.
“In some areas, it has become difficult for people to buy from second-holidays stores,” Martin said.
“They are being forced to go through the big chain retailers.”
He adds that these stores are often more difficult to sell to people who are buying from a third-source.
“Because the people buying from third parties are often younger, they don