Resale Going Mainstream in Canada with Consumers Particularly Valuing Brand-Owned Resale: Report

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Recurate, a leader in branded resale technology, has released its first-ever resale report showing that resale is not niche and is not just for Gen Z but 74 per cent of people across all major markets, ages, genders and socioeconomic status shop recommerce. 

Other key findings include:

  • Brand loyalty will increase with brand-owned resale. 75 per cent of all recommerce participants said recommerce would increase their brand loyalty and frequency but right now third party marketplaces are their only option;
  • Opportunity to increase customer base and decrease production. 85 per cent of recommerce shoppers would try a new brand if recommerce was offered;
  • Frequent fashion without fast fashion. 72 per cent of recommerce shoppers shop at least every two to three months;
  • Brands aren’t doing enough. 62 per cent of sellers feel brands could do more to help them participate in recommerce; and 
  • Customers are demanding brand-owned resale. Nine out of 10 people who shop and sell pre-owned want to shop peer-to-peer recommerce directly from the brand.
Womance (Image:

“This consumer report quantifies the tremendous opportunity of brand-owned resale,” said Karin Dillie, VP Partnerships at Recurate. “The numbers are clear – brands who launch in-house resale programs can create substantially more loyal, more frequent customers than brands who don’t.

“We really thought there was a ton of research. You see it pretty much every day, every week, about new items being sold . . . We wanted to do a report that was less focused on exactly what brands were selling or trends and predicting things and more actually understanding consumer behaviour and what they’re excited about – how they want to behave and how they want to interact directly with brands if the opportunity was there for them.

Karin Dillie

“Customers want brands to do more to get them involved in circularity. So 62 per cent of customers surveyed said that they thought that brands could do more to engage in circularity and make resale really easier. That to me was a pretty big call to action for brands in this space.

“We also found this cohort of customers we’re calling circulars. So they do both buying and selling. I think historically a lot of people thought of those two as very separate demographics. Either you are a resale seller or you are a resale buyer and kind of not both. So we’re seeing this emerging trend especially among young consumers under the age of 30 that want to engage with both and they’re the ones that are really actively participating in this and they’re super excited for a variety of reasons to get brands involved in resale.”

ReLift by Inner Strength Products

Adam Siegel, CEO and Co-founder of Recurate, said the company was launched in the early part of 2020 and is based in Washington, DC.

Adam Siegel

“We are a B2B technology company. We basically have software that integrates them to brands’ websites, ecommerce sites, and we enable a new experience for those brands where their customers can buy and sell pre-loved items directly on their brands’ websites,” he said.

Siegel said the company is live with several brands in Canada today and several more US brands that have large customer bases in Canada.

“So we’ve done thousands and thousands of Canadian transactions. We’re translated into French Canadian and English and we have a partnership with Canada Post. Yes, very much engaged in the Canadian market.”

Dolce Vita (Re:Vita)

Recurate’s Resale Report findings show that as the resale market continues to grow and outpace traditional retail, it is imperative that brands are able to leverage resale as a sustainability initiative and revenue driver. For brands, recommerce is key to unlocking the next chapter of growth, engagement, and loyalty.

The Resale Report is an important component of Recurate’s larger mission to empower brands with the support and technology they need to meaningfully participate in the circular economy.

Siegel said two-thirds of Canadians surveyed are likely to very likely to purchase second hand, clothing, accessories or gear if they were sold by individuals through a known brand’s website.

“To me, that’s an extremely high number. It’s super interesting,” he said. 

Also, almost two-thirds of Canadians would shop a new brand that offered second hand options.

“The rationale we see why customers are willing to shop new brands if they offer pre-loved options is because oftentimes customers aspire to shop brands but they may not be able to afford and to get pre-loved options it makes the cost more reasonable for them to be able to try a brand they otherwise wouldn’t be able to,” he said. (ReBooted available in the US exclusively thus far)

Dillie said more and more retail brands are launching recommerce sites. 

“They’re just figuring out how they want to do it,” she said. “There’s a lot of options in resale. So now they’re really thinking about what makes sense for their customers.”

For many consumers, recommerce is about price point and can be an entry point for them to certain brands, she said.

“People are also conscious about sustainability. It motivates them as a buyer. They want to buy second hand. They know that it’s extending the life of items. There’s also a lot of people who like to find treasures.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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