July 20, 2024
TikTok Shop expands its secondhand luxury fashion offering to the UK

TikTok Shop, TikTok’s social commerce marketplace, is launching a secondhand luxury category in the U.K., putting it in closer competition with The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, Depop, Poshmark, and Mercari, among others. The offering has already existed in TikTok Shop U.S. for over six months.

The new category allows customers in the U.K. to purchase pre-owned high-end clothing, designer handbags, and other accessories, all without leaving the TikTok app. At launch, only five U.K. brands are available, including Sellier, Luxe Collective, Sign of the Times, HardlyEverWornIt, and Break Archive.

Since launching TikTok Shop in 2022, the platform has sold around $1 billion or more worth of products. However, despite its success, some argue that TikTok Shop is ruining the short-form video-sharing app, claiming fakes and poor-quality products are flooding the marketplace. Counterfeits are the biggest risk when buying pre-owned luxury goods online, with even the largest e-commerce giants (Amazon, eBay, and others) facing authenticity issues.

Like all resale marketplaces, TikTok Shop has an anti-counterfeit policy that guarantees a full refund if a seller is proven to have sold a counterfeit product. Bloomberg recently reported that the company is in talks with luxury goods company LVMH to help crack down on counterfeiting.

All secondhand brands on TikTok Shop U.S. are required to have certificates from third-party authenticators. TikTok partnered with authentication services Entrupy and Real Authentication to ensure that designer handbags on the platform are genuine.

Meanwhile, a TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch that the five U.K. brands all have their own in-house authentication process. They wouldn’t say when it would begin accepting other secondhand brands.

The launch of TikTok Shop’s secondhand luxury category is a strategic move to tap into the growing market of preowned luxury items. The secondhand luxury market is a thriving multibillion-dollar business, with an estimated $49.3 billion (€45 billion) worth of secondhand designer items sold worldwide in 2023.

Additionally, this expansion aligns with the increasing trend of people embracing preloved fashion, and it opens up new avenues for secondhand brands in the U.K. to reach a wider customer base. The popularity of secondhand fashion on TikTok is evident, with over 144,000 TikTok posts using the hashtag #secondhandfashion, which has garnered approximately 1.2 billion views.

Today’s announcement arrives on the heels of the U.S. House of Representatives passing a bill that requires ByteDance to sell TikTok or face a ban in the U.S., a bill that appears to be gaining support in the Senate. A ban would be a serious blow to American merchants selling on the app. According to the company, the short video-sharing app generated $14.7 billion for small- to mid-size businesses in 2023.

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