Second hand - what is it, and why is there so much noise around this concept? How many people can dress stylishly while buying things for next to nothing? Employee and customer reviews of secondhand stores helped build a shared understanding. This article discusses in detail the history of the appearance of such establishments and the features of their functioning.
History of Creation
What is second-hand? This phrase, in general, is translated as "second hand". Immediately comes the understanding that we are talking about something used or supported. It can be anything: clothing, accessories, household appliances, jewelry, and even personal care items (such as shampoo or moisturizer). The second hand store is the most accessible point of sale where you can find everything you need at low prices.
The term itself appeared in the seventeenth century in the era of the kings of England. Then the rulers gave their subjects their unnecessary clothes, which was considered a sign of respect and great honor. The most significant item was the royal cloak, which was passedmost devoted and successful vassals. If someone received such an element of the wardrobe, then he was considered the main assistant to the king. Some called it "second hand", which is where the famous phrase came from.
Second hand stock itself began over seventy years ago. At that time, Western European and other developed countries were distinguished by a high level of economic development, which allowed citizens to update their own wardrobe as often as possible. Unnecessary things were sent either to a landfill or as humanitarian aid.
In the CIS countries, they learned what “second-hand” was in the early nineties. At first, work was organized in warehouses that were located far from the city center. Clothes were thrown into baskets, and sales were carried out by weight.
The appearance of a good second-hand can be logically explained. Several circumstances contributed to this:
- on the territory of England in 1943 for the first time organized humanitarian aid to support the French Resistance forces;
- financial well-being of Europeans, which makes it possible to regularly update the wardrobe (so things do not have time to wear out);
- culture and upbringing that just won't let you throw away a good thing;
- unwillingness of people to spend a lot of money on high quality things.
Besides this, goods from Asian countries (China, Vietnam, India) were previously distinguished by poor quality and inappropriate cost (now the picture is somewhatchanged). Buying quality used items at low prices was a much better decision than spending the same money for rags.
Second hand geography
The condition of the clothes largely depends on the supplier country.
- United States of America. It ranks last for two reasons. Unrealistically huge clothing sizes and lack of cleanliness.
- Ireland. The best supplier of used baby clothes.
- Australia. Quite a good level, with the exception of one moment. There are practically no winter things here.
- UK. Number one among the second-hand because the British are very rich and can afford frequent wardrobe changes.
- Norway. Might fit well with Australia. A large number of jackets, coats, hats and other warm items come from here.
- Germany. The clothes are delivered in poor condition, and already the home furnishings are of high quality.
- France. The most controversial supplier. Quality depends on collection areas.
There are several types of assemblies:
- Shop. After the seasonal sale and during collection changes, branded stores collect unsold items and sell them at low prices to second-hand sorting factories. Often companies do not want their products to be sold at a low price, which will harm the company's reputation. Therefore, cut tags and labels can be seen.
- Homemade (family). Employees of private businesses and charitable organizations personally ask or sendletters to families asking them to collect unwanted clothes and shoes. Moreover, the main assembly requirements are the absolute purity of things and their excellent condition, while shoes must be paired and tied with laces.
- Container. In residential areas near shopping centers or parking lots, specific containers are placed into which anyone can drop unnecessary things. It is much poorer and more chaotic as there is no cleanliness control in this case.
These are the three main types of assembly. Sometimes they collect things in educational institutions, mainly in schools in Ireland and England. Students receive money for bringing clothes.
Sort by quality
Second hand clothing is divided into several categories, which directly depends on the quality. Depending on this, the following types are distinguished:
- Branded second-hand, stock or euro stock. These are things that have not been in use, on which branded tags and labels have been preserved. The product is collected from the remaining collections by the end of the season.
- Cream. Here there are clothes and shoes that are brand new or without visible signs of use. At least a quarter of the items retain the labels, while others are brought with clipped labels (it is possible that these are exclusive and ready-to-wear clothes).
- Extra and luxury - minimal wear is noticeable. Most often you can find lines of inexpensive European brands (mass market) such as Bershka, Pull&Bear, H&M, Zara, etc.
- First category - clothes and shoes with visible wear, torn, dirty, with defectstailoring and more.
In most cases, the latter product is good for floorcloths, so it's just given to recycling companies.
Sort by product type
Second hand goods are also divided as follows:
- Mixed, or mix. In this case, different things are collected in one package. It is the fundamental type and includes the best in all respects (quality, trends and condition) attire.
- By type of clothing. Here we are talking about sorted wardrobe items. For example, jackets, coats, T-shirts, skirts, jeans, pants, etc. It differs from the previous type in poorer quality, an expanded assortment and unique items (holiday costumes, military equipment).
Shoes, bedding, SHW (scarf, hat and gloves), caps and hats, bags and backpacks, jewelry, household items are often sorted separately.
Packaging and handling
Clothes must be sanitized and sorted before being packed (described earlier). Processing is carried out by specialized companies, which is fixed at the legislative level. This is done in order to destroy any carriers of infectious diseases and other pests. Things are processed throughout the day. First they are steamed, then disinfected with a special gas at a certain temperature.
Future goods on the shelves and hangers are packed as follows. Things neatlyfolded into polyethylene or polypropylene bags and packaged from five to one hundred kilograms. The bags are marked accordingly, indicating the category of clothing.
Well, what exactly second-hand can boast of is really the widest choice. Coming here, the eyes of buyers just run up. On the shelves, customers can easily find both the latest novelties and truly vintage items.
Most people come here to form the basis of their wardrobe, but already avid connoisseurs focus on unique things. For example, jackets that were fashionable in the nineties; denim vests and trousers from the early 2000s; sneakers that were in demand even under Bill Clinton in the States. Casual lovers will surely appreciate old collections from Levis or must-haves from Burberry, Lacoste or Stussy.
Many can boast that they have found the most delicate Zara blouses on a second-hand store from Europe. Practical skirts with sweaters from Atmosphere and River Island.
A large selection leads to a diverse audience. Someone visits such stores because of dire need; someone to save on wardrobe and still look stylish; others are looking for a rare treasure to create bright accents in everyday outfits. Therefore, the most frequent customers are:
- Representatives of old age. Some come for reliable and cheap novelties (albeit a little worn). Some are caught by nostalgiathere is a desire to return to the old days and put on an old Adidas tracksuit.
- "Practices". This category of people is a little stingy on clothes, which explains other costs. For example, travel, family, study or favorite thing. As they say, don't care what sneakers you wear, the main thing is in Paris.
- "Dandies". This audience considers themselves "headhunters". They know about all the trends, color combinations of the year and season. Therefore, it will not be difficult for them to find a windbreaker of the required shade, or a patent skirt, or dumplings (this list can go on and on).
- "Vintage Lovers". And now we are not talking about outdated collections, but about truly unique items with brand marks and unique decor.
As you can see, anyone can be a second-hand customer.
Second hand shops online
The trend of recent years has swept the online market (which is not surprising with the huge number of users of social networks and the Internet itself). This area attracts many venture capital investors. This is due to the transience of fashion trends.
Previously, used clothes were sold only at live outlets, but now they are massively sold online. Some sites have made huge profits for selling more than ten million pieces of clothing. Such a second-hand is based on a photo and a detailed description of the product.
Among the most common myths are:
- It is easy to find money and jewelry in the pockets, which are given to those in need as help. Generally,it's a matter of chance and luck. Because the leftover we alth is most often forgotten by the owners.
- Product is saturated with poison to get rid of the poor. As previously described, second-hand clothes are treated only with steam and a special gas to kill infections.
- Clothes are removed from corpses. Nobody can say for sure. In any case, it can be processed, but if a thing arrives in poor condition, then it is scrapped or recycled.
Then what is second-hand? In the right application, this is a good opportunity to find your favorite piece from a famous designer. And also an effective way to always be in trend at low costs.