Exploring the Trend : Motives behind Online Second-Hand Fashion Consumption

This paper examines the motives behind online second-hand consumption and gets to the bottom of the recent second-hand trend. Using a qualitative research approach based on in-depth interviews, four overarching categories are identified into which the consumption motives can be classified: Individualism, saving expenses, sustainability and solidarity. While individualism and saving expenses were most frequently mentioned in the interviews, sustainability and solidarity motives are rather secondary for online second-hand consumption. In addition to the four abovementioned, a further category was identified that specifically highlights arguments in favor of purchasing second-hand fashion online: Convenience. Consumers aim for the same shopping experience online that they are used to from stationary thrift shops. However, not only is this feeling transported into the digital world, but the value proposition is extended through search functions and learning algorithms. This makes clear how technology is influencing purchasing behavior and thus shaping a new consumer culture. Due to the power of second-hand fashion to represent one's own individuality and thus stand out from the crowd, it becomes visible that when buying online second-hand fashion, elements of conspicuous consumption also play a role.





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