The 5 Types of Resale Shops

Before we delve too deep into the world of fashion resale, we need to understand the basic terminology and types of resale.

Types of ReSale

There are five types of resale shops – consignment, pawn, classified, thrift, and vintage.

The difference between each one comes down to:

  • When you relinquish ownership of the physical possessions
  • When you are paid
  • Whether someone helps you sell your items

Consignment Shop

Consignment is when a shop sells goods for an owner – typically luxury or big-ticket items. The owner keeps ownership of his item until it sells, if it sells. As the owner, you’d pay a fee (30-50% typically) to the shop as compensation for them selling your item. This can be done at a store, a popup event/auction, or online.

For example, you consign an expensive handbag for $2000. Generally, when they sell your handbag, they take their 50% or $10. You receive $10. If the bicycle doesn’t sell, then you take your items home for no charge. (Some places do charge a small “activation” or consignment fee.)

An example of consignment is TheRealReal.

Pawn Shop

What comes to mind when you think of a pawn shop? Maybe jewelry, ripped-off cell phones and wrought-iron bars? While that may be the norm, technically a lot of your favorite “thrift or vintage shops” are pawn shops.

In a pawn shop, you sell your items in exchange for immediate payment. Therefore, any shop that buys and re-sells clothing is a pawn shop.

Examples of clothing pawn shops are Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads, and Plato’s Closet.

Tbh though, I’m going to keep calling them thrift shops. Pawn isn’t sexy.


Once again, we have a term that is technically accurate, but connotatively inaccurate. Classifieds are when you list your items directly into a marketplace or media, eliminating the middle man.

Examples of modern classifieds are Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, Ebay, and Craigslist.

Thrift Shop

Thift shops are second-hand shops that operate solely based on donations. These thrift shops frequently work as non-profit organizations, but not always.

Examples of such are Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Vintage Shop

What is the difference between a thrift and a vintage shop? Tbh I’ve wondered this myself for a long time, so it’s about time I found out.

The difference between a thrift shop and a vintage shop is curation. Essentially, dope people go to thrift shops or wherever and pick out the best pre-owned stuff, and then put it all in a store at a higher markup so you only have to look through the good stuff.

Examples of this are NarroVintage, DearGolden, and Mr. Paul Cantu’s Thrift Heaven – along with most other IG/Etsy/influencers who started their own shop.

BONUS: What is the Secondary Market?

The secondary market is another term for the resale market. The first or primary market for clothing is the original retail store or site, thus therefore re-sale is the second or secondary market.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *