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The Bay Now Resells Pre-Owned Baby Goods

Canada’s The Bay is entering the baby gear resale market through a partnership with Canadian startup Rebelstork.

The partnership represents North America’s first managed marketplace for the resale of overstock, open box and quality used baby gear. Rebelstock’s platform gives consumers a hassle-free way to buy and upcycle baby products to others, realize some value from their initial investment, and extend the lifespan of short-term use products via the circular economy.

Beginning Sept. 26, consumers can access Rebelstock’s marketplace through thebay.com. The Bay will hold its annual Baby Week Event the day before at the Hudson’s Bay locations at Guildford in Surrey, B.C. and at Square One in Mississauga, Ontario. At these two locations, consumers can trade in gently used baby gear and kids gear for a gift card from The Bay. While Hudson’s Bay operates 86 full-line department stores, The Bay operates the retailer’s online marketplace. The trade-in value will be calculated on-site using Rebelstork’s resale calculator, which considers factors such as age, condition and operational state. “Accepted products will be dated no earlier than 2017 and must be clean, operate well and be free of stains and fabric tears. Strollers must have working brakes, functioning safety straps and opens and closes correctly,” the retailer said. Items that are older than four years will be donated to charity.

“Last year, we began to reimagine our kids strategy at The Bay to elevate the entire shopping experience for families. From baby showrooms to our Rookie shops, we have evolved to be more relevant, more innovative and easier than ever to shop for all stages of childhood,” Laura Janney, The Bay’s chief merchant, said. “Our partnership with Rebelstork brings a whole new option to parents looking to make more sustainable choices for short-term product purchases, as well as options for those ready to part with gently-used items that kids have grown out of.”

“It’s no surprise that babies are expensive: parents can spend upwards of $10,000-$14,000 on their baby every year and many parents are only beginning to realize the significance that buying second hand or reselling gently used gear can have on the environment and on their finances,” Emily Hosie, Rebelstork’s founder and CEO, said. “Our mission is to help families declutter, save and make money, and ultimately contribute to the circular economy.”

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Hosie, a former retail executive, founded the company in 2019. Items for sale are photographed and then listed on the marketplace. Sellers can earn back up to 80 percent of the resale value.

Given the growth of the resale market, rising interest in secondhand children’s goods is a natural offshoot of recent retail trends. Millennials have been the driving force behind resale, and are now making more sustainable choices when it comes to purchasing for their families. Because certain baby gear—such as cribs, bassinets, swings and strollers—have a short window of use, it makes sense that more consumers responsible for raising children are considering secondhand purchases.

And why not? Several secondhand players, including ThredUp and TheRealReal in addition to Poshmark, are already buying and selling pre-owned children’s apparel.

Resale has even gotten the attention of Neiman Marcus. While the luxury purveyor is not getting into the resale market, it did take a minority stake in the luxury pre-owned sales site Fashionphile in April 2019. It’s an arrangement that suits Neiman, which still has customers paying full-price for brand-new goods at its stores, but gives them the option to drop off what they no longer want.

These days, resale is expanding its reach. Last month, Swedish furniture giant Ikea piloted a growing buy-back and resale program in a Pennsylvania store. The limited-time pilot program, which allows loyalty card members to sell back “gently used” Ikea furniture for store credit, ended on Sunday. The plan is to expand the program to additional U.S. markets before making it a permanent feature.

And nowadays, it isn’t just millennials driving the secondhand goods market. The 90-million-strong Gen Z cohort—those between ages 9 and 24—are also pushing for a more sustainable agenda. CGS indicates that Gen Z is starting to influence U.S. shopping trends, and favors eco-friendly platforms such as ThredUp over etailers like Amazon.