eBay UK’s ‘Imperfects’ Marketplace Gives Flawed Fashion Items a Second Chance

The platform features items from over 100 high-street and high-end designers at up to 60% off. All items are considered new, but feature minor defects that would prevent brands from selling them in stores at full retail prices.

eBay UK has launched
Imperfects — a
marketplace for apparel brands to sell clothing, shoes and accessories with
minor defects at discounted prices, to keep previously “unsellable” items out of

The platform features items from over 100 high-street and high-end designers —
including adidas, Fila, Gucci, Nike, The North Face, Off White, Puma, Saint
, Stella McCartney and Timberland — at up to 60 percent off. All items
are considered new, but feature minor defects such as a small scuff, a missing
button missing or a loose thread — or even qualify as ‘imperfect’ because they
were used for display purposes.

Items come straight from the factory with defects, while others simply did not
meet the manufacturers strict quality standards. For shoppers, all imperfections
are clearly labelled in the listing with accompanying photos.

“With growing financial pressures and the climate crisis continuing to be at the
forefront of consumers’ minds, we’re proud to launch Imperfects as another
avenue to help keep fashion items out of landfill,”
Jemma Tadd, head of fashion for eBay UK. “It’s often the fashion items that
may have not made the ‘cut’ and failed quality assurance checks [that end up in
landfill]. As a result, customers would not have had the opportunity to purchase
the items.”

eBay’s global 2022 Recommerce Report
found that while financial reasons remain the primary motivator for buying
resale itesms, 42 percent of eBay customers also cited environmental concerns
and a hope to reduce waste. And new data from the marketplace shows that UK
shoppers are becoming increasingly conscious — searches for ‘preloved clothes’
have multiplied nine times in the last year and searches for ‘used dress’ are up
by 156 percent.

Simon Payne, co-founder of eBay UK seller Sole
, added: “Imperfect
clothing, while perhaps not being able to be sold at retail price by brands,
still deserves a space in someone’s wardrobe. eBay’s new online destination will
continue to save thousands of high-quality fashion items from going to waste too
soon and help the conscious-minded consumer get their hands on in-demand

The resale industry has been experiencing steady growth as consumer values and
environmental ideals align — thredUP’s 2021 Resale Report
that the secondhand clothing market will double in the next 5 years, to reach
$77 billion. As a result, more brands are looking to get involved and platforms
are vying for market share.

Demand from conscious consumers is one thing fueling retailers’ embrace of
resale and takeback programs: Patagonia has long been a leader in
encouraging more circular consumption, urging customers not to buy

from its stores if they don’t really need it; and launching Worn

— its repairs, returns and resale platform — in 2013. More recently, companies
The North
Arc’teryx, REI, Eileen
Madewell and others have followed suit
with repair-and-resell schemes of their own — joining the ranks of UK and
European companies such as
Mud JeansHiut

and Nudie

Rent the Runway recently joined thredUP as a fully fledged resale site,
increasing thrifters’ access to previously hard-to-find, secondhand luxury
items. And last month, Vestiaire Collective acquired Tradesy to create a resale
monopoly that spans multiple continents. Together, the two will boast a 23
million membership base, with 5 million items for sale — representing $1
billion in gross merchandise value.