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Beni Scours Internet For Best Price, Alternatives for Resale Shoppers

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Beni Scours Internet for Best Price, Alternatives for Resale Shoppers

Ahead of Secondhand September, resale start-ups reveal new spend, trends, funding and tech.

By KALEY ROSHITSH

AUGUST 26, 2022, 4:11PM

A view of Zara shopping site where orange linen palazzo pants appear on model. To the right, a window sidebar shows resale alternatives from startup Beni.
Beni's Chrome extension lets shoppers find resale versions of their online shopping picks. WWD

Much is happening in the resale space ahead of Secondhand September.

On Aug. 31, woman-founded resale start-up Beni will formally enter the mix to make secondhand shopping searches easier — and it’s not another marketplace, although it partners with 18 of them.

The free Google Chrome extension lets shoppers see real-time marketplace listings — across websites like Vestiaire Collective, Rent the Runway, The RealReal, eBay, LuxAnthropy, Geartrade, Nearly Newlywed, Queenly, The Revente and more — for exact or visually similar secondhand items of whatever they’re considering purchasing. Using machine learning and visual image recognition, the service hopes to make circularity easier for consumers. While not every product will generate alternatives, the intention is to get people in the habit of shopping more sustainably by the ease of the scrollable pop-up that appears on the desktop during online window shopping.

“The acceleration of the circular economy will over time reduce the amount of new clothing that is made and help curb the take-make-waste linear model that has become the default,” Beni’s cofounder and chief executive officer Sarah Pinner said. She also underscored the cost-effectiveness of secondhand.

The company counts $1 million in pre-seed funding from XYZ Ventures and Chingona Ventures, and is just one start-up pulling new funding.

Tradeblock — a marketplace start-up similar to StockX — unveiled a $8.9 million seed round Thursday as part of a two-part funding round. The marketplace is closing its raise on a rolling basis and expecting an additional $4.5 million in investment.

Established marketplaces like Mercari and The RealReal also released new trend reports, and branded resale player Trove hit a milestone with its resale technology, now in 700 stores.

In its latest luxury report released last week, The RealReal noted the hot designers, products and shopping behaviors dictated by its millions-fold community. Notably, buyers are increasingly scooping up designers like Aimé Leon Dore (up 116 percent), ERL (up 358 percent), Gypsy Sport (up 292 percent), Telfar (up 141 percent), LaQuan Smith (up 203 percent) and Bode (up 131 percent), some to build generational style with newer names if a TikTok trend has any merit.

Japanese start-up Mercari, meanwhile, tracked the force that is kids’ and baby resale in its inaugural resale report finding categories like clothing ($1.7 billion) and toys ($1.3 billion) are billion-dollar businesses. Shoes, baby furniture and car seats are also considered hot commodities in the report.