NARTS is the world's largest resale trade association, with more than 1,100 members. The association serves resale, consignment and Not For Profit resale shops of all types by providing educational and professional development for future owners and resale professionals. NARTS promotes communication within the industry and builds public recognition of the many benefits of shopping resale. NARTS, The Association of Resale Professionals, is committed to product safety, educating both consumers and store operators on how to identify previously recalled or banned products and any products that do not meet current safety standards.
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"The Resale Industry of Yesterday, Today . . . and Tomorrow"
In the Eighties, conspicuous consumption and upward mobility was good for resale shops. People valued the most status-conscious brands and were constantly upgrading their material possessions. This led them to consign, donate, or sell goods in perfect condition, which were in turn purchased by the next group.
In the Nineties ecology and voluntary simplicity became the driving market forces. "Recycle-Reuse-Resale" was the motto of many resale shoppers. These customers understood the terrible cost to the ecology of even the simplest cotton shirt, and they hoped to leave a better world for their children by minimizing their impact on the environment. Of course, prices at a third to a quarter of original retail appealed to these customers, too. After all, if they could spend less money to complete their wardrobes, clothe their children or furnish their home, they might be able to work less overtime and spend more time with their families and/or volunteering in their communities.
In the recent years of economic flux, when people watched their home values plummet and retirement accounts dwindle, resale shopping has attracted even more consumers. A new breed of shopper has discovered resale and is taking advantage of the values found in both purchasing and consigning or selling gently-used items. Although the economy has bounced back somewhat... those shoppers who found resale when it was a necessity, now consider resale their preferred venue for shopping.
The tomorrow of resale is bright because there is always the customer who shops resale for the adventure of finding a wonderful bargain or unusual item. The designer suit, with new-store tags still attached, that sells for a fraction of its original price is not a myth... it happens every day. The room furnished completely in recycled style for less than $1,000 has even become commonplace. But the true gold mine is the constant savings resale shoppers realize every day, both in their personal budgets and in the reduction of waste by the recycling of gently-used good possessions.