Recommerce is in and mass consumption is out. Or at least that’s what the smorgasbord of new brand-led initiatives, online platforms, buy-back programs and virtual marketplaces would have you believe this holiday season.

In growing numbers, consumers are using the web to their advantage, finding ways to get rid of, and potentially profit from, their old stuff. It’s a pretty smart move, both space-wise and financially. De-clutter and make a few bucks… now there’s an idea.

For retailers in both the product and service sectors, the recommerce trend offers a valuable opportunity to connect with a new demographic of consumers that extends well beyond their initial target markets. One might even go as far as to call this a win-win scenario for all parties involved.

Think about it…

InstantLuxe is an online marketplace for pre-owned luxury goods where users can buy and sell jewelry, bags, watches and accessories made by the world’s most exclusive brands. Each product sold is appraised by a certified professional valuer, and is delivered with proof of authenticity.

EcoSquid.com is a comparison search engine that helps users get the best price for old gizmos and gadgets. Simply enter the name and product number of an item and EcoSquid will generate a list of cash offers from companies that buy used electronics. If an item doesn’t have a resell value, they’ll also provide you with recycling options so you can dispose of it responsibly.

As part of their Common Threads Initiative, Patagonia is encouraging customers to reduce their consumption and get the most out of their outdoor gear. Partnering with eBay, the company has created a digital used clothing store where customers can buy and sell their old stuff.

The Amazon Student App helps users shop on the go. The app offers built-in functionality to purchase and sell goods with a click of a button. As part of Amazon’s trade-in program, books, games, movies and electronics can be sold for Amazon gift cards. The barcode reader also lets you instantly check prices.

Technically recommerce is nothing new; it always existed, only it took place under the classified ads of your local paper and at the garage sale across the street. Its recent digital facelift is an interesting one – potentially challenging the manufacturer-driven consumption frenzy of years past.