- Buying resale is now a popular shopping option for millennials and Gen Z consumers.
- As the industry grows, it’s been overrun with sites like ThredUp, The RealReal, eBay, Poshmark.
- Beni, a browser extension, helps shoppers curate resale listings while browsing retail sites online.
Buying resale has become a popular shopping option for millennials and Gen Z consumers looking to add to their wardrobes more sustainably and cheaply.
In line with that trend, the secondary market is expected to reach $82 million by 2026, according to ThredUp’s 2022 Resale Report, based on a survey conducted by GlobalData.
As the industry continues to grow, it’s been overrun with sites like ThredUp, The RealReal, eBay, Poshmark, and more — all looking to cash in on the booming industry. Startups Trove and Archive have also emerged to help brands like REI and The North Face launch their own branded resale offerings.
Then there’s Beni, a browser extension that CEO and cofounder Sarah Pinner describes as “Honey meets Expedia.” Beni works by aggregating resale listings from over 30 marketplaces in one place for users as they shop on Nordstrom, Nike, Reformation, and about 1,000 other sites.
Shoppers are required to download the Beni extension on Google Chrome or Safari. Then, they must enable the extension while shopping online to view resale listings.
“So let’s say you find a Patagonia jacket that you really love, we’d show you 20 jackets often that are exactly the same from places like eBay or The RealReal,” Pinner said. “Then you would simply find one of those secondhand items that you like, click on that item in Beni, and it would take you to that resale marketplace.”
Pinner cofounded Beni with CTO Celine Mol. The startup launched out of beta in September 2022 and has amassed 5,000 users so far.
Key to Beni’s business model are the resale platforms it partners with. They range from The RealReal and Grailed to smaller marketplaces like Kidizen and Gear Trade. The latter offers used outdoor equipment and apparel. In return for real-time listings data, Beni markets new resale items to customers as they shop outside of their platforms.
CEO Sarah Pinner cofounded Beni in 2021.
“If you think about the unique nature of resale, every item is unique. So let’s say you get somebody to come to The RealReal one day and you don’t have that jacket that they want, and then you get that jacket the next day. You have to kind of reacquire that person to your platform,” Pinner said.
Beni makes a commission off every purchase made on a partner resale platform. To improve the customer experience, the company last month launched tags that allow Beni users to see what items are authenticated, returnable, or have low fees before clicking a referral link to purchase. The ability to filter results for these specific options was also introduced in late January.
Pinner told Insider that Beni has no direct relationships with the traditional retailers that its users browse, as it is a shopper’s choice to download the extension. But she does want to list more brand-owned resale offerings on Beni. As an example, Patagonia is currently undergoing a pilot with Beni for its Patagonia Worn Wear resale offering.
“A lot of the way we think about the extension is instead of trying to pull these aspirational secondhand shoppers to these marketplaces, we are gonna bring resale to them where they’re already shopping,” she said.
Beni, founded in 2021, last raised a seed round of $4 million in early December. High inflation and fears of a recession, which are plaguing other startups’ efforts to raise capital, actually worked in Beni’s favor last year as consumers often look to buy secondhand when facing economic uncertainty.
“When we raised our pre-seed in 2021, there were still some questions from investors of ‘is recommerce really going to be that big? Do we need a tool like this?'” she said. “And interestingly, this year I didn’t have any of those kinds of questions. The comments were like, ‘Hey, we know recommerce is big, but we want to get involved in what the next phase of recommerce online will look like.'”