The newest darling of the Nasdaq is Poshmark, an online site to buy and sell secondhand goods. Its initial public offering was priced at $42 a share this morning, and by the end of its debut day, it had jumped just over 140%.
This does not come as a big surprise. The number of online marketplace sites had been growing before the pandemic, and they’re even more popular now.
When things shut down early last year and people found themselves out of work or at home or both, lots of them turned to their stuff to make money.
Sucharita Kodali, an analyst with Forrester, said that some people treat selling on these sites as a side hustle.
“It’s an extension of the gig economy,” Kodali said. “It’s a new way for you to be your own boss, and it’s a platform that enables a lot of micropreneurs.”
That’s how companies such as ThredUP, Poshmark and Mercari market themselves with online and TV ads.
Poshmark said its users as of June were double what they had been in 2018.
Shoppers on many secondhand online marketplaces were already growing, said Treeny Ahmed with the Yale Center for Customer Insights. Now they’re buying everything from salt and pepper shakers to designer shoes.
“Given the economic conditions now, buying them secondhand, it’s almost like it gives you a little bit of permission to buy something new for you. It just feels less wasteful,” Ahmed said.
These sites are increasingly popular among millenniels and Gen-Zers because, said Neil Saunders, a retail analyst with GlobalData, with all the interaction, they are more than just marketplaces.
“They are, in a way, a hybrid between a traditional retail site and a social media site, especially a peer-to-peer platform like Poshmark that makes them more engaging,” he said.
And, like other social media sites, there’s that pull that keeps people constantly checking back in.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
What’s the outlook for vaccine supply?
Chief executives of America’s COVID-19 vaccine makers promised in congressional testimony to deliver the doses promised to the U.S. government by summer. The projections of confidence come after months of supply chain challenges and companies falling short of year-end projections for 2020. What changed? In part, drugmakers that normally compete are now actually helping one another. This has helped solve several supply chain issues, but not all of them.
How has the pandemic changed scientific research?
Over the past year, while some scientists turned their attention to COVID-19 and creating vaccines to fight it, most others had to pause their research — and re-imagine how to do it. Social distancing, limited lab capacity — “It’s less fun, I have to say. Like, for me the big part of the science is discussing the science with other people, getting excited about projects,” said Isabella Rauch, an immunologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Funding is also a big question for many.
What happened to all of the hazard pay essential workers were getting at the beginning of the pandemic?
Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, essential workers were hailed as heroes. Back then, many companies gave hazard pay, an extra $2 or so per hour, for coming in to work. That quietly went away for most of them last summer. Without federal action, it’s mostly been up to local governments to create programs and mandates. They’ve helped compensate front-line workers, but they haven’t been perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re piecemeal,” said Molly Kinder at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You’re seeing these innovative pop-ups because we have failed overall to do something systematically.”
Marketplace is on a mission.
We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.
Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?