Whether you're getting a head start on holiday shopping or planning to tackle your gift wish list during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here's a tip: Stay away from celebrity clothing brands and activewear.
The reason retailers extend their return policies for so long during the holiday season is because, well, there are a lot of crappy gift exchanges. According to a recent report from ThredUp, $60 billion of merchandise is returned to stores during the holiday season. And with the rapidly increasing popularity of reselling — all thanks to popular, convenient online marketplaces like Poshmark, Depop and The RealReal, among many others — unwanted gifts are now very likely to show up online, too. In fact, ThredUp receives up to two million items during the holidays, and of those two million, 200,000 are brand new with tags.
In January of this year, ThredUp noticed a 34 percent jump in NWT (that's "new with tags" in seller speak) inventory, and in its holiday-shopping purge report, revealed some trends in the types of gifts that people tend to offload. Most of that NWT inventory was of the activewear variety, including The North Face fleeces (an 80 percent increase in the period from Dec. 2016 to Jan. 2017), Under Armour shorts (also 80 percent) and active shirts by Nike (76 percent). But while North Face was among the more regrettable brands during the holidays, the fleece jacket, as a style, is actually gaining popularity: Only five percent of total North Face items that ThredUp received this year had tags still attached. And after recent collaborations with Supreme and Sacai, along with fleece outerwear trending at the moment, the outdoor brand is pretty much considered cool by association.
Throughout the year, ThredUp also found that celebrity clothing brands are among the "most regretted" items purged on the resale site. The famous-face labels with a "high regret rate" — meaning items were sent to Thredup in mint condition — include Eva Mendes for New York & Company, Kardashian Kollection and Fabletics, which is fronted by Kate Hudson.
ThredUp also advises that holiday shoppers avoid trends when it comes to gifting. The evidence? Never-been-worn clothing with cold shoulder or off-the-shoulder details have increasingly been sent to the thrift site. Instead, opt for classic styles, like a pair of dark wash jeans or a chambray shirt, as these typically arrive in lovingly used condition. Your best bet for a brand to gift? Everlane. Of the 1,641 items sent to ThredUp throughout last year, only three of the brand's items still had tags attached.