Legal answers for retailers converting to the second hand

While, in the wake of Vinted, traditional fashion brands are testing the sale of second-hand clothes one after the other (Gémo, Pimkie, Bocage, etc.), the Alliance du Commerce has decided to publish a guide detailing the issues. legal issues faced by retailers trying their hand at second hand. Because selling used products must meet several legal criteria, sometimes complex, which differ according to the options taken by these distributors.


This legal study, carried out with the help of the firm Fidal and the support of DEFI, thus dissociates the operating mode chosen by the brand. It can be a BtoC model (the brand itself sells the second-hand product to the customer), or a CtoC model (transaction between two consumers), which involves the use by the brand of a web-based intermediation platform. “This distinction as to the quality of the seller is fundamental because the sale does not obey the same regime depending on whether the seller is a professional or a simple consumer, underlines the Alliance du Commerce. The professional seller is indeed bound by rules. and more restrictive obligations than the simple consumer seller “.

On the other hand, the choice of distribution channel also defines the brand’s legal obligations. “The applicable rules will be different depending on whether the sale is made via an intermediation platform, in a physical store or in the form of consignment”.

Contract with the service provider, tax regulations, general conditions of sale, safety obligation… All these precise elements swept away by this study, which also raises the subject of labeling. The brand is thus bound by an obligation to mention the second-hand nature of the products sold (in stores by a readable sign near the articles in question), but the indication of the composition of the textile fibers is not obligatory. , unlike new clothes.

Offering customers the opportunity is part of the retailers’ CSR policy, and also allows them to attract and retain consumers who are increasingly fond of this type of responsible purchasing. France would thus have more than 15 million second-hand buyers in 2020, according to data from Kantar, which estimates the weight of the French second-hand fashion market at 1.16 billion euros last year (i.e. 9.3% of French clothing spending).

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