Iran’s Economic Crisis Is Good News for Thrift Shops, Second-Hand Stores

While most businesses are desperately trying to survive the economic crisis in Iran, thrift shops and secondhand stores are experiencing a significant surge in their sales, mainly due to higher demand for used goods in recent months. Resale shops are fast becoming popular with people from all walks of life who cannot afford the high prices of new household products.

Until recently, most resale shops offered only secondhand furniture. Yet nowadays, they also sell used shoes, bedding material, appliances, picture frames, electronics, and clothes. Iran’s leading online classified advertisement and community websites Divar and Shaypoor now include secondhand goods.

Davoud Abdollahi-Fard, the head of Iran’s Union of Resellers and Pawnbrokers, told 90-Eqtesadi news website: “The high cost of goods has forced many families to buy furniture and appliances from resale shops.”

“People’s purchasing power has significantly diminished. For instance, many brides prepare their dowries by shopping at resale stores,” Mr. Abdollahi-Fard noted. “The demand for secondhand goods has increased by 30 percent in recent months, as the result of which the price of used items has gone up. Most people shopping for used goods are from the working and middle classes. There is also higher demand for electronic equipment than furniture and beds.”

Resellers are, however, facing a shortage of goods because except for those who are emigrating to foreign countries, most other people are not selling their existing furniture and household goods to buy new ones. There is a massive price difference between used and new furniture, appliances, clothes and other products. For instance, a person cannot sell a used refrigerator for more than $90 to a reseller, but it’ll cost him or her more than $4,000 to buy a new one from a retailer.

Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi