CHONGQING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Located along the road leading to Nanshan Mountain, a renowned scenic spot in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, a 3-story old building with a signboard reading Yesterday's News intrigues people, who end up visiting to solve the mystery of its real function.
"People thought it was a shop for liquor, cigarettes, and some other merchandise for passers-by," said Tian Wei, the 35-year-old owner of this shop.
In fact, it is a second-hand shop with goods bought from all over the world, such as chairs from Africa, rings from India, clocks from Britain, and so on.
Attached to such old stuff, Tian started to collect and sell second-hand goods during her world tour in 2013. At first, she had an online shop that sold accessories, clothes, and then paintings and furniture. Tian later opened a vintage shop for clothes in 2018. In 2022, Tian expanded the scale of her business and opened this shop, which has 7 rooms to accommodate her goods.
On the first day after opening this new shop, Tian received orders worth of tens of thousands of yuan. "When I started selling second-hand things, many people disdained the old stuff. However, they gradually noticed that old stuff has a unique aesthetic, which spurred their interest to purchase," said Tian.
The second-hand market has gained ground in China, increasing from 300 billion yuan (about 44.2 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015 to over 1 trillion yuan in 2020. Also, it is expected to reach nearly 3 trillion yuan in 2025, based on the report released in 2021 by consulting company Frost &Sullivan and the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy at Tsinghua University.
With the market thriving, many young people also spotted the niche and started their own businesses.
In Daijiaxiang, an old community in Yuzhong District of Chongqing, Deng Qingqing, a 26-year-old postgraduate majoring in fashion design, opened a second-hand shop last September named 3Re Closet, which means Remake, Recycle and Reuse.
In her shop, all decorations, the 300 different goods, and even the shopping bags are second-hand. "I just want to pass on the idea that fashion doesn't need to be brand-new, but also can be recyclable and sustainable," said Deng, whose goods are mostly imported from Thailand and Japan.
Besides selling goods, Deng has also organized a second-hand bazaar on weekends and encourages others to sell, buy or exchange their unused stuff in her store. There are hundreds of people joining this type of activity in Chongqing.
"I wanted to participate in this kind of activity a long time ago, but I didn't find a good option until this shop showed up. Sometimes, the things unwanted by others seem very fresh and interesting to me. Besides, it also provides a good platform to meet like-minded people," said Wu Jue, an 18-year-old student.
Nowadays, buying second-hand goods is not only a personal inclination, but is also favored by some start-ups in the catering business.
For Tian Wei, a very simple supply chain has been formed. She traveled to different countries and sent goods back to China. Many coffee shops, hotels and restaurants are buying stuff from her, trying to add a special vibe to their venues.
"This will also enhance the public's understanding and awareness of second-hand goods, which is beneficial to the growth of this market," said Tian, who is going to travel to Southeast Asia in March to resume her hunt for suitable goods.