Rebelstork strikes deal with Hudson’s Bay for baby gear resale program

Hudson’s Bay is teaming up with Rebelstork, a Canadian price-reduced and second-hand baby gear marketplace, to provide an opportunity for new parents to buy and resell baby products directly from The Bay’s website starting September 26.

Toronto-based Rebelstork was founded in 2019 by CEO Emily Hosie and claims to be the first managed marketplace for the resale of overstock, open box and quality used baby gear in North America.

Rebelstork aims to provide an opportunity for people to upcycle their baby products to other parents while realizing value from their initial investment.

The partnership follows the company’s recent $5 million CAD Series A financing round in June, bringing Rebelstork’s total funding to date to $7 million CAD after its $2 million CAD seed round last September.

As a resale marketplace, Rebelstork aims to provide an opportunity for people to upcycle their baby products to other parents while realizing value from their initial investment.

Before going live on Rebelstork’s online marketplace, each item’s condition is monitored and assessed using the company’s proprietary tech algorithm that determines the product’s resale value based on real-time market data. Rebelstork claims this is the first instant resale pricing tool in the baby gear industry.

“More than 40% of new parents today factor in the resale value of an item before they make the decision to buy, and are placing more value on sustainability in the products they buy,” said Hosie.

In Rebelstork’s 2021 report, it found that the resale baby gear market in North America is estimated at $2.6 billion USD.

Starting September 25, people can trade in items such as strollers, bassinets and highchairs to participating Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) locations and earn a gift card on the spot.

Trade in pricing will be calculated using Rebelstork’s instant resale pricing tool. All items will also be quality and condition checked at the HBC location by staff members.

As the resale industry is seeing a steady increase during the pandemic—with thredUP’s 2021 report projecting the market to reach $77 billion USD in 2025—instant resale tools are becoming the latest technology to ensure its continued growth.

Instant resale tools eliminates the need for manual research and guesstimation, which is why the industry is seeing its wider adoption and different implementations.

New York-based Rebag introduced an AI-powered tool that uses image recognition technology to price gently-used handbags. Using Rebag’s mobile app, people can scan their handbag through their smartphone camera.

The Comprehensive Luxury Appraisal Index for Resale (Clair) AI will instantly identify the bag’s brand, model and style, and generate the price Rebag is willing to pay for that item.

Major North American retailers entering the resale market is also accelerating the industry’s growth. IKEA Canada launched its sell-back program in 2019 as part of its People + Planet positive strategy. The program allows people to apply to sell their gently-used IKEA products back to the retailer in exchange for store credit.

With the COVID-19 pandemic inciting financial fears, “the consumer felt like their wallets might get squeezed and moved to the value,” said thredUP CEO James Reinheart. “The same thing happened with [the financial crisis of] 2008-2009.”

“And certainly some consumers are shopping secondhand for the first time during COVID. There are big dislocations, big changes, new experiences, the world turned upside down.”

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and the business and technology editor at The Eyeopener, Ryerson's largest independent newspaper.