Pre-Owned Luxury Platform Profile: Alibaba’s Idle Fish


The following is one of 11 online resale platform profiles included in Jing Daily’s latest market report, Capitalizing on China’s luxury online resale boom. Filled with case studies, revenue-generating best practices, interviews with the spotlight, and detailed profiles of domestic Chinese resale platforms, the 68-page report is crucial for anyone looking to understand the huge demand potential. second-hand luxury goods in China.

Pre-Owned Luxury Resale Platform Profile: Idle Fish (é—² é±¼)

Alibaba launched its Idle Fish (originally “Taobao Secondhand”) resale platform in mid-2014, and it was the first e-commerce channel focused exclusively on resale. Leverage Alibaba’s large and well-developed user base ecosystem for transactions, Idle Fish was founded on the concept of providing a convenient way for users to resell any unused (ie “unused”) goods, especially Taobao purchases they may have regretted. (the platform’s competitive prices and frequent discounts encourage overconsumption).

Idle Fish allows used items to be listed for sale online (for Taobao purchases this can be done with one click) and integrates Alibaba’s Alipay to streamline the checkout process.


Idle Fish has become the dominant force in the second-hand market, with around 300 million registered users. In January 2021, Idle Fish hosted a 70.7% share of China’s total resale market. Idle Fish’s 72.9% market penetration rate is more than double that of its closest competitor, Zhuan Zhuan (33.1 percent).


Idle Fish expects to reach 500 billion RMB ($ 77.2 billion) in GMV in 2021, a significant increase from 200 billion RMB ($ 30.8 billion) in 2020 and 100 billion RMB ($ 15.4 billion) in 2019. In 2020, Idle Fish sold over 10 million luxury items worth approximately 4.5 billion RMB ($ 702 million).


Idle Fish has yet to take a major step in the resale of luxury goods, but that could change given the vast resources of parent company Alibaba. As Tmall Luxury Pavilion, China’s leading designer fashion e-commerce platform, continues to grow and consumers are increasingly concerned about sustainability, Idle Fish has the potential to become a major player in the market. reselling luxury goods in China, perhaps even creating a high-end products division. following the Luxury Pavilion model.

Idle Fish has also established a close bond with celebrities and influencers, launching a dedicated sales channel for them to separate from their unused items and public relations gifts which has proven popular among fans as well as buyers who may be intrigued by second-hand luxury but concerning with authenticity and provenance. And as Chinese consumers show a greater willingness to shell out for large online purchases, resale of luxury goods may benefit. In April 2021, Idle Fish hosted a charity auction of costumes and other items from the hit fantasy drama Word of Honor that raised nearly one million RMB ($ 154,000), complete with an elaborate dress. worn by one of the stars for over 220,000 RMB ($ 34,000).

Items on Idle Fish, especially movie memorabilia, often sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Image: Fish in slow motion

Idle Fish has also placed great emphasis on building the confidence of its users. In December 2020, the platform introduced a ‘worry-free shopping’ (无忧 è´­) service, contracting with professional examiners to provide certificates of authenticity and offer seven-day returns with free delivery, with triple money back guarantee if a counterfeit product is delivered. Idle Fish has also developed community-based and offline authenticity services online. and transaction history to assess reliability, could offer consumers greater assurance than other platforms are capable of.

In July 2021, Idle Fish redoubled its efforts to attract Gen Z consumers with a focus on trendy shopping categories, which could act as a gateway for selling more high-end products. The “Idle Fish Trend Community” (é—² é±¼ æ½® 社) channel targets young consumers with a passion for sneakers, streetwear and designer collectible toys. At the same time, Idle Fish launched a campaign inviting renowned collectors, brand managers and sellers to participate in the new community. Idle Fish’s large user base and name recognition allows it to surpass its rivals as a streetwear community, and it can build on Tmall’s experiences, for example, by leveraging the vast mine of Alibaba consumer data to capitalize on the latest trends among fans of popular product categories. Already, a collector of trendy Be @ rbrick figurines has noticed that almost half Chinese Be @ rbrick collectors are active on Idle Fish.


While Idle Fish strives to encourage users to buy and sell more high-end items, its origins as a sort of online “flea market” give it a distinctly non-luxurious shine, which potentially makes it harder to sell the platform to enlist luxury. brands to embed.

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