People Are Using Affirm to Buy (and Resell) Clothes

Photo credit: Naomi, CC BY 2.0.

Earlier this year, I wrote up a quick piece about Affirm, the new app that wants to give you tiny loans for individual purchases.

Now, Racked has a longread about how people are actually using Affirm—and a lot of people are using the service to buy clothes.

“Apparel is really the only criticism we get. Like, oh my God, you’re financing a pair of shoes,” says [Affirm chief of staff Ryan Metcalf]. “We’ve had this debate internally. We’ve had this issue with sneakers — $300, $500 sneakers — people have reactions to borrowing money for that kind of thing.”

Journalist and artist Susie Cagle explains that some people are using Affirm as a way to invest in high-quality clothing and avoid the financial and ethical issues associated with disposable fast fashion. Other people are using Affirm to buy fashion items they plan to resell:

It’s a dynamic that Tradesy’s Tracy DiNunzio saw from the start: customers financing a purchase of, say, a $2,000 Chanel bag, using it for a few months, then selling it back, paying down their loan, and buying something new — all without ever extending themselves for the full price of the item.

Read the whole thing—especially the part about how we’ve switched from an ownership culture to a renter culture, and the part where Cagle illustrates how the app decides who is (and who isn’t) worthy of a loan.

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