With the new Love Island season debuting on ITV this evening featuring eBay Pre-Loved as headline sponsor, Second-hand and Reconditioned ecommerce trade across Europe has never been more robust.
foxintelligence by NielsenIQ reports that motivations to turn to second-hand products are multiple, but the financial aspect comes first. Shoppers buy second-hand and save money and they sell what they no longer use and make money. Activism comes in close number two as a motivation: to commit to buying only preloved products is to move away from overproduction and overconsumption.
The second-hand market is booming because it responds to these new consumer trends: spending less and buying more.
Evolution of the second-hand market penetration rate
In France, the secondhand market penetration rate has tripled in 5 years: from 14% in 2017 to 41% in 2022. The UK are second in Europe with a penetrate rate of 23%. However, this new situation didn’t happen over a few days: buying second-hand had to become socially acceptable. Today, it’s considered a valued mode of consumption across all classes and generations.
Purchases of new vs used products
In France, the UK, Italy and Spain, second-hand shoppers aren’t buying less, far from it: the frequency of preloved fashion purchases exceeds the ordinary fashion market. The attraction of bargain prices is real and drives eshoppers to buy more. Only German buyers go against the grain, as their buying habits place purchases of new items at 3 to 1 for second-hand.
While this is great news for retailers who specialise in secondhand or refurbished products, it should be a wakeup call for all retailers, with foxintelligence citing take-back policies and retailers opening their own resale platforms, or buyback and reconditioning services in exchange for vouchers as ways to embrace the circular economy.