eBay: second-hand shopping surging amid deepening cost of living crisis

Research from eBay Ads has found that consumers are turning to shopping for second-hand items amid the worsening cost of living crisis.

The survey, which included 1,000 consumers, found that 30% are having to make more considered purchases in order to get better value for money, and a fifth are buying more second hand items in order to save money.

One area of fashion driven by online is the resale market, with 25% of UK consumers buying second hand fashion in 2021.

Around 25% of UK consumers say that they now try to upcycle or repair their items before they purchase anything new.

One in five report that they frequently buy second hand, upcycled or refurbished items.

In January 2022 searches for ‘upcycled’ rose 40% on eBay UK compared to the month before, and searches for ‘second hand’ and ‘repair kit’ rose 24% and 21% respectively in the same timeframe.

And this trend has been rising consistently year-on-year, with searches for ‘pre-owned’ rising 19% in January 2021 compared to January 2020 and increased a further 38% in January 2022.

The figures further back the claim that sustainability is becoming one of consumers’ biggest concerns when picking brands to purchase from.

The study found that 19% of those surveyed say shopping as sustainably as possible is really important to them.

A further 22% report that they are conscious of discarding and sending items to landfill when they could be repaired, recycled or sold on, with 19% said that they try to avoid fast fashion brands or brands that they consider to be unethical.

“Between the rising cost of living and a growing desire to make more sustainable purchases, UK consumers are increasingly thinking about how they can be savvy with their shopping,” eBay Ads general manager Elisabeth Rommel.

“With upcycling, buying second hand, and more sustainably sourced products all rising on shoppers’ agendas, retailers in turn need to be adapting to these evolving preferences in order to engage their customers and contribute to the circular economy.”

“Whether it be offering a repair service, starting a second hand shop, or making packing and materials more sustainable – retailers must tap into what really matters to consumers today, and communicate sustainability credentials clearly in their marketing and product information.”

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