Consumers Buy and Sell Secondhand Products from Each Other

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Photo: Money Crashers

Smart consumers have carved out a way to somehow avoid skyrocketing inflation in order to keep buying more than they absolutely needed.

They do this by buying closets, homes, outdoor spaces, home offices, and workout areas from each other, and not from retailers.

Huge chains like Walmart, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond are struggling with an oversupply of goods and insufficient demand for furniture, electronics, home decor and clothing.

However, according to the leading online resale marketplace, OfferUp’s 4th annual industry report, these categories are coveted in the secondhand market.

“While recommerce has become popular in culture with its use for clothing resale, our research found that 76% of items bought and sold pre-owned are not apparel and instead fall into the categories of electronics, furniture, home goods, home improvement, sporting goods, outdoor equipment, and auto parts,” said Todd Dunlap, CEO at OfferUp, in the report. 

Demand for secondhand clothing and other items has remained resilient during the pandemic, as environmentally and value-conscious millennials and Gen Z shoppers are increasingly interested in reselling.

The pandemic has become an addendum to the already strong momentum, and soaring inflation has supported it.

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Secondhand Products: Coveted

The report, conducted with analytics company GlobalData, discovered that 83% of Americans, at least 272 million individuals, are now purchasing and selling secondhand products. In addition, a considerable number of those consumers stated that inflation affected their decision to plunge into the secondhand market, with a motivation of saving or making money. 

“Inflation is more helpful than harmful for resale as it drives the market for both buyers and sellers,” stated GlobalData Retail’s retail analyst and managing director Neil Saunders. 

“On the buyer front, more people are turning to secondhand as a way to save money when prices are high. And more people are selling their used goods to make a bit of extra money,” he stated. “So, inflation is widening the number of people involved in the resale market and expanding the number of items available.” 

Those who enter the marketplace and are active are allocating around 27 minutes per day on resale sites, nearly as long as the 30 minutes they spend on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. 

“We interviewed a representative set of Americans and found that they don’t plan on slowing down,” Dunlap stated. “In fact, more than half (58%) of Americans who engage in recommerce plan to increase their buying and/or selling of pre-owned goods in the next 12 months.” 

OfferUp forecasts the resale market to gain $178 billion in sales in 2022, higher than the $160 billion from the previous year and $289 billion in sales by 2027. 

The report is established on research from GlobalData and a survey of 2,000 Us citizens performed in May 2022.

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