Brits lead the rise of the ‘recommerce’ market as more people turn to selling pre-owned goods on eBay during the pandemic.
As the UK approaches the one-year milestone since the start of the first national lockdown, new data from eBay shows two thirds (67%) of UK sellers said they started selling pre-owned goods last year to earn extra cash during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the data, the average UK household has on average 31 items lying around the house that could be worth over £800, with people in the past year trying to make the most of this untapped economic opportunity.
Not only does the growing recommerce market create economic opportunity for sellers and help customers shop more thriftly, but it’s also great to see the circular economy in action as our sellers promote more sustainable shopping habits
The findings form part of a global Recommerce Report of eBay customer to customer (C2C) sellers illustrating attitudes and behaviours towards recommerce – the reselling of pre-owned goods. It reveals that the recommerce market is booming, experiencing both a big surge in supply and demand.
While some people took the opportunity to explore new pursuits during lockdown, selling and buying pre-owned goods has proved to be one of the outlets many turned to – including everything from second-hand fashion to upcycled homeware and refurbished electronics.
Leading the way
Brits are leading the way in the growth of the recommerce market, according to the data, with 62% saying they sell more pre-owned goods now compared to 1-5 years ago – the highest across all markets surveyed.
The report also suggests the growing importance of sustainability as a consideration in the buying and selling of second-hand products, with 32% of UK sellers saying the positive environmental impact is in their top two reasons for selling pre-owned items.
With many facing heightened financial pressures in lockdown, 81% of UK C2C sellers said they also bought pre-owned goods themselves, leading other markets including US (80%), Germany (79%) and France (69%), revealing that the trend for purchasing recycled products isn’t only being seen among shoppers, but by sellers alike.
This reflects the trend towards a more circular economy, eBay UK says. According to the report, Gen-Z is the generation playing the ‘leading role’ in this space, with 81% of 16-24 year olds buying pre-owned more regularly in the last year.
The circular economy in action
Emma Grant, Head of Pre-loved, eBay UK, commented: “Not only does the growing recommerce market create economic opportunity for sellers and help customers shop more thriftly, but it’s also great to see the circular economy in action as our sellers promote more sustainable shopping habits.
“Recommerce has always been at the heart of eBay and supporting the transition to a more sustainability-conscious society is hugely important to us, while making sure both buyers and sellers benefit from the economic opportunity that we see it brings.”
By encouraging responsible consumption through the resale of items, eBay says it and its marketplace community is helping to keep items out of landfill, preserving the world’s finite resources.
In the past year, eBay says it has globally conserved an additional 720,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions through people selling their pre-owned electronics and apparel through the platform. In total, eBay says it has avoided 3 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions since 2016.
Globally, eBay has set a new commitment that by 2025, it will create $3 billion in ‘positive economic impacts’ and avoid 3 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions through people selling their pre-owned electronics and apparel on eBay.
eBay has also partnered with renowned creator and stylist, Bay Garnett, and are also sponsoring the second season of her popular podcast ‘This Old Thing.’ Launching today with the first episode available to stream across all major platforms every Tuesday.