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Cost-of-living crisis prompts second-hand shopping to surge
Money & financeMarketing in a recessionUnited Kingdom
Rising household bills are forcing UK shoppers to find ways to economise, including searching out second-hand goods and repair kits, according to eBay.
In January 2022, searches for ‘upcycled’ rose 40% on ebay.co.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. For example, searches for ‘pre-owned’ were up 19% in January 2021 compared to January 2020 and increased a further 38% in January 2022.
Why it matters
Having thriftiness forced on them is not consumers’ first preference, but that shift in behaviour may tie in with their stated desire to be more sustainable. Retailers need to be adapting to these evolving preferences in order to engage their customers and contribute to the circular economy.
Almost a third (30%) of consumers are having to make more considered purchases in order to get better value for money, according to a survey of 1,000 Britons by Ebay Ads.
A fifth (19%) are buying more second-hand items in order to save money (25% of UK consumers bought second-hand fashion in 2021).
A quarter (25%) of consumers say that they try to upcycle or repair their current belongings before buying anything new; one in five (20%) report that they frequently buy second-hand, upcycled or refurbished items.
More than one in five (22%) are conscious of discarding and sending items to landfill when they could be repaired, recycled or sold on; 19% said that they try to avoid fast fashion brands or brands that they consider to be unethical.
The top factors consumers consider when trying to limit their environmental impact are sustainable packaging (37%), shopping locally (30%) and the recyclability of a product (30%).
“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” – Elisabeth Rommel, Global GM at eBay Ads.