Cost of living crisis prompts second-hand shopping to surge
New research has found that more UK consumers are turning to second-hand shopping and upcycling during the cost of living crisis.
According to the study by eBay Ads, 30% of consumers are having to make more considered purchases in order to get better value for money, and a fifth are buying more second-hand items to save money.
eBay’s survey of 1,000 UK shoppers found that consumers’ interest in buying second hand is part of a wider growth of the circular economy as a quarter said they tried to upcycle or repair their current belongings before buying anything new. Furthermore, one in five said they frequently bought second-hand, upcycled or refurbished items.
In January 2022 searches for ‘upcycled’ rose by 40% on ebay.co.uk compared to the month before, and searches for ‘second hand’ and ‘repair kit’ rose by 24% and 21% respectively. In addition, searches for ‘pre-owned’ were up 19% in January 2021 compared to the same month a year earlier and increased by a further 38% in January 2022.
The research also found that almost a fifth of those surveyed said shopping as sustainably as possible was really important to them. Shoppers are also searching for more environmentally friendly products on the platform with searches for the term ‘biodegradable’ up 59% in January 2022 compared to the previous month.
Elisabeth Rommel, global GM at eBay Ads, said: “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.
“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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