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Shoppers Turn to Second-Hand Goods as Christmas Approaches

07 November 2019 - 09:40 by Simon Crisp

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This festive season could see more people than ever eschewing the normal option of buying brand new products and instead choosing to invest in pre-loved items via safe shopping online, according to a new study from B-Stock.

A lot of this is down to the fact that consumers simply have more access to used goods rather than having little choice but to head to high street outlets, where only brand new options are available.

Report spokesperson Ben Whitaker said that gifting second-hand items was also no longer seen as impolite; indeed, a growing movement amongst shoppers to make their activities more sustainable means that in many cases people will actually prefer to receive used presents at Christmas this year.

The number of purchases of second-hand fashion items, for example, has almost tripled in the past couple of years. The demand for vintage clothing as a style statement as much as a way of embracing ethical consumer habits is clearly visible here.

Furthermore, the rise of online marketplaces, aimed both at consumers themselves as well as at business buyers, means that it is possible for second-hand goods to be bought and sold more seamlessly, whether that is in small quantities or large volumes.

Of course, this in turn is having an impact on how traditional retailers are operating, since there is a need to meet expectations of sustainability and choice that modern consumers now hold dear.

Clothing is not the only area of the second-hand market which has seen growth in recent months: everything from used electronics to books, toys and home items are more widely accepted now in a pre-loved condition.

Once again this leaves bricks and mortar outlets in a tougher position while benefiting businesses that operate in the more flexible e-commerce arena.