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8 million UK consumers reselling their Christmas presents on marketplaces

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Millions of cash-strapped UK consumers are reselling unwanted Christmas presents on marketplaces like Vinted and eBay to help with the rising cost of living, according to new research from independent parcel carrier Yodel.

The survey of 2,000 people reveals that one in six of us (8.5m people) have already resold, or are planning to resell, a gift they received for Christmas.

The most common reason for reselling a gift is to help with the rising cost of living, accounting for more than a quarter (27%) of those putting presents on the market, followed by gifts ‘not being my style’ (24%), being unable to return or exchange a gift (22%), or being bought two of the same thing (18%).

Younger people are the most likely to sell unwanted gifts, with over a third (36%) of people aged 18 and 34 planning to sell presents this year. Meanwhile, just 3% of people aged 55+ are looking to cash in on unwanted gifts. 

Londoners are the most likely to be putting presents up for resale with nearly a third of those in the capital planning on doing so, followed by those in Birmingham (21%) and Brighton (20%). 

A surge in marketplace selling

Yodel commissioned the data after a strong rise in the number of people selling items online contributed to a spike in consumer-to-consumer parcel volumes. During the Christmas period, volumes were up 400% compared with the same period last year.

A separate survey of more than 19,000 online shoppers conducted before Christmas also found almost 2 in 5 (39%) people planned to give pre-loved gifts during the festive period.

Mike Hancox, CEO of Yodel, explains: “We have seen enormous growth in the demand for our consumer-to-consumer services via Yodel Direct as people make use of marketplaces such as Vinted and eBay. This latest data indicates the trend is set to continue as more people are moving away from shutting unwanted gifts in the back of cupboards and are instead selling them online to boost incomes.

“As more people look to supplement their incomes in the coming year, we expect to see numbers of people selling their unwanted items online continuing to grow. People are also becoming increasingly conscious of their carbon footprint, with more people looking to pre-loved gifts and purchases to live more sustainably.”

The ongoing shift of consumers towards online shopping has also seen B2C parcel volumes continuing to grow. Volumes for recipe boxes that spiked 173% during the pandemic have continued to rise since (73%), while volumes in fashion parcels have increased by 63% year-to-date.

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