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Second-hand sales boom as consumers sell to make cash and buy to beat cost-of-living

The second-hand and thrift market is thriving, representing a £150 billion global market across a variety of sectors, research shows.

The latest data from GWI reveals that more than a quarter of UK consumers sold an item on a second-hand virtual marketplace in the last six months – while only 5% sold an item in a physical second-hand store – likely fuelled by the rising cost-of-living and a subsequent ‘shift in attitude’ towards second-hand shopping. 

Meanwhile, 3 in 10 (31%) of UK respondents shopped second-hand online and 27% shopped second-hand in person within the last six months.  

Saving costs (32%) and lowering environmental impact (27%) were two of the main motivations for UK consumers looking to buy second-hand items, whilst nearly a third (32%) admit to buying second-hand because it’s more cost effective.  

The most popular second-hand shopping items include clothing (26%), entertainment (film and music) (15%), along with home and furniture products (12%). Similarly, the most popular products for second-hand selling are clothing (18%), entertainment (e.g., film / music) (9%) and collectables (e.g., trading cards) (8%).

The research also finds that more than half (51%) of UK consumers have donated an item (i.e. to a charity shop) in the last six months.

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