The Rise of Recommerce: How Secondhand Shopping is Changing Consumer Behavior

Dive Brief:
• The 2024 Recommerce Report released by eBay in May revealed that over 70% of global consumers are planning to purchase used goods this year. The report also found that 86% of surveyed shoppers have bought or sold pre-loved items in the past 12 months.
• eBay experienced a significant growth in sales of apparel and accessories labeled as “thrifted,” with a 400% increase globally from March 2023 to March 2024. Half of eBay’s sellers noted a rise in selling pre-loved items compared to previous years.
• Millennials and Gen Z are identified as the driving forces behind recommerce, with 66% of Gen Z and 62% of millennials expressing the importance of shopping pre-loved.

Dive Insight:
Social, economic, and environmental factors have influenced consumer spending habits. A shift in perception towards buying pre-owned items has led to a new era in the circular economy. According to the eBay report, 53% of consumers believe that fast fashion is harmful to the environment and contributes to unfair labor practices. Additionally, 64% of eBay shoppers feel that recommerce positively impacts the planet’s health.
Pre-loved and refurbished items account for 40% of eBay’s gross merchandise volume, with 77% of customers acknowledging the recent trend of purchasing pre-loved items. The joy of bargain-hunting has been rediscovered by many consumers, leading to an increase in secondhand market activity.
eBay aims to enhance its marketplace to provide a superior shopping experience compared to buying new items. The company’s president and CEO, Jamie Ianonne, expressed eBay’s commitment to investing in tools and technology that support the circular economy.
The report, based on feedback from over 28,000 eBay sellers and buyers worldwide, highlights the top pre-loved purchases in various categories such as clothing, books, shoes, home and garden, and tech and electronics. Customers cite reasons for shopping preloved including saving money, sustainability, brand affordability, item availability, and collectibility.

In conclusion, the trend of recommerce is gaining momentum, driven by the financial motivations and sustainability values of consumers, especially among younger generations. eBay and other resale platforms continue to play a significant role in reshaping consumer behavior towards a more sustainable and value-driven shopping experience.