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eBay: Interest in pre-owned goods continues to rise

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The vast majority (88%) of consumers have reported engaging in recomerce within the past year.

Younger consumers are driving an era of “recommerce,” with the vast majority of them purchasing or selling a pre-owned item in the past 12 months.

That's according to eBay’s new 2024 Recommerce Report, which found that 88% of consumers have reported engaging in recommerce within the past year. Millennials show the highest frequency of purchasing pre-owned goods, with 9% buying weekly and 24% monthly. Gen Z also demonstrates significant monthly engagement, with 21% shopping for pre-owned items once a month. The report arrives after the online marketplace announced its inaugural Recommerce Day

For most recommerce shoppers, sustainability and affordability are the top motivators. More than six-in-10 (64%) shoppers agreed that buying pre-owned goods is better for the health of the planet. A similar number (62%) said the main reason for recommerce is to save money. 

Other reasons include finding a specific item that isn’t available new (25%), finding affordable brands pre-owned (24%), and finding unique or collectible items (18%).

For global consumers, the top-five most-purchased recommerce categories are clothes (48%), books (34%), shoes (24%), home and garden items (23%), and tech/electronics (22%). While interest in apparel remains strong, eBay found that goods for collections and hobbies saw a healthy increase of interest, especially among Gen Z (10%) and millennials (6%), year-over-year.

In addition to greater interest from buyers in recommerce, 50% of eBay sellers reported an increase in selling pre-owned products compared to one to five years ago. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of eBay sellers say it’s easier in recent years to sell pre-owned products on eBay. Nearly eight-in-10 global sellers say they got their start on eBay selling pre-owned goods.

The positive views on recommerce come as 88% of consumers surveyed feel happy/optimistic about some area in their life, with the top three being hobbies and interests (53%), personal relationships (49%), and their identity, sense of purpose and values (38%).

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