Sales of used goods soar in economic squeeze
By Cat Hage | 21st September 2023
Last year sales of used goods surged by 15% to £21 billion as the cost-of-living crisis continued to hurt.
A Trustpilot poll of 2,000 adults found six in 10 now buy second-hand goods and spent an average of £661.20 (£484.80 2022) in the year to August 2023.
The study was commissioned by the online review platform Trustpilot which reported that the rise in second-hand spending is mainly down to the cost-of-living crisis (57%).
Books (38%), clothes (29%), and household items (18%) were the most popular pre-loved items.
Online purchases accounted for 67% of used goods with 26% of consumers using dedicated apps such as Vinted.
The thrill of finding a bargain attracted 55% while 41% are more environmentally driven and want to shop sustainably.
Carolyn Jameson, chief consumer and trust officer for Trustpilot, the online reviews platform, said: "Consumers appear to be turning to used goods in their droves.
"And while the current economic climate is a major factor, the study shows ethics are important to consumers too.
"Minimising their impact on the planet by choosing pre-loved items is one way to do this."
A significant 62% of those polled, according to the Trustpilot study, are 'concerned about the impact of fast fashion' on the environment.
The poll also found that the top buying criteria for all types of used items are price (74%) and condition (68%).
Carolyn added: "Despite the thrill of a bargain, consumers still want to know they're not going to be ripped off.
"Which is why it's so important to hear from the experiences of customers by checking out independent review platforms like Trustpilot - to make sure you're buying from businesses you can trust."
In Gloucestershire, the Pied Piper Appeal children's charity currently has two charity shops in Brockworth and Hucclecote.
Nick Broady, chair for the charity said: "Our two shops are really busy and doing incredibly well since opening. They give the charity a strong income base. We are seeing a marked increase in donations as well as sales turnover. But all donated goods need to be very sensibly priced to keep the floor moving.
"Sustainable shopping is also a factor - the recycle and reuse to reduce waste. Charity shops have become a dependant for many families in these tough economic times."
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