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Recommerce – It Doesn’t Have to be New to be Awesome

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Selling on eBay has been an easy way to make extra cash for many years now, and especially since the COVID pandemic of 2020, the buying/selling of pre-owned items is still trending upward. According to 72% of surveyed eBay sellers, buying pre-owned goods is much more common in recent years. This may be partially due to the fact that 81% of Gen Zers also agree that preowned is the way to go. 

Selling pre-owned items took another upward turn when COVID hit. In fact, 68% of UK sellers say that they began selling in 2020 to make extra money. Large percentages of sellers across the globe are also now buyers, even if they weren’t before. In the past 12 months 81% of UK sellers have also been buyers; 80% of sellers in the US, 79% in Germany, 69% in France, and 68% in Canada. 

The top ten best selling items on eBay are antiques, jewelry and watches, books and comics, televisions and headphones, sporting goods, and mobile phones, but these certainly aren’t the only items to bring in the extra dough. One example is Nicole DiSanto, who has sold on eBay since 2006. Her store, FiveStar Auctions, specializes in yard and estate sale finds like antiques, collectibles, video games and vintage clothing. 

After Nicoles’s husband was laid off during COVID quarantines, he started helping with her store. Turning to Nicole’s personal stash of pre-owned video games and consoles, she and her husband were able to bring in $10,000 in one month. Nicole’s store gained traction during 2020 and has increased 357% since 2019. Recommerce is what kept this couple afloat during the pandemic. 

Many sellers have been fortunate in their endeavors and have seen the benefits to their bank accounts, but this is definitely not the only positive to come from recommerce. 

It may be surprising to hear that buying and selling pre-owned goods can actually have a big, positive impact on the environment. One eBay buyer, Hannah Stringer, has taken to buying pre-owned, high quality goods, such as home decor and apparel, almost exclusively from eBay sellers. She sees this as another way to support small businesses and to reduce waste. Hannah says that buying pre-owned is the most effective strategy for consumers to take on the climate crisis. 

Hannah isn’t off base here. In fact, 720,000 metric tons of carbon emissions have been conserved through people selling pre-owned electronics and apparel on eBay. Buying pre-owned is not only cheaper for the consumer, but it prevents these items from becoming landfill waste and it prevents the need for more new items to be produced, which also reduces energy and natural resource consumption. It’s entirely possible to purchase quality items at a reduced price, with the intention of keeping them long term to meet the goals of having the things you want, reducing personal spending, and reducing your personal negative impact on the environment. All it takes is the willingness to buy pre-owned rather than brand new. 

Vanessa Campbell has been a Senior Writer for more than a decade already. She has liaised closely with key members of the Marketing and Leadership team as well as key stakeholders, providing content support for concepts and ideas to take brands to the next level. She has been leading marketing campaign initiatives that have successfully thrived and prosper throughout the years.

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