Recommerce: The Secondhand Goods Economy

For eBay, the sale of secondhand goods has been a part of business since day one. Consumers worldwide understand the ways in which recommerce can generate both income and sustainability. After all, why strain the planet to create new products when one can purchase pre-owned goods for less money?

In the recession caused by the 2020 pandemic, the buying and selling of pre-owned goods has grown. 72% of US eBay sellers say that buying pre-owned products has grown more common. 81% of Gen Zers hold the same opinion. In the UK, Germany, France, and Canada, the story was similar, though exact percentages varied. A major perk of recommerce is its accessibility to both sellers and consumers. On average, Americans have 36 household items that can be resold, worth $3,675 in total. One can also search yard and estate sales for even more items worth reselling. On the buyers’ side, eBay’s auction style format allows buyers to offer what they’re willing to pay for a given good.

Recommerce isn’t just good for people’s pockets. It can help the planet as well. In a buyer spotlight on Hanna Stringer, the New York resident explained, “[i]t’s a myth that you must buy more eco-friendly items… in actuality, recommerce is the most effective strategy as a consumer taking on a climate crisis.” Buying pre-owned is sustainable for two reasons: it diverts goods from entering landfills and spares the resources that would have been used to produce and sell a new good. In the areas of electronics and apparel alone, 720,000 metric tons of carbon emissions were conserved through people selling pre-owned items on eBay.

The stigma around secondhand goods is disappearing. When people look at recommerce now, they see benefits for buyers, sellers, and planet Earth. eBay is happy to help.

eBay Recommerce Report