As the cost-of-living continues to climb, the second-hand economy is experiencing a surge. PayPal’s Resale Renaissance report*, conducted by Censuswide and involving more than 1,000 consumers across Ireland, revealed the reselling movement has gone mainstream.
An interesting trend, the report found that people are selling their unwanted or unused items to supplement their income. In fact, almost one in eight (12%) of those who buy preowned items do so in order to upcycle and sell on. This trend was found to be most prevalent among Gen Z (18%) and most prominent among respondents from Mayo (24%), Kerry (23%) and Clare (20%). It also seems that this could generate quite the profit with the average consumer in Ireland estimating they have approximately €222 worth of unwanted items gathering dust around the home.
Some 47 per cent of people across the country resell their preloved goods, with money earned from reselling unwanted items over past 12 months estimated, on average, to be approximately €598 – potentially providing people with an extra €50 per month. Gen Z led the way with earnings from reselling items over the last year, coming in at €844.
One person’s trash is another’s treasure
Delving deeper into the preowned trends, of those who have bought such items before, the average spend over the past year was found to be €101. Clothes (46%), books (23%) and furniture (22%) top thrift shopping lists – turning one person’s trash into their own treasure.
In terms of what is driving Irish second-hand shoppers, saving money is the leading reason for more than half (59%), followed by the drive to find a real bargain (41%). For others, it’s a conscious choice with a third (33%) choosing second-hand to be more sustainable and a similar proportion (31%) doing so to reduce waste.
More than three quarters of Irish people (78%) purchase preloved items and the average consumer makes such purchases 20 times a year. Gen Z are most active in this area (average of 26 times a year), followed by Millennials (21 times a year). Buying preowned items was most common among respondents from Longford (66 times a year), Roscommon (61 times a year) and Donegal (46 times a year).
The study noted that, on average, consumers estimated they have €401 of disposable income each month. People in Ireland are finding ways and adapting their behaviours to make their disposable income go that bit further. In this regard, some 61 per cent of consumers look for discounts and deals, while more than half (54%) have switched to cheaper brands and 52 per cent are using store loyalty points/coupons more often.
Thrifty consumers are exercising caution
The PayPal study found that the preferred channels for purchasing preowned items were charity/thrift shops (51%), online and mobile marketplaces (35%), and social media (32%). However, while demand for preloved treasures is high, the second-hand economy isn’t without its concerns, with more than four in five (84%) people worrying about dishonest sellers and the quality of preowned items.
As a result, people are mindful when it comes to the checkout process and it turns out that the biggest factor that instills trust in preowned purchasers is having safe, recognised payment methods like PayPal (55%). Other important trust factors were found to be comments/reviews about the seller (54%) and more images and visuals of items (43%).
Maeve Dorman, Senior Vice President, PayPal Ireland shared: “With prices soaring, it’s no surprise we’re seeing a boom in the second-hand economy. Whether it’s shopping or selling on online marketplaces or resale mobile apps, or using the Goods and Services person-to-person payments on our mobile app at car boot sales, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing PayPal works hard to keep your financial information safe. Both buyers and sellers want – and should have – security, flexibility and confidence when it comes to managing transactions, making payments and taking control of their own budgets.”