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Generation Z Are The Driving Force Of The Recommerce Marketplace

A new report from eBay has highlighted how younger generations of sellers and buyers are embracing the recommerce model.

The increasing demand for pre-loved items is being led by the Generation Z (born between 1997-2012) as their love for secondhand goods is creating economic opportunities for them as well as making a contribution to a sustainable future for all.

Released today, the second annual Recommerce Report from eBay highlighted that younger consumers are the main emerging force in the secondhand marketplace with 80% of Gen Z buying secondhand goods. Almost 1 out of 3 of the same age-group also began selling them in the last year, making them the largest generational category of new sellers at 32% in the last year.

“Empowering people and creating economic opportunity for all is at the heart of everything we do at eBay

– and the ripple effect of our work creates waves of change,” said eBay CEO Jamie Iannone. “Our marketplace allows people to rediscover the value of secondhand items with the added bonus of contributing to a more prosperous, more sustainable future for everyone.”

After a seismic shift driven during the pandemic as consumers refocused their buying habits the appeal of the secondhand marketplace has grown considerably. The emergence of resale sites such as Depop and Vinted have focussed on ease of use to encourage new sellers to the marketplace.

Many brands and retailers have focussed on the opportunities of the resale market to bolster sustainability credentials and ensure to stay relevant with consumers alike. ReSellfridges by Selfridges encourages customers to sell goods on its platform for store credit with the luxury department store brand.

Figures from the consignment and thrift store, Thredup suggest that the next 10 years will see the resale market grow at a faster pace than traditional retail. It predicts that the secondhand clothing marketplace could be twice the size of fast fashion by 2030.

According to the global report – which was conducted by Thredup with analysis by market research firm GlobalData – the resale market is growing at a rate 11 times faster than traditional retail and should be worth $84 billion by 2030, with fast fashion predicted to be worth about $40 billion.

As today’s consumers focus more on the impact of their shopping habits and the reality of what is involved with fashion manufacturing there is a shift to use the recommerce marketplace as a way to support the circular economy. In eBay’s research approximately 20% of survey respondents said that helping keeping garments out of landfill for longer was the driving reason for them to buy pre-owned.

Yet the driving factor remains to be the financial opportunity as 52% of female respondents in the global research said that making extra cash is their primary focus when it comes to selling pre-owned goods.

The affordability of sustainably sourced fashion goods can be a challenge for generations conditioned on the low price points of fast-fashion. The Nosto Sustainability in Fashion Retail report highlighted that less than one third of consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. Opting for second-hand buying and selling allows consumers to update their wardrobes as quickly with less guilt.