Pandemic-related job loss prompts more consumers to sell on eBay

Retail dive




Dive Brief:

  • In an effort to earn extra cash, nearly three-quarters of eBay sellers who responded to a recent eBay survey said they began selling used items last year to earn extra money. According to the report, 14% said they started selling used goods after losing their jobs amid the pandemic.

  • U.S. consumers have $3,675 worth of used items in their homes that could be resold, second only to Canadians who have $7,201 CAD ($5,660) worth of goods at home, per the report.

  • Over the past year, 80% of U.S. sellers surveyed said they purchased used items, 78% of whom also said they bought used goods at least once every three months.

Dive Insight: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the resale economy, otherwise known as re-commerce, was already gaining steam. But as the eBay survey shows, consumers who were already buying used goods are noticing growth in the market, too. According to eBay's findings, nearly three-fourths (72%) of merchants surveyed said buying used items has become more common in the past few years. Merchants themselves buy pre-owned items to replenish their virtual store shelves. The survey indicates that the exchange between buyers and sellers benefits both parties involved while also reducing waste. Though the coronavirus pandemic has continued for more than a year, experts anticipate that the used clothing trend can weather the global health crisis. This finding is partly because consumers are drawn to the resale model, and used clothing companies have been transparent about their cleaning process. In fact, a June 2020 report from ThredUp projects that the resale market will reach $44 billion in 2029. According to the resale platform's report, a little more than half of consumers surveyed said they plan to spend more money on used clothing over the next five years. As the momentum toward re-commerce grows, resale platforms have been raising capital from the public and venture capitalists. Now public, Poshmark trades under the symbol POSH, and ThredUp followed suit earlier this month. Meanwhile, the apparel resale app Curtsy raised $11 million, which it plans to use to grow its staff and expand its reach.

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