Since eBay got their start in the mid-’90s, sales between consumers (classified as C2C transactions) have made up an important share of their business. The sale of second-hand goods, known as “recommerce,” is a special. To recognize the myriad benefits of recommerce on a wider scale, eBay has recently released their new recommerce report. If you don’t have time to read the whole report, its highlights are listed out below.
The first thing to note is that recommerce is a growing market. Of the US eBay sellers surveyed, 72% noticed an increase in the purchases of pre-owned goods in recent years. In the eyes of Gen-Z, the trend is especially noticeable in 2020. This is not exclusively a US phenomenon. In the UK, US, Germany, France, and Canada, the percentage of eBay C2C customers who have bought pre-owned goods in the last year range from 81% to 68%.
The noted cause for the spike in recommerce is COVID-19. Due to the recession caused by pandemic disruptions, money-conscious consumers are less likely to buy goods new if they have a viable alternative. In their search for secondhand goods, eBay’s online model was more likely to win people over than traditional resale stores, again because of pandemic restraints. There is a strong possibility this increased engagement will reduce the stigma surrounding pre-owned goods. Should that be the case, the power of recommerce is here to stay.
The Benefits of Recomerce
As the number of people participating in recommence increases, more people are noticing the benefits it has to offer them. Said benefits exist for sellers and buyers alike. On the side of the seller, the recommerce market has a place for almost anyone to set up shop. The average American has 36 items worthy of resale lying around in their house. If the seller agrees to put those items up for auction on eBay, they could generate over $3600 in supplemental income. While most sellers are likely to treat recommerce as a temporary side hustle, those interested in a permanent arrangement may come to scour yard and estate sales in pursuit of specific items. Some eBay sellers even specialize in items that would be cost-prohibitive to buy new, like musical instruments.
For buyers, the benefit of recommerce comes first from the reduced price. It’s rare to find a used item selling for more than a new one. Beyond that, climate-conscious consumers can stand by their beliefs with recommerce. Recommerce is good for the environment for two major reasons. One, each used good sold is saved from a landfill. Two, buying a used goods means one less new good needs to be made, which saves all the resources a new good would have required. In the electronics and apparel sectors alone, reselling on eBay conserved 720,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.
Recommerce has the potential to benefit everyone. That is why eBay has decided to celebrate it in their new report.