Trustpilot announcements
September 20, 2023

Cost of living crisis sees UK second-hand goods sales jump 15 percent to £21 billion, Trustpilot research reveals

LONDON, UK - WEDNESDAY 20 AUGUST 2023, for immediate release - New data from Trustpilot has revealed that sales of second-hand goods in the UK soared by 15 per cent to £21 billion last year, as the cost-of-living crisis continued to bite.

The survey of 2,000 shoppers in the UK, which comes as part of Second Hand September - an annual campaign to encourage people to shop more sustainably - found that six in 10 consumers now buy used goods. On average, consumers spent £661.20 on second hand items over the last 12 months - compared to £484.80 the previous year.

Books (38 percent), clothes (29 percent), and household items (18 percent) were the most popular pre-loved items, with 67 percent bought online and over a quarter (26 percent) of consumers using apps like Vinted and Depop.

The surge in second-hand spending is mainly down to the cost-of-living crisis (57 percent), but 55 per cent saying they simply ‘love’ finding bargains. Four in 10 (41 percent) however say they are driven by a desire to shop more sustainably, the poll of 2,000 shoppers found.

The study also found 62 percent of those polled are concerned about the impact of fast fashion on the environment - which might explain why 50 percent purchased used garments during the past 12 months; acquiring seven items on average each, typically spending £35.10 per item.

It also found over half of consumers (51 percent) make a greater effort to check the reviews of sellers when buying such used goods over the web.

Carolyn Jameson, chief consumer and trust officer at Trustpilot, said: “Consumers appear to be turning to used goods in their droves, and while the current economic climate is a major factor, the study shows ethics are important to consumers too - and minimising their impact on the planet by choosing pre-loved items is one way to do this.

“Used products can be cheaper, eco-friendly and practically new if you know where to look, so it’s a no-brainer in many ways. However, it’s likely many consumers will want to make sure that they’re making the best decision for them. 

“Despite the thrill of a bargain, consumers still want to know they’re not going to be ripped-off, which is why it’s so important to hear from the experiences of customers by checking out independent review platforms like Trustpilot – to make sure you’re buying from businesses you can trust.”

When it comes to deciding whether to buy used items of any kind – not just clothes – the top factors are price (74 percent) and condition (68 percent). Clear pictures of the item are also deemed important when shopping online (39 percent).

The savviness involved in this form of shopping may also explain why 16 percent of consumers say they actively prefer shopping for second-hand items over buying first-hand – the thrill of finding a gem.

For more advice and resources on how to find the best deals and shop with confidence, visit Trustpilot’s Shop with Confidence blog here.

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About Trustpilot

Trustpilot was founded in 2007 with a vision to create an independent currency of trust.

A digital platform that brings businesses and consumers together to foster trust and inspire collaboration. We are free to use, open to everybody, and built on transparency.

Trustpilot hosts reviews to help consumers shop with confidence and deliver rich insights to help businesses improve the experience they offer. The more consumers use our platform and share their own opinions, the richer the insights we offer businesses, and the more opportunities they have to earn the trust of consumers, from all around the world.

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