Giving the go-ahead together: Paul Lässig (branch manager of Ströer), Mayor Christoph Landscheidt, Ute Buschmann (Managing Director of DSM Krefeld Außenwerbung GmbH) and Andreas Iland (Head of the Office for Economic Development and City Marketing).

Sustainability: Second-hand: That’s how much money consumers can earn

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Buying and selling used goods protects the environment. A new study shows that billions of dollars are lying around unused in households.

Rising prices, expensive energy and the fear of inflation motivate many consumers to tighten their financial belts. This is the result “Circular Economy Study”which YouGov on behalf of eBay classifieds and with the scientific support of Wuppertal Institute has performed. In it, 85 percent of those surveyed stated that they had to limit themselves due to the increased prices. About half have already postponed purchases or trips planned for this year. But one alternative is becoming increasingly popular: second-hand.

Study: Used purchases have doubled during the crisis

“We see that people need to be more mindful of their spending and that’s why new sources of income or looking for ways to save,” says Henning Wilts, head of the Circular Economy department at the Wuppertal Institute second hand buy to save money – and sell more used items to make money.

The best-selling second-hand items in 2022:

  • 1. Clothing, shoes and accessories (39%)
  • 2. Books (37%)
  • 3. Decoration and furniture (23%)
  • 4. CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays (23%)
  • 5. Games and toys (17%)

Source: Ebay Classifieds/ Circular Economy Study






In fact, the corona pandemic and the economic consequences of the Ukraine war are reflected in the figures. According to the study, the proportion of people who bought a used vehicle in the past twelve months rose from 49 percent in the previous year to 66 percent in 2022. The number of respondents who have repeatedly made used purchases has also increased compared to 2021 almost doubled.


If one in four respondents (25 percent) repeatedly bought something used last year, this year it is almost half (47 percent). Half of the respondents (49 percent) state that the additional source of income is a key reason for them to sell used things – that’s eleven percentage points more than in the previous year.

Every household has around 2,000 euros lying around unused

In addition to economic reasons, the topic sustainability increasingly important for second-hand customers. Two thirds (65 percent) are convinced that used products are good for the environment. Around half of those surveyed (46 percent) consider buying used to be a good way of acquiring things sustainably.

that the Sale of used products These figures show that it is economically worthwhile for consumers in the current situation. According to the study, there are unused goods in every household with an average value of 2025 euros (2021: 1297 euros). Extrapolated to all households, that’s 82 billion disappear in drawers, according to the authors. According to the information, every third person (35 percent) owns unused products worth more than 500 euros. Seven out of ten respondents (72 percent) sell used products at least twice a year.

The top 5 unused products in households:

  • 1. Books
  • 2. Clothing, shoes, accessories
  • 3. CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays
  • 4. Electrical appliances
  • 5. Smartphones, tablets

Source: Ebay Classifieds/ Circular Economy Study

The researchers at the Wuppertal Institute believe that buying second-hand online despite its CO2-Emissions in package delivery for one important contribution to the circular economy. If products are reused and used longer, it is not only good for the wallet, but also for the environment: “Waste and pollution are avoided, products and materials remain in use and natural systems are regenerated,” write the authors. Second-hand portals would also encourage people to traditional consumption models into question – such as the discount battle around Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday.




More articles from this category can be found here: Consumers


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