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Second-Hand Rarely First Choice

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Felix Richter

As millions of Americans are struggling to maintain their standard of living in the face of surging consumer prices, buying second-hand products could be viable option to save some money without making too many sacrifices. Whether it’s clothes, electronic devices or household goods, online platforms have made selling and buying used goods a lot easier.

But despite Macklemore’s 2012 smash hit “Thrift Shop” celebrating the hunt for used clothes with only “20 dollars in your pocket”, data from Statista's Global Consumer Survey shows that second-hand is rarely first choice for Americans. According to the survey of 7,605 U.S. adults, clothing and shoes are in fact the most popular items to buy second-hand, but with just 30 and 20 percent of respondents claiming to have made a second-hand purchase in the past twelve months, respectively, it’s far from fashionable to “go copping it, washing it and get some compliments,” as Macklemore put it in his thrifting anthem, that went certified Diamond for selling more than 10 million units.

The share of respondents buying second-hand is even lower for other categories, with just 13.5 percent saying they bought used consumer electronics in the past 12 months, which is surprising given the size of the secondary market for smartphones for example.

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