The Popularity & Practicality Of Buying Gently Used Gaines Traction

The proof is in the numbers. New 2022 data has proven once again that shopping for gently used, previously loved, and secondhand items is bigger than ever and growing at a rapid pace.

Why Is Secondhand Shopping Growing?

  1. The recession.
  2. Environmental awareness.
  3. Social media influence.

Recession: There are no two ways about it, we are in a recession and if the majority of financial experts are correct, it’s going to last for at least another year. This fear of tight economic times causes people to spend much more frugally. In comes the explosion of recommerce, shopping for used and refurbished products.

Eco-habits: With the everyday in-your-face effects of global warming and climate change, people are turning the tide with their shopping habits, realizing they don’t always need to purchase new. Choosing to buy secondhand reduces the need to pillage natural resources, keeps products out of overcrowded landfills, and follows the outlines of a circular economy which is a more sustainable way of living.

Social media: The worldwide phenom of TikTok, a free social media video-sharing app with close to a billion monthly users, has also been a part of the recent explosion of the secondhand craze. Popular influencers have garnered large followings for three major reasons. One, creativity in the thrifting and flipping trend; two because people care about being sustainable; and three because people want to save money. TikTok promotes discoverability and easy access by millions to create videos thus a great way to impact shoppers.

Definition of Recommerce: Recommerce or reverse commerce is the selling of previously owned, new, or used products, mainly electronic devices or media such as books, through physical or online distribution channels to buyers who repair, if necessary, then reuse, recycle or resell them. –Wikipedia

The Data- Taken from the report published on Recommerce

  • Recommerce grew 15% in 2021 (the highest growth rate for this industry ever).
  • Currently, 272 million Americans buy and/or sell pre-owned goods.
  • More than 50 percent of Americans reported lower prices were their top motivator for shopping secondhand.
  • 93 percent reported that inflation impacted their decision to shop secondhand.
  • Reducing their carbon footprint is the reason 21 percent of US residents are choosing to thrift more. 
  • Americans now spend an average of 27 minutes per day on digital secondhand marketplaces (which is 3 minutes shy of the same time on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms).

Selling Secondhand Is Gaining Too

The OfferUp report predicts that if the patterns continue, the recommerce market is expected to hit $178 billion in 2022 and $289 billion by 2027.

Not only is secondhand shopping increasing but on the flip side so is secondhand selling

  • From clothing to electronics to furniture and much more, the market is wide open.
  • Over half of Americans who already use reselling platforms (58 percent) plan to increase their buying and/or selling of pre-owned products in the next year. 
  • Looking for additional revenue streams, Americans are also increasing their online sales. Two in five Americans sell secondhand items as a source of primary or secondary income.
  • This number is highest with Gen Z and Millennial consumers.


Although saving money might be the main reason for the rise in secondhand shopping, consumers wanting to do better for the planet is a close second. While the recession has pushed the secondhand market to the forefront over retail shopping, it had already been steadily rising for the mere fact of secondhand purchasing being a greener and more eco-friendly choice.

Fast Fashion’s Devastating Impact

The endless production of cheap clothing, labeled “fast fashion”, is choking our world. This unsustainable practice needs to end. Some fast fashion facts:

  • Fast fashion is responsible for 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions.
  • Many fast fashion brands use child labor, have awful working conditions, and do not pay fair wages.
  • 85% of textiles just end up in landfills.
  • Over 30% of the microplastics in the ocean come from synthetic fabrics.  These plastic microfibers leach into the ground and waterways, causing pollution and the risk of being consumed by wildlife and marine life.
  • Fast fashion is the cause of 20% of water pollution worldwide.


Overflow of products is a common occurrence at donation locations, forcing store owners to throw away perfectly good items. 

  • In 2012, 84 percent of all apparel that was donated to thrift stores and donation centers ended up incinerated or in a dump, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • In California Goodwill spends $7 million on dumping unwanted items. 
  • If the secondhand market continues to grow, it would mean more items being salvaged as demand increases. This is a good thing! 


There is a leader in this secondhand tsunami, Remoov, and its sister company The Local Flea.

  • REMOOV, on the top 100 Sustainability Start-Up list, has a sustainable mission at its core. It was created to take leadership in the huge market of home and business removal of items. Remoov is the #1 eco-friendly comprehensive hauler and reseller of all unwanted items from your home or business. Instead of massive amounts of perfectly good quality furniture, equipment, home decor, electronics, and many other categories of items ending up in our already overburdened landfills, these items now have a chance to continue serving in a circular economy, which is fundamental in preserving our finite resources. If you’d like to take the hassle out of selling your own items, let Remoov come pick them up and sell them for you, giving 50% of the proceeds. Anything that does not sell is donated to charity or responsibly recycled. 
  • THE LOCAL FLEA is a huge showroom style shop for all the gently used items from Remoov’s pickup service, reselling all those unwanted items to the public at huge discounts. From high-quality name-brand home and office furniture to electronics, art, appliances, sporting goods, and so much more, make sure to keep The Local Flea at the top of your list when choosing to buy secondhand. Online and in-person shopping is available in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Miami.

THE RESOURCES: OfferUp® Recommerce Report 2022

OfferUp is the largest mobile marketplace for local buyers and sellers in the U.S. Their annual report began in 2019 as a way to share how recommerce is changing American lives. 

  • The yearly data proves that buying and selling pre-owned items is growing faster than traditional retail, with no signs of slowing down.
  • The research also found that 76% of items bought and sold pre-owned are not apparel and instead fall into the categories of electronics, furniture, home goods, home improvement, sporting goods, outdoor equipment, and auto parts.
  • The report includes research and data from the retail analytics firm GlobalData, which uses consumer surveys, retailer tracking, official data, data sharing, store observation, and secondary sources to analyze, model, and calculate metrics including market and channel size, and market share.
  • Third-party online market research company Pollfish conducted a May 2022 survey of 2,000 U.S. adults for this report.

Forbes Concurs

In 2021, Forbes reported that online secondhand and consignment platforms were growing even before the pandemic. 

  • The secondhand market expanded 21 times faster than conventional apparel commerce did in 2019. 
  • According to a recent report by ThredUp, the U.S. secondhand fashion market is expected to more than triple in value in the next 10 years, from $28 billion in 2019 to $80 billion in 2029. 
  • For many consumers buying secondhand fashion is driven by a desire to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Choosing pre-owned is a step towards circular fashion. 
  • Another reason is economic uncertainty. According to ThredUp’s report, 82% of people have or are open to shopping secondhand as money gets tighter. 

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