Tech recirculation company Spring is helping support the resale market

‘Resell therapy’: Cost-of-living crisis fuelling resale market

Some 70% of the UK general population are selling items from their homes to boost their incomes which is fuelling the growth of the resale market, according to new research.

The study, commissioned by circular tech company Spring, which collects preloved electricals from consumers before repairing or reselling the items or recovering reusable materials, also shows that the trend is expected to gather pace, especially as the cost-of-living crisis ensues.

The study of over 2,000 UK consumers found that the has been a 17% increase in people looking to sell items such as electronic devices and clothes over the next year compared to last year, as financial challenges have hit many households across the UK.

Almost half (48%) of all respondents whose main motivation to resell was making money said it was a result of needing help to pay for rising food, living, and bill costs. But, according to Spring, 45% of those who have sold a personal belonging claim a boost in mood as further motivation.

Even though the over-55s are the most conscious about living costs, younger people are the most likely to act on their concerns. Three in five (57%) Brits aged 25-34 have already resold a household item in order to make some extra money since the rise in the cost of living compared to 32% of over-55s, according to the survey.

Spring’s research shows the three most commonly sold items over the past 12 months were clothing (32% of consumers), electronic devices (19%), and furniture (17%). Platforms such as Vinted and eBay, as well as individual retailers such as Zara, FatFace, and Seasalt, are giving consumers the option to make money or gain credit from their old clothes and accessories, helping support the growth of the resale.

One in five 16-24 year olds stated that minimising waste and reducing landfill is their primary motivation for reselling, compared to one in nine (11%) respondents aged 55+.

James Seear, co-founder of Spring, commented: “The research sheds light on the challenges that consumers are facing.

“The rise of ‘resell therapy’ is a powerful response to the cost-of-living crisis. It’s encouraging to see that a significant portion of the population is embracing the idea of selling pre-owned items, with positive emotional responses reported by many.”

He added: “We must also recognise that this is people pushing back against wasteful consumer culture, particularly in the tech sector. As e-waste rises and resources diminish, it’s crucial for manufacturers and consumers alike to prioritise sustainability and circular economy practices.”

Read more about Spring’s work with Co-op in the UK on Green Retail World

[Image credit: Spring]

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