As the cost of living continues to soar, consumers across Europe are turning to second-hand shopping as a practical solution to stretch their budgets.

In an exclusive interview, Paul Heimann, Head of Re-commerce at Adevinta, sets out to explain this developing trend and its ramifications for the retail industry.

Rising costs propel second-hand shopping

Heimann highlights the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on consumer behaviour. He notes, “The cost-of-living crisis is driving cash-strapped consumers to put value first.”

He underscores the role of second-hand marketplaces in offering affordable alternatives, stating, “These platforms help buyers make their money go further by giving them access to unique, used, or refurbished items at more affordable prices.”

According to research conducted by Adevinta, 40% of European consumers have turned to second-hand shopping to save money amidst rising living costs.

Additionally, 44% have opted to sell items they no longer need for extra cash, reflecting a growing trend towards leveraging pre-loved goods as a means of supplementing income.

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Sustainable consumption: a driving force

Heimann identifies sustainability as another significant factor driving the surge in second-hand shopping.

He explains, “The two biggest factors driving the uptake in second-hand shopping are the rising cost of living and the fact many people want to live more sustainable lives.”

He emphasises that sustainable consumption is evolving from a preference to a demand, particularly among younger generations.

Marketplaces like those operated by Adevinta play a pivotal role in promoting sustainable consumption by offering convenient platforms for buyers to access pre-owned items.

Heimann underscores the environmental benefits, stating, “Shopping second-hand helps us to reduce waste and the demand for new items to be produced, ultimately reducing emissions.”

The changing face of retail

Looking ahead, Heimann predicts a shift in retail dynamics, where sustainability will become increasingly central to consumer preferences.

He observes, “Ultimately, it’s those retailers that don’t have strong sustainability credentials that will risk missing out on sales to more conscious and responsible brands.”

As consumers become more mindful of the environmental impact of their purchases, brands will need to align with these changing preferences to remain competitive.

Moreover, the cost-of-living crisis is fostering a sense of entrepreneurialism among individuals, driving them to participate in the second-hand marketplace as both buyers and sellers.

Heimann anticipates continued growth in second-hand shopping, reshaping the retail landscape in the years to come.

About Adevinta: a champion for sustainable commerce

Adevinta stands at the forefront of sustainable commerce, operating a portfolio of digital marketplaces across Europe. With a focus on enabling environmentally conscious consumption, Adevinta’s platforms connect millions of people and businesses, fostering a circular economy.

Heimann emphasises Adevinta’s commitment to making sustainable commerce the new normal, stating, “The circular economy is key to a more sustainable future.”

With a diverse team dedicated to making a positive impact, Adevinta remains a leader in driving change towards a more sustainable and inclusive retail environment.