News • 22.10.2021

Americans considering secondhand amidst supply chain issues this holiday season

Giving and receiving secondhand gifts is becoming more of a way of life

Many used original record sleves in a box
Source: Joseph Pearson/Unsplash

Mercari released findings from its Secondhand Holiday Report. Mercari's report revealed that this will be a "secondhand holiday" for many, as 77% of American adults polled expect to buy at least one secondhand item this holiday season.

Collectively, this means $69.2 billion may be spent on previously owned items from October through December 2021, up 24% from last year. The report was conducted in partnership with third-party retail analytics firm GlobalData and online market research company Zogby Analytics.

This year, 72% of holiday consumers polled say they will shop resale to save money. Other top reasons include: finding deals on new or like-new items (36%), finding secondhand holiday shopping easy (32%) and sustainability concerns (22%). Supply chain issues were also cited as another factor encouraging consumers to turn to resale this holiday season.

"Sixty-two percent of Americans surveyed indicated they are worried about product availability this holiday season, which will drive some people from retail to resale," said John Lagerling, Mercari US CEO. "Our research suggests that 20 million people in the U.S. will shop secondhand as a way of avoiding supply chain issues and we estimate they will contribute $7 billion in resale revenues. Not only is this great news for the overall reuse ecosystem, but we are excited to see how many Americans are finding a new appreciation for secondhand gifting."

Secondhand is set to take-off this holiday season as consumers gear up to spend $69.2 billion on used items in the final quarter of the year. This is up by 24% from $55.9 billion last year.

  • The average consumer will spend $342 on secondhand items, up 17.2% from $292 last year.
  • The growth of secondhand compares very favorably to overall holiday spending which is set to rise by 13% to $301 billion.
  • Half of consumers surveyed say that giving secondhand gifts is accepted by their peer group, and 56.8% of those planning to buy resale gifts say they will proudly share that the item was bought secondhand.
  • The holidays will also fuel the supply of products for the secondhand market as people will receive an average of 3.8 unwanted gifts which projects to 997 million (almost 1 billion) items that can potentially be resold.

According to our consumer survey, the most popular gifts secondhand holiday shoppers intend to give are:

  • Clothing (40%)
  • Toys and games (36%)
  • Home decor (35%)
  • Electronics (27%)
  • Handbags (27%)
Source: Mercari

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