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Oct 29, 2021
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American resale market to surge: GlobalData

Published
Oct 29, 2021

The total resale market has grown over 50 percent during the past five years and new findings revealed by GlobalData on Thursday suggest there is potential for even more significant growth.

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According to the Mercari and GlobalData’s inaugural Reuse Report, the secondhand market is expected to generate $160.1 billion in revenue this year, up 14.6 percent from the $139.6 billion spent last year.

Looking ahead, the report forecasts that by 2030, American consumers will spend $353.9 billion on secondhand items. This is up over 150 percent over 2020, representing 3.2 times that of the 36.7 percent growth anticipated for the retail sector.

“While resale is sometimes thought of as a niche market, its size indicates it is a mainstream part of the consumer economy. In the past 12 months, 74.9 percent of Americans polled bought at least one secondhand item,” said John Lagerling, Mercari US CEO. “Three quarters of adults participating in the reuse ecosystem shows that buying secondhand is now almost as commonplace as going to the grocery store.”

American adults polled, including 74.6 percent of secondhand shoppers, said saving money is the primary reason for shopping resale. Other reasons included finding new things, the fun of ‘treasure hunting’, sustainability, and a sense of community.

American households are currently sitting on an estimated $580 billion of products they’re no longer using (the equivalent of $4,517 per household). In volume terms this equates to 23.6 billion items (184 items per household).

“Last year, some 1.6 billion functional, saleable items were thrown into the trash, which is neither sustainable nor financially savvy”, added Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData. 

“However, the rise of online marketplaces and resale platforms is allowing consumers to both make money and do right by the environment as they sell unwanted products to those who will make use of them. More people are now engaging in the reuse ecosystem and are finding the experience enjoyable.”

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