Reuse Value Creation: Can the Second-Hand Market top eCommerce Trends in 2023?

Festus Otasowie

The Second-Hand Market AKA “ReCommerce” is on the Rise

The second-hand market is predicted for a boom in the coming years. The market is to get double in size within 5 years’ time.

Well, it is part of the second-hand business!


  • There are 182 million eBay users worldwide.
  • The eBay app is used by 34.9 percent of all US mobile users.
  • 4% percent of items sold on eBay fall in the “Electronics & Accessories” category, the top-selling category.
  • There are 1.3 billion listings on eBay.
  • $22 billion worth of goods were bought and sold on eBay’s marketplace platforms in Q4 2019.
  • More than 60 percent of eBay’s marketplace GMV involves a mobile touchpoint.
  • 940,000 eBay sellers use the “Promoted Listings” feature on over 250 million listings.
  • 71 percent of eBay purchases are shipped for free.
  • 80 percent of goods sold on eBay are new.
  • 28 percent of eBay sellers are in the US.

Statistics courtesy of Orberlo


  • Etsy has over 43 million active, buying accounts registered.
  • 3 million sellers run storefronts on the site.
  • 81% of sales on Etsy are made by repeat buyers.
  • 92% of Etsy buyers that feel Etsy offers products they can’t find elsewhere

Statistics courtesy of: Expanded Rankings

Let’s put it frankly. For these two sites to be at the top of the reselling market, these are killer statistics.

There are two main statistics to remember here:

  • 80 percent of people who use the Internet buy online. Trust in e-commerce has risen immeasurably since the humble beginnings of the internet. The boom is online retail is not likely to subside anytime soon.
  • 71 percent of people believe they will get better prices online. Want to seal the deal on a sale? Try your hardest to confirm this belief (without destroying your profit margins, of course).


What’s the Big Idea?

The big idea is this – reselling sites such as eBay and Etsy rely on user reviews of sellers to drive traffic and demand for services – a high-rated store will always function at the top of searches on such sites, of course.

Various Markets, Big Business

Statistics researched by IBIS World have revealed that for the past five years, online reselling has consistently outperformed brick-and-mortar storefront sales.

  • Thredup has predicted that the secondhand market for selling clothing online will reach $64B in the next five years.
  • The average individual participating in the recommerce industry earns about $600 per year from selling.
  • There will be more than $7.5 billion generated globally from efforts made by consumers to raise money for themselves in the recommerce industry.
  • The annual growth of the global recommerce industry is expected to be 12.5% or greater.
  • 1 out of 3 people who sell personal items to raise money is doing so to meet their mortgage or rent payment obligations.
  • The most common item sold in the recommerce industry is clothing. This is followed by books (17% of consumers), music CDs (14%), movie DVDs (13%), and video games (10%). (Music Magpie)
  • Recommerce websites have seen traffic increases of over 1400% since 2009. The most popular recommerce sites charge nothing to sell items. (Music Magpie)

Statistics courtesy of Music Magpie.

Coresight, following heavily researched statistics of the recommerce market, forecasts a 13% rise of the apparel resale market to a record of $11 billion dollars for the year of 2021.

49% of the recommerce industry is made up of accessories, clothing, and shoes, and GlobalData estimates that by 2023, the total worldwide apparel market will surge to $51 billion.


What is ReCommerce?

Known as resale, or online thrifting, ReCommerce, or resale commerce, is the retail concept following the idea of your local thrift stores – they aren’t for only old ladies anymore! Sellers looking to get rid of their used or vintage items list them on sale online for the next lucky individual looking for just that right thing!

Previously, the resale of second-hand clothes and other items had been limited to brick-and-mortar stores, but with the advantage of new technology such as resale and bid sites, the number of online resellers has now taken off and has been growing each year.

Who Is Shopping?

Millennials and Generation Z are the main shoppers in the recommerce environment. These two demographics are frequently on the prowl for cheap or vintage items both of strange and brand name nature, following statistics on the shoppers of such stores.

What Items are People Selling?

There is a wide market available online for those looking to make a buck, or buy some cool items, shopping online – in some ways, you can think of it as the world’s greatest thrift shop, complete with a great inventory.

  • Brand name clothes
  • Shoes
  • Designer handbags
  • Jewellery
  • Vintage clothes
  • Electronics
  • Video games
  • Glassware
  • Books


Are there any benefits of being part of this movement?

Let’s put it simply. Resellers are able to raid their homes and closets for products they no longer need, list them for sale, and then buyers are able to get their hands on them for much cheaper than the marketplace price. That’s a huge benefit in and of itself.


  • Sustainability – Of course, as there are additional options on the market, demand for the creation of new products is reduced – as an example, wearing a brand new coat over a vintage coat that works well makes no sense! The availability of used, vintage product on the market means reduced demand for the creation of new.
  • Saving money – Of course, like your local thrift store, items listed come at a steep discount from regular brick-and-mortar prices.
  • Antique Variety – The resale market offers niche items for many interests that aren’t available in general brick-and-mortar department stores.
  • Recycling – Rather than throwing items such as jackets, shirts, shoes and dresses in the trash once the wearer is no longer interested in them, it has now become practical to list them online for quick resale. Why throw it away for nothing when you could reap back some of the purchase prices?
  • Saving on Space – recommerce allows individuals to clean out their closets and homes while making a quick buck at the same time. A win-win!

So what are your thoughts and experiences on how the second-hand market is emerging as one of the eCommerce trends in 2020?

Feel free to use the comments box below to share.

Get the complete eCommerce trends eBook

In depth coverage of nine top eCommerce trends of the 2020s when you subscribe to our Newsletter

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Share post on

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the complete eCommerce trends eBook

In depth coverage of nine top eCommerce trends of the 2020s when you subscribe to our Newsletter

Start-Up Guides

Very cool advertising slogan

More To Explore

Subscribe to our newsletter

Don’t miss new updates on your email
Scroll to Top