Survey reveals South Africa’s second hand shopping habits


A survey by Gumtree South Africa has revealed that the second hand economy is thriving in the local market, with 95% of respondents claiming that have used or will opt for second hand goods and vehicles in 2017.

The survey has revealed marked differences between genders and age groups when it comes to second hand shopping. Men are more likely than women to buy goods to resell for profit, while 10% of women say they purposefully shop second hand to support their communities, as opposed to 1% of men.

Men favor cellphones (with 41% having made a second hand cellphone purchase in the last year), computers (39%) and furniture (38%), while women opt for household goods and appliances (42%), furniture (50%), décor (35%) and baby goods (25%).

The introduction of Facebook marketplaces has also had an impact – while the vast majority still make use of online classifieds for buying and selling (72%), 48% make use of social media platforms (especially women).

According to Claire Cobbledick, Head of Core for Gumtree South Africa, motivations for second hand shopping can be varied. “The 26-35 year old age group opts for second hand goods in order to afford items they aspire to, spending R2500-R5000 on an average shop on items like furniture, household goods and appliances; while the 36-55 year old market can afford to pay retail prices but prefer not to. About a third of millennials say they buy a second hand item at least once a month, while older groups (56+) will only buy an item once a year.”

More than 75% of all respondents say they have bought either more or the same amount of second hand goods in 2016, and Cobbledick says this figure is likely to climb. “There are certain markets that no longer favor new goods – such as the car industry, where second hand cars are outselling new cars at a ratio of nearly 3:1, and internationally resale distributors such as second hand clothing sites are growing four times faster than their retail peers. Millennials are big drivers of this trend. They are more eco-conscious than previous generations and purposefully want to consume less.”

Cobbledick says that the trend towards second hand trade has been fueled by the uptick in Internet availability. “Trade isn’t limited to what is on offer in your local neighborhood stores or markets. It’s for everyone. You can conduct literally shop for anything, anywhere, from anyone, which is exciting and empowering.”

The report can be downloaded on the Gumtree blog

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