Gen Z buying second-hand to save money—not the planet, says eBay U.K. boss – youngvid

Gen Z isn’t letting the cost of living crisis stop them from getting their hands on high-end brands—they’re just buying secondhand instead.

According to eBay’s latest research, over 60% of Gen Z consumers—specifically 16 to 26-year-olds—said that they will be shopping for pre-loved or refurbished items this Black Friday (24 November).

What’s more, despite claiming that protecting the environment is their top concern, saving money—not the planet—is the main driver behind Gen Z’s shopping preferences.

“Gen Z has to be savvier than ever with the pressures they are under,” Eve Williams, the online marketplace’s U.K. chief tells Fortune. “With inflation, University debt, and living costs this is a way for them to get access to products within their budget.”

And they’re particularly “open-minded about switching” to refurbished or non-new items when it comes to well-known brands like Sonos and Peleton, Williams adds. 

Last year, Dyson products, Hotel Chocolat Velvitisers and iPhones were the most popular non-new items to purchase on eBay.

Separate research from ThredUp, an online thrift store and resale platform, echoed that about 30% of Gen Z shoppers are buying secondhand items specifically to afford higher-end brands.

And it’s not just Gen Z.

Although the youngest generation of shoppers are leading the trend, 56% of Millennials and 40% of Gen X’ers told eBay that they’re considering shopping for pre-loved or refurbished items this Black Friday.

Shoppers still want little luxuries—but they’re having to get savvy

Like Gen Z, money is front of mind for the general population in the lead-up to Christmas.

Yet, according to Williams, consumers aren’t planning on spending any less this year than last. Instead, they’re trying to get more bang for their buck.

“Consumers don’t want to compromise on the things they’re getting for family members this year,” Williams says. “But they want to make sure that they feel savvy about it, they’re going to shop around to get the best deals.

“We are in a really difficult period, people are struggling financially, but people still want to see the pleasure of family and friends opening presents under the Christmas tree – or even just treating themselves.

“Particularly in times of economic crisis, people don’t want to lose their little luxuries in life and the things that bring them pleasure.”

Businesses have more supply but savings have dried up

Last Black Friday and Christmas, consumers had excess savings from the pandemic and pent-up demand to truly celebrate the festivities after various lockdowns. However, businesses were often out of stock due to a supply chain crisis. 

This year, Williams warns that businesses are about to experience the opposite phenomenon: There’s plenty of supply but shopper’s savings have dried up. 

“This year, you’ve got retailers from across all sectors who’ve got amazing products to sell and you’ve got consumers who are more concerned than ever about the prices, making sure that it can fit within their budget, which means it’s a really competitive environment,” Williams stresses. 

“But that’s good for consumers because it means they’re getting the deals they need.”

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