Consumers more likely to purchase pre-owned items due to cost of living crisis


Nine out of 10 consumers are happy buying secondhand because of concerns about the cost of living, the environment and the desire to own ‘unique’ items.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that the stigma of buying used goods is now a thing of the past, with people half as likely to buy pre-owned items now than they were five years ago.


More people are likely to buy secondhand items than they were five years ago

Two thirds are happy to buy a used or refurbished mobile phone – which emerged as one of the most sought after secondhand items available.

While three in 10 prefer to buy pre-made clothing, 35% are looking for retro furniture, and 24% prefer to buy vintage homeware items

Several factors are behind the popularity of used goods – including the need to be more durable (36%) and cut costs (32%).

Buying one-of-a-kind items (16%) is also a contributing factor – noting about a quarter of secondhand goods are ‘surprisingly good quality and good value’.

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The Virgin Media O2 study marks its ‘Do One Thing’ campaign, which inspires adults to make small lifestyle changes to help the planet.

To highlight the initiative – part of its wider Better Connections plan – an artwork featuring this call to action was also launched.

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The study also found that 65% believe it is more acceptable to buy pre-owned products now than it was a decade ago.

A third also believes that buying second-hand doesn’t necessarily mean you have to compromise on quality – as the products may work just as well when bought new.

And 35% buy used items to get their money going.

About a fifth (18%) even said that they get a ‘buzz’ from secondhand purchases.

Whereas 17% said that the feel-good feeling from the purchase lasted longer when buying used items than new.

It also emerged that four in 10 are now more likely to buy a gift from a vintage store or website.

Nicola Green of Virgin Media O2 said: “It is reassuring to see that protecting the planet is high on the nation’s agenda.

“And buying second-hand is one of the ways to tackle the climate crisis by reducing waste and saving money”.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found that 77% believe small changes – like recycling old mobile phones to prevent them from ending up in landfills – will help protect the planet.

While 44% admit they could do more to be greener – including recycling more, being mindful of energy use and eating less meat.

Another 55% believe that people need to make small changes to their lifestyle in order to live more sustainably.

And 43% are willing to protect the planet for future generations.

Nicola Green said: “With Virgin Media O2’s ‘Do One Thing’ campaign, we want to inspire everyone to make lifestyle changes – big or small – to help protect the planet.”

Top 20 things adults would consider buying second hand:

  1. Books
  2. CD
  3. Furniture
  4. DVD
  5. Clothes
  6. mobile phone
  7. jewelery
  8. vinyl
  9. Video game
  10. Homeware (eg: utensils and decorations)
  11. bag/purse
  12. Children’s Toys & Games
  13. pills
  14. watches
  15. Television
  16. cameras
  17. art and craft
  18. record player
  19. Game Console
  20. home decor clothing items

In the meantime, you can This family meal is £1. build in Sticking to only one type of grocery.

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