According to a recent study by OpinionWay for Sofinco, the consumption of second-hand products is gaining popularity among the French. Most of them now consider buying second-hand products a habit, they are now 54% in the case, an increase of 9 points from December 2021). This trend is confirmed by the growth seen since 2013 in the consumption of second-hand goods., More than half of French people say they have bought and sold second-hand products in the past twelve months (54% and 55%, respectively).
a democratic and generational practice
This study shows us that the purchase of second-hand products is becoming more democratic across all generations. Except for those aged 65 and older, the majority of people in every age group say they bought second-hand products during the year. However, the practice is more widespread among young people (75% among those under 35, 52% among those aged 50–64, and 30% among those aged 65 and over). Apart from this, second-hand products are more prevalent among women. 61% of them have bought second-hand products in the past twelve months, compared to 47% among men. Low-income households are also more inclined to buy second-hand products. They account for 63% of those whose monthly household income is less than 2000 euros, compared to 51% for others.
Reason: Ecological commitment and budgetary savings
The popularity of secondhand can be explained by the growing sensitivity of the French to environmental issues. 92% of the respondents consider it important to fight against waste. Plus, 81% believe that purchasing second-hand products has a real impact on the environment. Meanwhile, 83% of French people are trying to consume less due to budgetary constraints mainly due to the economic context. Thus, 83% of the respondents have been continuously looking for ways to save since the health crisis. Second-hand products respond to these concerns, combining waste reduction with the potential to save money.
Economic and ecological motivations are in the foreground. Nearly half of them mention a desire to save money (51%) or to be more respectful of the environment (45%). Apart from these aspects, second-hand products attract with their authenticity and timeless value. The French are looking for unique items with a “soul” that sets them apart from mass production. They choose to buy and offer older or very limited edition products. Especially if they can’t find them new (41%), or for items that have a history (28%).
Women (67%), youth under the age of 35 (81%) and low-income households (77%) are particularly likely to engage in second-hand products at these critical times. When it comes to giving second-hand gifts, two specific occasions take precedence. First, 31% of French people have already offered second-hand gifts to their children to celebrate important achievements (diploma, driver’s license, etc.). Also, birthdays are favorable for shopping for second-hand gifts. Indeed, 31% of French people have already offered old books, clothes or decorative items as birthday gifts to their loved ones.
In most cases, the French believe that this approach is suitable for all age groups. For example, 71% have given second-hand birthday gifts to adults aged 20 to 60. Also, 59% of youth aged 10 to 20 and 54% of children aged 5 to 10. However, they are more reserved for children under the age of 5 (46%) and senior citizens over the age of 60 (45%).
Quality and variety of second-hand products
The French consider second-hand products to be quality products, whether they are everyday products or luxury products. 87% of them say that second-hand products are not limited to everyday items. In addition, 73% are convinced that quality used products are easy to find, and 64% believe that the quality of used products is comparable to new products. The latter highlights the attractive price-quality ratio of second-hand products (83%), as well as their lifetime (78%).
DDistress for second-hand gifts ,
Giving second-hand gifts is not an obvious thing for the French, although some people have already taken advantage of it. Two-thirds of them fear the reaction of people close to them if they do so (66%). However, this apprehension is unwarranted for the potential recipients of the gift. In fact, half of French people would be willing to ask for a second-hand product as a gift for a special occasion (51%), and 19% have already done so. Note that 20% of French people are reluctant to the idea, saying they would be shocked if a loved one gave them a second-hand gift.
French people who are more familiar with second-hand goods are more willing to ask for second-hand products as gifts. Thus, 89% of young people aged 18 to 24 would be ready to do so, while 27% have already done so. However, people aged 65 and over are more reluctant to the idea (29% would be surprised if someone close to them did it), although almost three-quarters would not mind if family or friends objected Will not happen. (70%, of which 10% have already done so).
Disadvantages of Buying Used
The French point to the disadvantages of second-hand purchases, which lie in the impossibility of returning the product. This is the second reason cited to justify their reluctance (34%). For example, this reasoning may explain their reluctance to give second-hand gifts at birth. In fact, they are more inclined to buy second-hand products for their child than others. 47% of respondents have considered buying a second-hand book for their child. Also, 38% of them have a child of a relative. Similarly, 47% of French people would be prepared to buy second-hand furniture for their own child, but only 33% for their relative’s child.
In conclusion, the French are turning more and more to secondhand, whether online (68%) or in physical locations (68%). Websites and applications selling second-hand products, such as Backmarket, Laboncoin, Vinted, Selancy and Amazon Warehouse, are the main channels used by the French to find second-hand products (53%). Young people prefer online platforms for their second-hand purchases (81%). By adopting secondhand, the French express their ecological concern while responding to economic constraints. They appreciate the quality of second-hand products as well as the variety of items available, whether casual or luxury.
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