eBay Recommerce Report

eBay’s Resurgence in Recommerce Is Being Led by Gen Z Shoppers


A new generation of buyers and sellers is embracing recommerce, according to eBay’s second annual Recommerce Report, released today.

Recommerce is also known as reverse commerce and refers to the sale of previously owned, new or used products. This concept of commerce is at the heart of eBay’s start as the very first product sold by company founder Pierre Omidyar was a broken laser pointer.

While recommerce never disappeared from the marketplace, over the years it may have taken a back seat to a strategy of favoring new products, competing with other online retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.

But that is changing again as eBay’s latest recommerce report suggests.

Generation Z is leading the charge to create a new breed of influential shoppers on eBay who love to buy pre-owned items versus new ones, and it isn’t just a pandemic trend or supply chain shortage phenomenon that’s driving this resurgence.

Sustainability is driving the desire for Gen Z shoppers to search out and buy pre-owned products due to their concern for the health and future of the planet.

In turn, this brings opportunities for sellers that offer pre-owned or refurbished products on eBay.

“Empowering people and creating economic opportunity for all is at the heart of everything we do at eBay – and the ripple effect of our work creates waves of change. Our marketplace allows people to rediscover the value of secondhand items with the added bonus of contributing to a more prosperous, more sustainable future for everyone,” said Jamie Iannone, CEO, eBay.

Top Highlights From the Survey

  • 80% of Gen Z bought secondhand goods on eBay.
  • Nearly 1-in-3 also began selling them on the platform within the last year.
  • Gen Z represents the largest generational category of new sellers at 32%.
  • Millennials are not to be forgotten and 16% began selling secondhand goods in the past year.
  • 82% of respondents reported selling secondhand items consistently for over two years on eBay.
  • 12% of survey respondents globally started selling pre-owned items in the past year. In some countries, eBay’s survey showed that the figure is even much higher – in Canada, it’s 22%; in Italy, 21%; and in the US, 17%.

Collectibles Gain Strength on eBay

For the first time, collectible items have made their way onto the survey. eBay’s survey shows that Collectibles (which include trading cards, toys, art, sports memorabilia, coins, and bullion) continues to be one of the top categories on eBay.

Especially, the trading cards category is growing at a notable pace, with US trading cards General Merchandise Volume (GMV) hitting $2 billion in transactions in the first half of 2021. That is equal to all of 2020.

Additional Key Findings

  • In the US, 63% of people who sell pre-owned goods on eBay find them around their house.
  • About 72% of responding sellers say that buying pre-owned has become more common.
  • 64% of respondents believe it is easier to sell secondhand products now.
  • Additionally, 48% said they sell more pre-owned goods today than they did several years ago.

Click here to read eBay’s full Recommerce Report to learn more about how the secondhand market is creating economic opportunities for sellers while also contributing to a healthier planet.

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