Ever since eBay’s launch in 1995, transactions between consumers (C2C transactions) have been a vital part of their business model. Often, the sellers in C2C transactions are selling a good they had previously used. This is a process known as recommerce, and it is so important and beneficial to a variety of stakeholders that eBay started a new report to discuss it. The highlights of the 2020 Recommerce Report can be read below.
To start, recommerce is on the rise. 72% of US eBay sellers surveyed say that buying pre-owned products has become more common in recent years. Across 5 countries in which eBay operates, the percentage of C2C customers who have bought pre-owned goods in the last year ranges from 81% in the United Kingdom to 68% in Canada.
For the youngest generation (consumers aged 18-24), recommerce has become a common occurrence in 2020. This could be due to the pandemic causing recession and encouraging people to sell old items for income, but the trend could continue if the experience people have with recommerce lifts the stigma surrounding secondhand goods. Either way, eBay benefits from being an online platform during the pandemic because customers do not have to travel to a physical store to buy goods.
The economic opportunity provided by recommerce is a benefit to both the seller and the buyer. A great thing about being a seller in the recommerce market is its low barrier to entry: the average American has 36 household items that could be resold for over $3600. eBay’s established model makes it easy for sellers to put their goods up for auction, and its auction format is a boon to buyers as well. With more consumers looking to shop at affordable price points, the auction system lets buyers and sellers reach a deal that benefits both.
So far, the discussion of recommerce benefits has left out one big player: the planet. Recommerce helps the planet in two major ways. Goods that get resold are diverted from a landfill, and the water, resources, and energy that would have gone into making a new good are spared by recommerce.
Climate-conscious consumers often find recommerce more accessible (and effective) than purchasing new products that were initially produced in an eco-friendly manner. In the fields of apparel and electronics alone, eBay recommerce conserved 720,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. Recommerce offers a benefit for everyone.