Second-hand keeps growing strong in the EU

February 8, 2024 by
Frank Calviño

The second-hand luxury goods market in Europe keeps growing strong. With an estimated of around three billion U.S. dollars in 2023, and Central & Western Europe accounting for roughly 62% of the total market revenue, second-hand luxury has become a profitable sector that is pushing some of the leading luxury global brands to try their luck in it. 

According to Statista estimates, the European second-hand luxury goods market is set to see an increase, reaching over 4.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2028. The second-hand luxury market comprises apparel, footwear, leather goods, jewelry, watches, and eyewear purchased via platforms for second-hand luxury goods.

This rise of second-hand luxury products has brought multiple second-hand luxury marketplaces to the game. Among the most popular are: 1stDibs, By Rotation — a fashion rental service — HURR —  a bag rental with resale functionalities via direct messages to the brands  —  and obviously The RealReal, currently the world’s largest online marketplace for authenticated luxury resale, hosting more than 25 million members. 

Second-hand products will keep growing in the EU 

But it is not only the luxury second-hand products the ones getting a lot of love from the EU citizen. All second-hand products — regardless of the category —  seem to have increase their acceptance.  

In a survey of 5,000 European consumers across Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain, Adevinta found that half (50%) of all respondents plan to spend less this Christmas due to the high cost of living.

As a result, most people (64%) are considering purchasing second-hand items over the festive period this year. The most cited reasons as to why consumers are considering shopping for second-hand items are the need to save money (47%) and a desire to shop more sustainably (37%).

Second-hand gifts are also an option

Last year, nearly one-third (32%) of European consumers turned to the second-hand market for their Christmas shopping needs. The most purchased items were home decorations (45%), gifts for friends or family (39%), and clothing for themselves (36%). Of those considering buying second-hand this year, one-quarter (25%) reported that they like gifting retro or nostalgic items, and a similar proportion (24%) stated they like sourcing items locally.

While many consumers turn to the second-hand market this festive season to cut costs, some hold reservations about preloved gifting. Over a third (35%) of those who did not buy second-hand items last year stated that they prefer to buy brand new, and 40% stated that they don’t want to give used items as gifts.

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