Second-hand e-commerce gains wider popularity among Chinese consumers

(People's Daily Online) 15:48, January 14, 2022


Lin Min, a post-90s girl from Beijing recently bought a pair of commemorative table tennis rackets from an online second-hand goods trading platform. Apart from the pair of rackets, Lin also bought articles for daily use such as a saute pan, jewelry and even modern drama tickets from the platform.

In fact, Lin is only one within a rising number of users on China’s second-hand e-commerce platforms.

A report released by Analysys, a data analysis institute in China, showed that consumers under the age of 35 have emerged as the driving force behind second-hand e-commerce. Meanwhile, those born after the 1980s and 1990s are not only concerned about performance-to-price ratio, but also willing to pursue premature consumption, and have become the mainstream group seizing the opportunity for consumption upgrading.

Besides, people born between 1995 and 2009 are also potential users of second-hand e-commerce, indicated the report.

It is also interesting to note that nowadays, since many people are habituated to buy or sell idle items such as spare daily necessities, digital products, and household items through online platforms, they often themselves play the role of both buyers and sellers.

“We consumers can buy second-hand goods at more favorable prices, goods that are out of stock or rarely sold on the market, as well as personalized items such as signature rackets on online second-hand goods trading platforms,” introduced Lin, citing the advantages of second-hand e-commerce from the perspective of buyers.

Lin added that such platforms also enable her to sell some of her idle items. “For me, such platforms allow us to recycle idle items," Lin said.

Replacing offline flea markets, second-hand commodities trading platforms now serve as a major marketplace to buy and sell pre-owned goods, having enjoyed a rapidly growing market size.

Sales of second-hand items in China rose rapidly from about 300 billion yuan in 2015 to more than 1 trillion yuan in 2020, according to a report released by Tsinghua University.

The report also showed that the commodities on sale on such platforms cover almost all categories of consumer goods and are expected to be valued at nearly 3 trillion yuan in 2025.

Selling and buying second-hand commodities has now become a new way for conducting sales, featuring a high performance-cost ratio and environmental friendliness, said Zhu Di, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, adding that for young consumers, placing orders on such trading platforms brings a lot of personalized and interesting experiences. 

(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Liang Jun)


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