Second-hand market in the UK continues to rise

George at Asda launches second-hand vintage range

The second-hand market has seen a transformation in recent years. Charity shops and pre-owned items used to revolve around a niche consumer base, whereas now they’re attracting Brits all over the UK. The second-hand market has soared in popularity and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down. It’s an industry worth exploring, as it is packed with potential for both consumers and business owners. 

Increasingly popular

The past year, in particular, has seen a significant rise in the second-hand market. With high streets being closed due to the pandemic, consumers turned to online retail to fulfil their shopping needs. eBay revealed its lockdown data and it reported two secondhand fashion items were sold every three seconds between January and July 2020. The data showed there had been a 404% year-on-year increase in pre-loved sales since 2018. Brits were also turning toward second-hand clothing apps like Depop and Vinted. Some wonder whether High Street brands will start using these apps.


It’s not just the fashion retailers that are seeing an increase in the second-hand market. A wide variety of industries have seen their second-hand sales soar. From sporting gear to household furniture, and even vehicles. The population is shifting gears with their shopping habits and trying out the second-hand market. There are plenty of opportunities for all aspects of life. For instance, the increase in golf’s popularity has led to players looking for new clubs. Golf clubs can be a very expensive purchase, so many have looked to buy their drivers, putters and golf irons from second-hand retailers. For those interested in exploring the market themselves, there’ll be an abundance of options. 

Why second-hand

So why are people turning towards the second-hand market? There are two main factors that have acted as a catalyst for the increase in interest. One is the change in the economy and the challenges from Covid. People want to make money from their second-hand items, as well as find deals themselves. The second is the environment. People are becoming more eco-conscious with their shopping habits. This is particularly prevalent in the younger generation. More than half of 25-to-34-year-olds buy second-hand clothes.

Charity shops

It’s also worth exploring where people are doing their shopping. The online second-hand market certainly saw an increase in consumers, but with shops beginning to re-open, charity shops are experiencing a boost in their sales too. The British Heart Foundation and Salvation Army had their busiest day of sales when shops were able to open for the first time in April. This shows the consumer’s mindset of wanting to buy from sustainable places and be more thrifty with their shopping choices. 

It’s expected this trend in the second-hand market place isn’t going anywhere and is likely to increase in popularity. Consumers are changing their shopping habits and it’s interesting to see what the market will look like in a few years. Do you ever shop second-hand?