Brand new second hand: Brits turn to refurbed tech

record-player-2107236_1280The days when games consoles, hi-fi kit and computers were thrown out as soon as an upgrade was available appear to be receding, with Brits – particularly young ones – swooping for refurbished tech to both save money and the planet.

So says the latest study from eBay Ads, timed to coincide with retailers drawing up their plans for the “golden quarter, which reveals an avid interest in consumers for second-hand electronics.

Almost one in three (31%) shoppers say they are more likely to buy second-hand electronics to save money, while over a quarter (28%) plan to do so in order to shop more sustainably.

This is particularly prominent among the younger generations, as almost half (47%) of 25- to 34-year-olds and 38% of those aged 16 to 24 report they are now more likely to buy refurbished electronics as a means to save money. Similarly, almost four in ten (38%) shoppers between the ages 16 and 34 say they are likely to buy second-hand electronics this year in an effort to try and shop sustainably.

Search data from highlights this growing demand for pre-loved tech, as searches for “refurbished” in the electronics category increased by around 130% in November 2022 compared to the previous month.

Almost a quarter (23%) of consumers earmark Black Friday as the time to make their technology purchases – particularly younger shoppers. For instance, 34% of 16 to 34 year olds assign Black Friday as the moment in the year to buy tech, and over a quarter (27%) have already started thinking about what they want to buy during this year’s sale.

For many, this moment sustains their gadget shopping for the next 12 months. Indeed, almost four in ten (36%) of 16-34 year olds say they do a lot of their electronics shopping for the entire year during Black Friday, as do a fifth (21%) of all UK consumers. A similar amount (37% of 25 to 34 and 47% of 16- to 24-year-olds respectively) reveal they often make the most of Black Friday to get discounts on their purchases.

Items across the electronics category have the potential to soar this year – on last year’s Black Friday, searches on for “video games consoles” and “desktop” rose by over 115% and 80% respectively when compared to the same day the week before.

But, while Black Friday undeniably remains a key moment in the retail calendar, the research also shows that many shoppers look beyond this landmark day for their electronics purchases. Over half (52%) of consumers report that they make their electronics purchases throughout the year, not just Black Friday.

Moreover, the impact of the cost of living crisis appears to be enduring – almost a third (31%) of consumers say that the crisis has led them to buy more second-hand items across the year, instead of waiting for sales.

eBay Ads UK general manager Upasana Gupta commented: “Black Friday garnered its reputation worldwide for being a time of year where consumers splash out on brand new tech for bargain prices.

“Yet, as consumers seek value based deals, as well as the desire to shop sustainably, we’re seeing demand for refurbished and second-hand tech rising rapidly – particularly among younger consumers. This desire is only set to keep growing, and brands and sellers would do well to factor this growing shift into plans in the run up to Black Friday, but also beyond.”

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