High-end used goods woo younger generation

By HE QI in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2022-06-09 07:50
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Handbags are on offer at ZZER, a secondhand e-commerce platform. According to a report, the main consumers in China's secondhand luxury market are 24 to 36 years old. HE QI/CHINA DAILY

Thousands of secondhand items traded in nation each day

Li Li, 29, a white-collar worker in Shanghai, spent 5,000 yuan ($788) buying a secondhand mobile phone from her friend. The device had only been used for one year and the price she paid was about half that for a new phone.

Although Li could easily have afforded to buy a brand-new product, she said she simply could not refuse such a good deal, as she really needed a phone.

Li sells used products online, and in the two years since she registered for the secondhand e-commerce platform ZZER, she has sold nearly 14,000 yuan of such goods, including clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories. She recently sold a hoodie, which she bought for 1,580 yuan three years ago, for 319 yuan.

"All the goods I sell are carefully selected. To me, they are idle products, but that doesn't mean they are worthless to others," said Li, who used to sell her used clothes to thrift stores when she studied in New York.

A flourishing market for secondhand items has existed in most Chinese cities for decades.

According to a report last year by the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy at Tsinghua University and consulting company Frost & Sullivan, the scale of China's secondhand goods market rose from about 300 billion yuan in 2015 to more than 1 trillion yuan in 2020.

This market, which covers nearly all categories of consumer goods, is expected to reach 3 trillion yuan in 2025, the report said.

With more people now exchanging used goods, high-end products have become an important part of this rapidly developing market, thanks to changing attitudes among the younger generation.

A report released last year by market research company Ebrun said the main consumers in China's secondhand luxury market are 24 to 36 years old, and many of the younger generation no longer think secondhand is a derogatory term. Instead, visiting secondhand luxury stores has become a new trend for them.

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