When second-hand comes first

Consumer behavior is changing as people are careful how they spend their money and are even finding takers for their used things that they would earlier just dump

By Jiang Chenglong | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-04 07:17
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An offline store of Zhuanzhuan, a pre-owned electronic products trading platform, in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on Jan 24. MA JIAN/FOR CHINA DAILY

Additionally, Yang believes that given the current economic downturn, college students tend to prefer cheaper second-hand goods so long as they are not compromising much on quality.

But she emphasizes that this trend also reflects a more mature consumption pattern among youths nowadays. "Previously, I didn't care how much I was spending. But now, I will go for something that is cost-effective," she said. "Because money should be spent where it's needed the most, and if you can save a little here and there, you can do more things in the long run."

Twenty-one-year-old Zhang Chenye, another university student based in Beijing, said that she and her friends are increasingly focusing on selecting products that best suit them when shopping, rather than blindly following trends. "Before buying cameras or phones, my friends and I often research online to find the most suitable and cost-effective options, considering factors such as their models and the release date," she said. "On the one hand, it's because as we grow older, we have a more comprehensive understanding of the market prices of common goods and our own purchasing power. On the other hand, personally speaking, our daily expenses have increased over time, and we realize that earning money is not easy ... so we seek value for money in our purchases."

Social attributes

Second-hand trading has brought about some social attributes that are increasingly drawing young people in.

Feng noted that there are many niche cultures, such as JK uniforms, attracting many young people, but their limited availability is behind the increasing volume of secondhand transactions.

"Many enthusiasts can recognize people with the same hobbies and interests in the second-hand market, so you can develop your own social circle this way, which is also a unique aspect of the second-hand market," he said.

Peng Chengcheng contributed to this story.

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