With rising concerns about the environmental and ethical costs of the consumer goods industry worldwide, secondhand retail has seen growing importance over recent years. In the United Kingdom (UK), there are over 3,800 stores specialized in selling secondhand goods. During 2021, sales in these stores saw a tremendous growth of 27.2 percent in value, a clear indication of increased consumer interest in the secondhand market. The UK also plays a key role in trading secondhand and used goods worldwide. In 2018, it ranked as the world’s second biggest exporter of used clothing, with exports valuing at approximately 541.41 million U.S. dollars.
Besides online marketplaces, one of the most common types of secondhand stores in the UK is the charity shop. In 2020, sales in charity shops were around 700 million British pounds since 2017. British Heart Foundation was the most popular charity with the British public in 2022.
Secondhand buyers and sellers
Globally, the UK is one of the leading countries where consumers are well-acquainted and practiced with buying and selling secondhand items. A 2022 survey found out that four in 10 consumers purchased secondhand goods, while another one-third of consumers sold their used items on the secondhand market.
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