Second-hand market in the Netherlands - statistics & facts
In recent decades, globalization has made luxury goods and household items much more accessible. Goods that used to be more exclusive and harder to find, such as brand clothing and luxury cars, have been successfully increasing their market reach and sales. For instance, global sports clothing sales have been (and are expected to continue) increasing year on year, while the value of the personal luxury goods market has more than quadrupled in the last 25 years. Whereas the increase in consumerism arguably benefits the global economy, there is a downside to ‘fast fashion’ and conspicuous consumption. They result in large amounts of waste, produce dangerous levels of carbon dioxide, and often involve cheap labor. One way to tackle these issues is to resell and recycle consumer goods, in order to create a more circular economy. In the Netherlands, the second-hand market is already well-developed, and is expected to absorb even more of the 'traditional' retail market in the future.
What do Dutch consumers buy second-hand?
The second-hand market in the Netherlands is not equally developed across all product segments. About a fifth of respondents to a widespread 2022 survey indicated that Dutch consumers had bought second-hand clothing in the past 12 months. In other words, this is the largest second-hand product segment, but it also indicates that the vintage clothing market has room to expand in the Netherlands, given its popularity in other markets like the United States. In the Netherlands, other popular second-hand products included books, movies, and games, as well as shoes, bags, and consumer electronics.
Online and offline channels
Much like in regular non-food retail, second-hand product trade often takes place online. In the Netherlands, consumers enjoy buying and selling used items online, and in the past decade and a half, the number of Dutch people selling items or services online has grown significantly. Some of the country's favorite online marketplaces are Marktplaats (a subsidiary of eBay) and Bol.com, the latter of which is the largest online retailer in the Netherlands. Leading global marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, play a more marginal role in the Netherlands.
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Research expert covering shopping behavior, sports and leisure retail, and the subscriptions and direct selling industry