Dare to give the gift second hand

A bicycle, a beautiful knight’s castle, a desk for a child’s room, two desks even, a backpack, some comics and more. All these purchases are cheaper if you go through the “second hand” channel.


Does this mean that we dare to take the plunge when it comes to end-of-year purchases? According to a survey conducted by For-sale.co.uk (which has been in the top 10 most popular sites in England for the past year), nearly one in five English Internet users say they have, at least once, offered a second-hand Christmas gift purchased on a classified ad site; 12% even admit that they have already re-sold a gift they didn’t like, according to the survey conducted among 3,000 visitors to the site during the first two weeks of December. The same is true of the study conducted in November by the iVox office. According to the survey, 4 out of 10 people are not bothered by receiving a second-hand gift. Among online shoppers, 78% prefer the opportunity because it is cheaper, with 33% indicating that the quality of the items in question is generally as good as that of new items.

“Generally speaking, December is a big month, both in terms of sales and purchases,” they say at eBay. “From the beginning of the month, many sellers put products online especially for Christmas shopping. So we are seeing growth again this year and this weekend, we even saw an increase in the number of visits of around 26%. People are increasingly reflexing to go on eBay for convenience, to avoid braving bad weather or queues in shops. And they are attracted by good deals. And he added: At the beginning of December, a mobile phone, a typical Christmas gift, was sold every 45 minutes. The rate went up to a cell phone every 20 minutes this weekend.”

For its part, the Cash Converters subsidiary also perceives an increasing trend towards the purchase of almost new and second-hand quality products for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. And the turnover for the last month of the year follows the trend. In 2008, it was 30% higher than in other months. This time, “the beginning of the month was good, until last Thursday,” says Chantal Heymans, director in Belgium, “but the weekend didn’t go as well as it should have, because of the weather. We hope there will be a postponement to the last few days if the thaw persists.”

The year should end with a 10% increase in turnover (compared to +16% in 2008). The crisis has played its part. “We have more customers with small baskets and we have adapted our purchase and sale prices to avoid having too much stock.” What sells best in December? “Everything that revolves around video games, consoles, DVDs, GPS and mobile phones…” At Trom.com,“small pieces of furniture that can be used anywhere, decorative items and even living rooms are selling well.