Recommerce in Canada: Pre-owned/Used Product Sales (Stats)

Virtually any Canadian can sell used goods online. It’s often an introduction and gateway into ecommerce. Individuals are motivated by concerns for the environment, powered by a desire to earn more money, and inspired by hobbies.

Used Product Sales in Canada

72 percent of eBay sellers believe buying used goods has become more common.

According to recent research conducted by Vinted, over a third of Canadians have already purchased pre-loved fashion items, and more than half of the respondents who didn’t would consider buying or selling second-hand fashion online. Vinted was so impressed by the potential of the Canadian market, they decided to open one of their online marketplaces here.

Recommerce (selling used or excess products) in general is growing 20 times faster than the broader retail market and 5 times faster than off-price retailers.

C2C Recommerce

While many are turning it into an online business, there is still a large number of individual, consumer-to-consumer (C2C) sellers offering used goods in online marketplaces. For a recent survey, eBay defined C2C sellers as those with less than $10,000 gross merchandise value (GMV) or fewer than 25 transactions in a year.

  • Part of the reason many individuals are selling previously-owned products online is how easy it is. Sixty-four percent of sellers say selling used products has become easier in the past year.
  • Twenty-two percent of Canadians started selling pre-owned items online for the first time in the past year, nearly double the average of all those surveyed (12%).
  • Forty-eight percent say they’re selling more used goods now than they did in the past several years.
  • The primary reason individuals start selling previously-owned items is to supplement their income.
  • 52% of female respondents stated they sell used items online for economic reasons.
  • 63% of Gen Z respondents said they sell pre-owned goods for economic reasons, up from 46% last year.
  • Sixteen percent of Canadians say environmental concerns are the primary reason for selling used goods online.
  • Thirty-one percent of Canadians said the “circular economy” (using products for a longer time) is their primary reason, 11 percent higher than average.

The Most Popular Used Items Sold Online

Online shopping marketplaces make it easy for people to buy or sell used items. Consumers buy & sell pre-owned products most often on Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Craigslist.

In North America, sneakers, watches and collectibles are the most popular used items sold online, according to eBay.

Jungle Scout reported the top ten secondhand categories globally are:

  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Sporting Goods
  • Watches
  • Tools and Home Care Items
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Bikes

2021 Secondhand Clothing Sales

To increase your chances of success, take the time to research markets and focus on certain niches. The vast majority of successful sellers use tools like Jungle Scout to stay on top of demand and competition in specific niches and markets.

Do you sell used goods online? Please share your recommerce advice or questions in the comments below, or join us in the Online Business Canada Facebook group.

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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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