Survey Finds Booming Second Hand Economy in Singapore

Over 80% of Singaporeans trading pre-owned goods to defray cost of living in world’s most expensive city

Singapore, 18 March 2014 – Singaporeans are taking advantage of the growing second hand economy, as shown in a recent study commissioned by Gumtree, Singapore’s number one free online classifieds[1]. This growing trend has largely been driven by attempts to defray the increasing cost of living in what the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has ranked as the most expensive city in the world to live in.

According to Gumtree’s study, more than 80% of Singaporeans are already purchasing pre-owned goods, while 76% of them are selling goods they no longer need. In addition, more than half of those surveyed intended to continue purchasing pre-owned items in the near future.

Dollar Savings the Key Motivator for Trading in Second Hand Economy

The generation of additional income was a key motivator for the majority of sellers. The study showed that almost half of active sellers earned a three- or four-digit annual income from just selling second hand goods and almost half of the participants indicated that selling used goods allowed them to offset their growing cost of living.

Similarly, money-saving was the major benefit for buyers. With 74% having purchased a second hand item in the last 12 months, the average spend per buyer in 2013 on pre-owned items was over $125. A third of buyers also shared that they could save up to 60% off an item’s retail price when buying a pre-owned product compared to a new one.

The most popular pre-owned items in terms of trading volume are Clothes & Accessories, Consumer Electronics, Furniture and Books, both on the supply and demand side. Buyers also noted that they were able to find rare collectibles or out-of-stock items through the second hand economy.

Over 10 Trading Activities on Gumtree Every Minute

As the cost of living in Singapore continues to increase, more consumers are expected to explore ways to make their money go further. The second hand economy is an excellent option, providing access to products at affordable prices, thus cushioning the impact of inflation. “Our observations show that Singaporeans are increasingly leveraging the second hand economy, with registering almost a 100% year over year growth in online traffic and more than 10 trading activities being monitored on the website every minute,” said Terry Wong, Regional Product Director, Gumtree Singapore.

Corresponding to the above numbers, the survey also revealed that online sites, such as forums and classifieds websites like Gumtree, are fast-becoming the preferred platform for trading second hand goods due to their hassle-free and immediate nature. “The growth in volume of online traffic and trading activities on Gumtree makes it an attractive marketplace for sellers to post ads of their pre-owned items for sale as it offers greater exposure compared to an offline platform,” added Wong.

Trading goods on classifieds websites like Gumtree is easy. People can post an item for sale – free of charge – in just a few easy steps without requiring sign-ups, making the process simple and cost-effective; whilst buyers enjoy the ease of search and discovery of any item which is accessible online, 24/7. Users can also buy and sell on-the-go with Gumtree’s mobile apps available on iOS and Android.

The study was conducted in February 2014 and polled 1,000 Singaporean adults. Of the participants, 52% were female and 48% were male. The median annual household income (before tax) of the participants was $71,098.

[1] comScore Media Metrix January 2014

About Gumtree

Gumtree was founded in 2000 as a community site in London to help Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans find a job, a place to stay and everything else needed to settle in, including furniture and new friends. The Gumtree spirit remains cheerfully local and filled with passion. The power of the platform is the ability to fulfil the core need of finding immediate value across a range of categories, especially in housing, jobs, goods and services. It’s now the leading classifieds site in the UK, Australia, South Africa and Singapore, with a high-profile presence also in Hong Kong, New Zealand and Poland.

In Singapore, Gumtree has over 600,000 unique visitors and over 10 million page views every month, about 170,000 live listings and over 6,000 new listings per day.

Globally, the website attracts 14 million unique visitors every month, boasting 4.5 million live listings, more than 200,000 new listings per day – a triple-digit year-on-year growth, and close to 1.5 billion page views per month.

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