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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


The second-hand economy is not only alive and well – it is thriving.

Kijiji is out with their fifth annual report on the topic and it shows the second-hand economy hit an all-time high amid a growing trend of consumers wanting to be more socially responsible.

According to the report, four out five Canadians bought second-hand in 2018, making the second-hand economy worth $27.3 billion, which represents about 1.2 per cent of GDP. This is big business.

The average individual earned $961 and saved an average of $723 each year over the past five years, according to the survey, which translates into more than $8,400 in earnings and savings.

People aged 45 and under are the most active generation shopping second-hand, with 88 per cent participation and 100 items exchanged each year, according to Kijiji.

Part of what’s bolstering the second-hand economy is the availability of technology, which makes buying and selling easier, consumers aiming to have a positive impact on their fellow citizens and the community and society as a whole. And we can’t underestimate how important ecological motivations are reflecting a national focus on protecting the planet and reducing waste.

The good news is that we really don’t need more stuff, and clearly the stigma around buying, selling and re-gifting is fading. And when that happens, there is a knock-on effect that has huge benefits. Here are some of them.

1. You will have more money for the things you really need, frequently use, and truly desire. You eliminate the mindless spending.
2. People will work to earn more money to buy more things. Lifestyle inflation creeps in. Spend less, work less to have more time for the things that really matter.
3. You feel better. Debt can lead to stress and sleepless nights.
4. You have fewer regrets or the post-purchase blues when you spend needlessly.