Secondhand-Trends 2021


Respondents indicated that their behaviour is different when purchasing second-hand items than for new goods. Again, their answers confirmed the picture painted in the previous year.

  • Survey results show that again in 2021, the most frequently purchased items were from the categories hobby and leisure items and furniture and furnishings. A third of respondents said that they regularly or occasionally buy items from these categories.
  • Just over a quarter occasionally or regularly buy or bid on second-hand items from the categories electronic goods and telecommunications and visual and audio media – for example, DVDs, CDs or records.
  • Shoes, however, are not a particularly popular item: only one in seven said that they occasionally or regularly purchase second-hand shoes online. More than two thirds of respondents said that this is out of the question entirely and they never buy used shoes.

Who buys second-hand items online?

An analysis of online second-hand shopping habits revealed that generally very few differences exist between social classes. The study results did not indicate that any groups were more inclined to make second-hand purchases online due to budget restrictions.

  • Again in 2021, those with a higher income were more likely to occasionally buy second-hand items online, and those with a low or mid-level of income occasionally to regularly buy second-hand items online. The studies in 2020 and 2021 show no differences in this regard.
  • In 2021, people in Switzerland with a low level of income purchased second-hand items primarily from the following categories: handbags, backpacks and suitcases, visual and audio media, electronic goods and telecommunications, and furniture and other furnishings.
  • Second-hand clothing was again bought primarily by those with lower incomes. The number of children in a household was also a decisive factor: as a rule of thumb, the more children in a household, the more likely people are to buy second-hand clothing online. In the other product categories, no difference in buying behaviour was seen in terms of the number of children.
  • People with a mid-level of income, on the other hand, are more likely to buy hobby and leisure items.
  • The vast majority (77%) said they spend up to CHF 50 per month on online shopping orders, with another 16% indicating that they spend between CHF 50 and CHF 100. Only 7% of respondents spend more than CHF 100 online shopping per month. These expenditure levels have not changed compared with the study in 2020.

What is associated with buying second-hand items online?

  • The geographical distribution is striking: the number of respondents from eastern Switzerland, Zurich and the Lake Geneva region who stated that they occasionally or regularly buy second-hand items online was higher than in other regions.
  • Shopping for second-hand items online is primarily associated with ‘freedom’, ‘happiness’ and ‘curiosity’.
  • It is rarely associated with ‘perfection’ or ‘control’. The most common associations are ‘happiness’ and ‘’spontaneity.
  • Respondents indicated that they associate buying second-hand items online least strongly with ‘expensive’ and ‘hygienic’, but particularly strongly with ‘affordable’, ‘budget friendly’ and ‘good value for money’.
  • Women are more likely to consider second-hand purchases ‘necessary’ than men. They are also more likely to associate second-hand shopping with ‘vintage’ than men, but are less likely to consider it ‘hygienic’.
  • Second-hand shopping is considered significantly more strongly as ‘necessary’ in Mittelland and the Lake Geneva region. In eastern Switzerland, second-hand shopping is associated significantly less with ‘lifestyle’, and in Zurich less strongly with ‘uniqueness’.
  • It is also striking that the higher the level of education, the stronger the associations with descriptors such as ‘sustainable’, ‘trendy’, ‘high quality’ and ‘lifestyle’.

Photos de la Direction avec et sans couleur de fond en fichier ZIP

Logo à télécharger dans toutes les versions