Young Chinese are more willing to buy second-hand. A recent report by CBN Data show that the younger the consumer, the more open they are to purchasing previously-used products.
- 58% of those born between 1990-1994 agreed with the statement “As long as something is usable, I don’t care if it’s new.”
- That number rises to 69% for the 1995-1999 age group.
A few more tidbits:
- 84% of total respondents said they’d purchased a second-hand product in the last year, and 54% said they bought more second-hand this year products than last.
- Mobile phones are the most commonly purchased second-hand product, followed by books.
- Different age groups by second-hand for different reasons: Gen-95 because “it’s about the same as buying new”, gen-90 because they like to try before they buy, and gen-85 because they’re concerned about protecting the environment.
- Respondents said the biggest inconvenience in buying was an inability to verify the reliability of the seller.
Why it matters
The Chinese market has been, until very recently, famously adverse to buying second-hand products, which were seen as tainted (Financial Times):
Second-hand goods are traditionally thought of as inferior in Chinese culture, although such perceptions are changing among younger, open-minded consumers in major cities.
“My mother was shocked when I told her I have sold Rmb210,000 ($31,900) worth of used goods online. She cannot imagine buying someone’s unwanted stuff,” says Shen Jiangan, a 39-year-old civil servant in Hangzhou.
But the surge in interest has been driven forward by apps like Xian Yu (闲鱼), which facilitates the sale of unused personal items or overstock.
Putting it all together, it’s another indication that Chinese consumption patterns are changing fast.
Data is based on the results of a December 2018 survey by CBN Data. The 1532 survey respondents were between the ages of 19 and 48. The survey was conducted in cooperation with Sesame Credit (芝麻信用), to explore how social-credit can drive “easy consumption”.