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New OfferUp Study Reveals Pre-Owned Gifting Is Gaining Popularity This Holiday Season Amid Soaring Inflation

  • 78%, or 259 million Americans, are likely to buy pre-owned gifts this holiday season to avoid the rising cost of items at retail stores.

  • 51% of Americans say inflation is a driving factor in their willingness to purchase pre-owned holiday gifts, followed by the need to find out-of-stock gifts (29%) and avoid shipping delays (27%).

  • 86% of Americans are likely to price check a gift on online resale platforms before purchasing.

  • Pre-owned gifts are losing their stigma overall, with 3 in 4 Americans agreeing it has become more socially acceptable to give pre-owned holiday gifts.

According to a new survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OfferUp, the largest mobile marketplace in the U.S. for local buyers and sellers, Americans are showing an increased willingness to buy and receive pre-owned holiday gifts this year amid soaring inflation, cost-of-living increases, and concerns around product retail availability. The 2022 OfferUp Recommerce Report: Holiday Special Release reveals that 78%, or 259 million Americans, will likely buy pre-owned gifts this holiday season to avoid the rising cost of items at retail stores.

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Inflation is Driving Willingness to Buy Pre-Owned Holiday Gifts

Rising prices and economic uncertainty have made buying and selling pre-owned an appealing – and sometimes necessary – option for most Americans this holiday season. According to OfferUp’s study, 51% of Americans say inflation is a driving factor in their willingness to purchase pre-owned holiday gifts, followed by the need to find out-of-stock gifts (29%), avoid shipping delays (27%) and avoid the stress of in-store shopping (26%). In the wake of supply chain issues, 37% surveyed say they need to start their holiday gift shopping earlier each year to make sure they get the items they want.

Rising retail prices are also leaving many shoppers with holiday sticker shock. OfferUp’s survey revealed that 43% of Americans have noticed prices for most of the gifts they want to purchase are considerably higher than they’ve ever been. As a result, the majority of Americans are engaging in comparison shopping to find the best deal, with 86% saying they are likely to price check a gift on online resale platforms before buying it at retail price.

While many are turning to resale to save on purchases, some are using online resale marketplaces as a tool to fund their holiday budgets. In the face of rising prices, 31% of Americans said they have sold items on online resale platforms this year to be able to pay for holiday gifts.

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Pre-Owned Gifts Are Losing Their Stigma This Holiday Season

As wallets tighten and recession fears loom, Americans are embracing resale more than ever before. According to OfferUp’s findings, the stigma associated with buying and selling pre-owned items is quickly dwindling as 3 in 4 Americans agree that it has become more socially acceptable to give pre-owned holiday gifts.

When compared to previous years:

  • 82% of Americans are more open to receiving pre-owned holiday gifts
  • 80% are purchasing fewer full-priced holiday gifts this holiday season
  • 75% are more open to gifting pre-owned items
  • 71% are purchasing more gifts on online resale platforms

While buying and receiving pre-owned gifts is increasing in popularity, resale’s overall surge extends well beyond the holiday season. OfferUp’s fourth-annual Recommerce Report, published in August 2022, found that 82% of Americans now buy and/or sell pre-owned — about the same number of Americans that own a smartphone. According to the report, shoppers are turning to recommerce to purchase everything from electronics, furniture, home goods, home improvement, sporting goods, outdoor equipment, and auto parts. In fact, over the next five years, the recommerce market is expected to grow by 80% and hit $289 billion by 2027.