Younger Brits leading rise in second-hand electronics sales

As retailers start planning ahead of the ‘golden quarter’, new research from eBay Ads uncovers that consumers are set to prioritise ‘pre-loved’ electronics purchases, with younger generations leading the charge in the rising popularity of refurbished tech.

The findings show an avid interest in buying second-hand electronics from consumers, with the reasons for this being twin track – almost one in three (31%) consumers say they are more likely to buy second-hand electronics this year to save money, whilst 28% plan to do so in order to shop more sustainably.

This is particularly prominent amongst the younger generations of consumers, as almost half (47%) of 25-34 year olds and 38% of those aged 16-24 report they’re now more likely to buy second-hand or refurbished electronics as a means to save money. Similarly, almost four in ten (38%) between the ages 16-34 say they’re likely to buy second-hand electronics this year in an effort to try and shop sustainably.

Search data from highlights this growing demand for pre-loved tech, as searches for ‘refurbished’ in the electronics category increased by around 130% in November 2022 compared to the previous month1.

Black Friday: still a boon for sellers

Almost a quarter (23%) of consumers earmark Black Friday as the time to make their technology purchases – particularly younger shoppers. For instance, 34% of 16-34 year olds assign Black Friday as the moment in the year to buy tech, and over a quarter (27%) have already started thinking about what they want to buy during this year’s sale.

For many, this moment sustains their gadget shopping for the next twelve months. Indeed, almost four in ten (36%) of 16-34 year olds say they do a lot of their electronics shopping for the entire year during Black Friday, as do a fifth (21%) of all UK consumers. A similar amount (37% of 25-34 and 47% of 16-24 year olds respectively) reveal they often make the most of Black Friday to get discounts on their purchases.

Items across the electronics category have the potential to soar this year – on last year’s Black Friday, searches on for ‘video games consoles’ and ‘desktop’ rose by over 115% and 80% respectively when compared to the same day the week before.1

…and the opportunity beyond

Whilst Black Friday undeniably remains a key moment in the retail calendar, the research also shows that many shoppers also look beyond this landmark day for their electronics purchases. Over half (52%) of consumers report that they make their electronics purchases throughout the year, not just Black Friday.

Moreover, the impact of the cost of living crisis appears to be enduring – almost a third (31%) of consumers say that the cost of living crisis has led them to buy more second hand items across the year instead of waiting for sales like Black Friday.

“Black Friday garnered its reputation worldwide for being a time of year where consumers splash out on brand new tech for bargain prices. Yet, as consumers seek value based deals as well as the desire to shop sustainably, we’re seeing demand for refurbished and second-hand tech rising rapidly – particularly amongst younger consumers. This desire is only set to keep growing, and brands and sellers would do well to factor this growing shift into plans in the run up to Black Friday, but also beyond.”

Upasana Gupta, GM, eBay Ads UK

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Consumer research undertaken on behalf of eBay by Censuswide, with fieldwork conducted between 1st and 5th June 2023. The survey sample was 1,002 nationally representative UK respondents. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

1 Supporting data points from eBay Ads refers to search volume on, Oct-Nov 2022.

  • Supporting data points from eBay Ads refer to search volume on

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