Skip navigation and search
Open in Microsoft Edge
Tracking Tracking

Almost half of consumers have bought second-hand items online

In addition to our extra surveys on the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 year’s theme is to examine the growing online second-hand retail trade.

How common is it to buy second hand/used items and where are they purchased?

The answer to the first question is that about half of those who have made online purchases in the E-barometern survey also state that they purchased second-hand items online at some point during the year. In this respect, however, there are clear differences between the consumer groups. Women are admittedly only slightly more inclined to buy second-hand, but young women make the most purchases of all – primarily clothing and footwear. However, relatively few purchase second-hand/used items online on a regular basis. Only 10 percent state that they bought second-hand items more than five times during the year.


The most popular marketplace for second-hand items online is Tradera. 32 percent of e-commerce consumers state that Tradera is their favourite. Then comes Facebook, which has moved into second place with 27 percent, ahead of Blocket at 25. The reason for Facebook’s popularity is the amount of users, but also the fact that it is free. Private buying and selling initiatives also occur on the platform.

Furniture and interior decor are the most popular second-hand items
to buy online

The most popular product category when purchasing second hand online is furniture and interior design. Almost a third of those who have purchased second-hand items online have made a purchase in this category, and the propensity to purchase second-hand household items is about the same in all age groups. One reason for its popularity is that larger furniture, such as tables and chairs, are relatively expensive products and generally have a long life. This makes the products particularly suitable for resale, and it has therefore been relatively common for a long time to buy second-hand furniture online.


Clothing and footwear end up in second place, which a quarter of those who bought second-hand items online have purchased. The product category is particularly popular in the 18–49 age group, with more than 30 percent ordering at least one item. One of the companies that has noticed this great interest is Sellpy, which collects clothing and footwear from consumers and then resells them in its own web shop. In 2020, it expanded its warehouse space and hired new employees, but still finds it difficult to meet the high demand.

In third place come children’s items and toys, which 23 percent of those who purchased second-hand items online bought. The fact that this category is particularly popular is hardly surprising. As children’s needs change rapidly, many items are only used for a short time, and they are therefore particularly well suited for resale. It is hardly surprising that people between the ages of 30 and 45 stand out as major consumers in this category, as this age group is the main group of parents of young children. One company that has had success in the sub-sector is the relatively newly started Parently.

The price is the main driver to buy second-hand items

E-commerce relating to second-hand items is attracting more and more companies and platforms. This is partly due to the fact that both e-commerce and second-hand retail have been strong trends in recent years and consumer demand is growing.

When people in Sweden buy second-hand/used items online, it is currently mainly because they are cheaper. Getting a good price for an item that someone else has already used is an easy way to reduce the cost for those who want to save a bit of money. 42 percent of those who bought second- hand/used items online state this as the most substantial argument for making second-hand purchases.


The sustainability and environmental aspect also weighs heavily for many people. Nearly a third of respondents say this is their main reason for making second-hand purchases. The percentage is particularly high among women and younger people. The sustainability aspect is the most important for women between the ages of 18 and 29, where almost half state that sustainability is the top reason for their second-hand purchases. It is also this group
in the E-barometern’s material that consumes a lot of fashion items, which can make it more important to try to shop sustainably compared to those who do not consume as much.

The final key reason to buy second-hand/used items is the huge range
of items on offer. This is a particularly important reason for older men. This
is probably due at least in part to the consumption of specific products that are not as easy to obtain – or are not even available new – such as certain types of vehicle accessories, collectibles or art.

Source: The E-barometern annual report 2020

PostNord – a partner for e-commerce

We provide distribution solutions all over the world and are the biggest and obvious partner for e-commerce in the Nordic market. We have a harmonized, Nordic logistics service offering, ranging from retail supplies and third-party logistics to product distribution and returns processing. With the widest-ranging distribution network in the Nordic region, we shrink the distance between e-commerce and the end-customer.

Using factbased customer insights, we enhance our customers’ profitability by means of communication solutions and platforms that reach the right customer in the right channel at the right time.

Download the full report

Thanks for submitting the form #First name#!

You can now download the E-barometern 2020 annual report.

​​​​​​​​Hope it gives you valuable insights!