Use The Second-Hand Economy To Save Money

What do thrift stores, Kijiji, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace all have in common? They’re middlemen in a second-hand economy that can help you save money.


The second-hand economy — used by more than eight in 10 Canadians — is responsible for a whopping 1.23% of Canada’s GDP. In 2018, that percentage equalled $27.3 billion.


From clothes to furniture, electronics to automobiles, the second-hand economy is growing rapidly in Canada for three primary reasons:


  1. Economic
  2. Altruistic
  3. Ecological


Let’s dive deeper into those three motivating factors.




72 per cent of Canadians use the second-hand economy for economic reasons. Put differently, nearly three out of four Canadians want to save money.


The Kijiji Second-Hand Economy Index 2019 shows Canadians as having saved an average of $723 a year from purchasing used goods from sellers on their website. Additionally, Canadians put another $961 dollars in their pocket by selling goods online.


If you are trying to save money or have a limited income and are in need of a product, always make a point to check the second-hand economy before going to the store and buying brand new.




A strong conventional economy is correlated with a strong second-hand economy according to Kijiji’s 2019 report. That would help explain the 69 per cent of people who use the second-hand economy for altruistic reasons.


When buying a fridge, as an example, from an online marketplace, your money is going straight to a member of your community or province and not a big box store. Your money is circulating among the people you live with. Perhaps that $100 fridge you bought is helping a parent put clothes on a newborn or a recent graduate get out of debt.

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Ecological motivations for engaging in the second-hand economy can be broken down into two categories:


  1. Acquisition
  2. Disposal


Acquisition is about extending the life of a product someone else no longer wants. It’s also about not buying a new product when a used one will suffice.


Disposal is about trying to find a home for a product as opposed to throwing it away and it ending up in a landfill.


67 per cent of Canadians cite ecological reasons for their involvement in the second-hand economy. This percentage is expected to climb as people become more conscious of the environmental footprint new products have on our planet.


Looking to the future


Canada’s second-hand economy is going to continue to grow. Currently, 82 per cent of all Canadians engage in this secondary market. That percentage grows to 88 when looking at Canadians aged 45 and under.


Whether you’re buying or selling goods for economic, altruistic, or ecological reasons, you should always consider checking to see if Canada’s thriving second-hand economy has what you’re looking for before choosing to buy new.


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