The Dutch score the most second-hand bargains in Europe

Research among the citizens of various European countries shows that the Netherlands is the leader when it comes to buying and selling second-hand products online. In the past year, 44 percent say they have bought a second-hand product and half have sold a second-hand product.

Something I missed about living in NL: the absolute RANGE of things you can buy on Marktplaats. In my neighborhood in the last 24 hours? Anything from foot photos to kebab shops to century-old stamps. What a world.

— Dr Brianne Dolce (@bri_dolce) July 22, 2023

Shopping second-hand

In any case, we continue to buy more online every year and we also do that second-hand. The fashion, accessories and shoes category is especially popular. Whether it’s Nike sneakers that you couldn’t buy in the lottery from Nike itself, or baby clothes that another child has completely grown out of: we like to buy something from our fellow countrymen or sell something and earn some pocket money with it.

What we should pay a little more attention to is returns. It is not sustainable at all, but we do it the most of all European countries. 38 percent return a product that does not meet expectations, which is only 18 percent in France. Maybe it’s because our parcel delivery infrastructure is so well put together, or our country is so small, or our consumer regulations are so strict: in any case, we don’t seem to shy away from returning anything, and while it’s better from a customer satisfaction point of view, it’s not too good for the planet. So be a little more aware if you order multiple sizes or something that you already know doesn’t fit your body shape: after all, that will save you a lot of hassle.

Rather not luxury

We like to buy fashion and shoes online, but we also look for a lot of travel online and also buy a lot online (49 percent). We prefer not to buy luxury products online. Perhaps that has to do with the fact that they are usually not on sale, while promotions are the first thing we as consumers look for when shopping online. We want a discount, we want to take advantage of offers and ensure that the product is cheaper, instead of rating quality higher. We do like to buy a well-known brand.

But why do we like to buy online so much, and so much second-hand? That’s mainly because it’s faster than having to cycle to the city, it’s easy and you have a huge choice of products. The latter in particular plays a major role in second-hand purchases: in the local second-hand store you only have so many products, while Marktplaats or Vinted have thousands of pages full of items. Moreover, we like to pay via iDeal, which is quite different from the rest of Europe, which still opts more often for Paypal or Google Pay. iDeal is also very easy to use and you have immediate results: it is immediately debited, while with Paypal, for example, you have to wait a while.

I sold a cot via @Marktplaats
The buyer who came did not speak Dutch: he had fled from Ukraine. His son, who was with him, was mentally handicapped.

He wanted to pay, but I refused the money. “For your son,” I said.

And then I got this.#EvenSwallow

— Doctor ILSE (@ilsezaalavg) July 19, 2023

Learning point: return

While we would do well and sustainably to be more second-hand focused, we are somewhat missing that sustainable mindset when looking at returning items. There we can learn something from other countries, but whatever possibilities there are: we should mainly look at our own behaviour.

Laura Jenny

When she’s not tapping, she’s traveling around the wonderful world of entertainment or some cool place in the real world. Mario is the man of her life,…

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