It seems as though second- hand stores are not as much of a big deal these days, especially if you are looking to spend money on things like fashion, jewellery, or food.
But that is changing as more people start to look for alternative ways to spend their hard earned cash.
A new study conducted by the Centre for Research on Public Policy at the University of Sussex has found that almost half of people who shop in second- and third-hand markets say they would rather use an app to buy a second- or third-handed product.
“It’s really important that we think beyond the box, and think about the wider implications of this,” says Professor Matthew Leech, from the Centre.
“The second-and third-party stores that we’re seeing are the ones that have the potential to have a greater impact on our lives.”
And the potential is there for second hand stores to be a real asset for a wide range of people, including those who have the least access to a secondhand store.
“You could imagine a situation where, if a retailer is selling one of their products on a second hand market, they could also be selling a second product on a different website,” Professor Leech says.
“If you’re looking to buy the same product on the internet, you could do it on your smartphone or a second phone and get a different price.”
Second-hand products are also increasingly being found on third- and fourth-hand websites.
And while second-hands are an integral part of most retailers’ supply chain, they are also frequently sold online, as well as being used in fashion and jewellery.
Professor Lech and his team looked at 1,073 second- handsets and found that over half of the second-hairs were second-branded with third-brand names, like Amazon.com.
This means that if a customer wanted to buy an Amazon product from an Amazon second-hander, they would be able to do so online and save some cash.
“When a customer buys an Amazon.co.uk secondhand product on an online marketplace, they’re going to be buying a product that’s third-branded,” Professor Leo says.
“[They’re] likely to be paying more for it, but the brand is probably going to carry a small risk of losing value.”
Second hand retailers can be a valuable source of savings If you’ve ever bought something from a second or third hand store and found it wasn’t exactly what you expected, you may have noticed the difference in how the product arrived.
For example, a product could arrive in a box that is missing its label.
Or you might find that a product has a small sticker that has been removed.
“They’re also a good source of second-party inventory that we could store,” Professor Peak says.
Prof Peak and his colleagues say the second hand markets could become more viable as people are more aware of the use of third-and fourth-party products, and how they can be used.
“This is a global issue, and it is going to grow in the future,” Professor Peach says.
The researchers also suggest that these stores could also have the opportunity to boost their customer base.
“Second-hand retailers could offer products that are not available on the online marketplace,” Professor Pepe says.
For instance, they may be able “to offer a product in a second and third hand, and then they might be able also to offer a second stock in a third and fourth hand,” Professor Pearce adds.
“In a market where you can get products online and get them on your doorstep for less money, then it’s likely that these are also the places that people will shop, and will shop on a daily basis.”
It’s a trend that is already starting to take hold.
For some people, it is not the secondhand stores that they use to make their purchases.
It’s the second and fourth handsets they have that they are using for those purchases.
The use of a third- or fourth-handed app to shop second-hearts can be part of the reason why people spend less.
The app, which can be downloaded for free on Apple and Google Play, allows you to buy items online from a third or fourth hand store.
If the items in question are used up before you have the time to take them home, they can still be purchased from the store, and you can store the purchase on your phone.
But, if you want to keep the extra money going, you can also use your smartphone to pay with a credit card.
This is an especially effective way to spend cash on second-home goods, Professor Peay says.
He says that people have also started to use second-hat apps to pay for items.
“I think that’s part of what people have come to expect, which is that they will buy something online