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Brits could save £4.3bn by switching to secondhand gifts this Christmas

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
·2-min read
Buying second-hand this year could mean huge financial and carbon savings. (Kari Shea/Unsplash)
Buying second-hand this year could mean huge financial and carbon savings. Photo: Kari Shea/Unsplash

Brits could save a collective £4.3bn by switching to second-hand shopping this Christmas, research suggests.

Shoppers are set to buy about 343 million items before the end of the year, a survey of 2,000 by Gumtree found.

Based on the average savings made per second-hand item this year, this means Brits could save about £81 each by buying second-hand presents, Gumtree analysed.

What’s more, significant carbon savings could be made, according to the University of Leeds who partnered with Gumtree to calculate the carbon footprint of over 1,200 items.

For example, if all Brits planning to buy a new mobile phone chose second-hand instead, that small change could save the equivalent of 873 days of heating per person.

READ MORE: Christmas spending in the UK to drop by £9.6bn due to second lockdown

Many Brits are embracing second-hand as their first-choice, with more than half (55%) having bought something pre-owned this year, according to a survey of 2,000 by Gumtree.

Three in five are also planning to buy second-hand items before the end of 2020, with books (22%), clothes (16%) and homewares (8%) topping second-hand shopping lists.

The main motivation for savvy second-hand shoppers is price (49%) but saving an item from landfill (31%) and helping the environment (30%) are key considerations.

In fact, over a fifth (22%) of shoppers go as far as to say they now feel embarrassed purchasing something new when they know they could have bought it second-hand.

This attitude is already influencing consumer behaviour with two in five (42%) planning to shun Black Friday and three in five (61%) agreeing that consumerism around big shopping events, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas sales, has got out of hand.

READ MORE: Not just one in a billion: online Christmas gift buying set to reach ten figures

Already nearly three in 10 (28%) plan to buy less this festive season specifically to help the environment, and over a fifth (22%) are going to buy second-hand Christmas gifts in 2020.

Gumtree said it “hopes that by sharing tangible examples of carbon footprints, it can help support more people to make the switch and realise the benefits of second-hand on our planet and our wallets".

Over a quarter (27%) of Brits have purchased a book second-hand already in 2020, making for a saving of 36.8 thousand tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of 21 flights from London to Sydney and back.

Added to which, savvy second-hand book shoppers are saving cash – an average of £21.50 per person, or a minimum of £303m collectively.

Watch: 5 great M&S Christmas gifts under £35