The Mood-boosting Trend for the Post-pandemic Era
PUBLISHED: 9.30, 13 June 2023
We all know, perhaps too well, the dopamine hit that comes from clicking ‘Buy’ on a new item of clothing or tech. It’s something we became accustomed to during the pandemic, particularly in lockdown, when online shopping for consumer goods like gaming consoles, headphones and laptops grew exponentially.
In fact, research found that one in five UK adults bought at least one new device or gadget during the first lockdown alone. With little to no ways to stimulate ourselves, we turned to retail therapy in droves: Nintendo Switches flew off the shelves, as did smart speakers and e-readers.
But when the world reopened and we could socialise again, all that stuff became less attractive, and so we shoved them at the bottom of our wardrobes and under the bed, never to be used again.
Nowadays, spending is causing anxiety
Even before the lockdown officially ended, the cost of living crisis was eating into our disposable income, and it’s only getting worse. Now, rather than being a little irresponsible, for the majority of us, buying anything other than essentials is actually untenable. Rather than making us feel good, spending leaves us wracked with anxiety and guilt. Which is why people are looking for new ways to get those dopamine receptors firing without splashing the cash.
Enter: Resell therapy.
While reselling possessions isn’t new (eBay has been around since the dawn of the Internet), it’s now experiencing a major surge in popularity, with research by Spring recording a 30% increase in people looking to sell items over the next year, compared with 2021. And it's not just clothes: furniture and electronic devices are doing a busy trade too; which is no surprise given you can make much more money on a used iPhone compared to a pair of worn-in Air Force 1s.
In fact, iPhones are also one of the most-sold items on Spring, with customers making upwards of £600 on newer models.
Reselling is good for our bank account, our planet and our mental health
With spending in the spotlight, it’s no surprise that consumers are turning to selling their smartphones, laptops and tablets and choosing to buy ‘refurbished’ rather than brand new. Our research found that 48% of sellers of pre-loved items did so in order to help pay for rising bills, and food and living costs. But it isn’t the only reason.
‘E-waste’ is also a growing problem around the world and one in five young people (aged 16 to 24) are reselling gadgets and other items to minimise waste and reduce landfill. Only a fraction of E-waste, which contains harmful chemicals, is actually recycled – and the UK is set to become the largest contributor of e-waste in Europe by 2024.
For most people, it goes without saying that making extra money and doing your bit for the planet makes you feel great. That’s likely why 45% claimed reselling their belongings made them feel happy, relieved and less stressed. For these resellers, that uplifting feeling has served as even more motivation to keep reselling. Hence, resell therapy is addictive too – and it’s rapidly becoming the 2023 alternative to retail therapy.
It’s a win-win-win-win
Frankly, we’re here for this shift. Not only is reselling good for the environment and your wallet, it saves old items from their undeserved fate of a life unused and frees up space in your home. On top of that, reselling used items makes in-demand gadgets and goods way more accessible to anyone who can’t afford – or justify – buying a brand new phone or laptop. It’s a win-win-win-win-win.