According to new research commissioned by Amazon, 94% of European people surveyed check ‘used’ prices against new when shopping online, with 35% refusing to pay full price for anything, be it clothing, tech or homeware.

This openness to embracing quality used and refurbished products is likely to be reflected in Christmas stockings this festive season with almost half of European shoppers surveyed (49%) saying they would gift a quality second-hand item to a loved one – up from 22% who said they would be happy to do so last year.

Despite enthusiasm for buying second-hand and refurbished items, only one in four (25%) people surveyed say they would mend an appliance if it breaks. Instead of fixing it, 12% of adults surveyed say they throw away items such as broken toasters and kettles, while 24% say they recycle them.

The most common reasons for giving up on a repair were not knowing where to start, and worrying that attempts to repair something would in fact make it worse. By looking on Amazon Second Chance customers can find ways to shop for quality returned and refurbished products, as well as finding out how to repair, recycle and trade in electronics beyond home repair.

We gave tens of millions of returned, refurbished and open-box products a Second Chance in Europe in 2022, with shoppers enjoying up to 50% savings compared to recommended retail prices, at the same time as helping to prolong the lifespan of products from air fryers and headphones to laptops, toys, TVs, and game consoles.

In the first nine months of 2023, Amazon’s sales of second-hand goods in Europe increased by more than 15% compared to the same period from last year.

“Some of the most popular products that people search for on Amazon are also available as quality second-hand items. When you buy second hand, you're not just saving money, you are also giving a product a second chance,” said Sam Littlejohn, Head of Returns and Repairs, Amazon Europe.

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Generational attitudes to pre-loved shopping

European Gen Z’s – those born after 1996 – are the ones most likely to buy pre-loved items, with 32% of the clothes they wear and 36% of the tech they own being second hand, on average, according to the survey. More than four in 10 (45%) surveyed typically shop pre-loved first, but fewer than one in four (25%) would repair a broken appliance.

Millennial shoppers – aged 27 to 42 – are the most open to learning how to repair a broken tech item, with 38% surveyed saying they have visited a ‘repairs café’ in the past 12 months. 70% say they have successfully followed a DIY repairs video on YouTube.

The research also reveals that 37% of Generation X shoppers – aged between 41 and 56 – look for second-hand deals first, but 41% admitted they are simply ‘terrible’ at DIY when it comes to repairs at home, according to the research.

European Baby Boomers surveyed are also among the least likely to try to repair and prolong the life of their belongings, with just 32% looking for pre-loved items before new. Cutting costs is the biggest reason all age groups shop for bargains, with 81% agreeing that it’s a positive thing to save money – even if you can afford not to.

More than one in three (40%) of people surveyed also feel it’s important to buy pre-loved to extend a product’s life.

Customers can find quality used, open-box and refurbished items from Amazon and its selling partners through Amazon Second Chance, including electronics, furniture, toys, instruments, kitchen appliances, clothing and more. All products are thoroughly inspected and graded. Purchases are backed by Amazon’s 30-day return policy and award-winning customer service.