Sales of second-hand goods soared by 15% to £21billion last year as the cost-of-living crisis continued to bite.
A poll of 2,000 adults found six in 10 now buy used goods – and spent an average of £661.20 between August 2022 and August 2023.
This is compared to £484.80 during the previous 12 months.
Books (38%), clothes (29%), and household items (18%) were the most popular pre-loved items.
And 67% of used goods were bought online, with 26% of consumers using apps like Vinted and Depop.
The study was commissioned by Trustpilot, which has a 'Buy with Confidence' blog and found the surge in second-hand spending is mainly down to the cost-of-living crisis (57%).
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But 55% simply ‘love’ finding bargains, while 41% are driven by a desire to shop more sustainably.
Carolyn Jameson, chief consumer and trust officer for the online reviews platform, said: "Consumers appear to be turning to used goods in their droves.
"And while the current economic climate is a major factor, the study shows ethics are important to consumers too.
"Minimising their impact on the planet by choosing pre-loved items is one way to do this."
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The study also found 62% of those polled are concerned about the impact of fast fashion on the environment.
Which might explain why half purchased used garments during the past 12 months – acquiring an average of seven items each, typically spending £35.10 on each item.
It also emerged 51 per cent make a greater effort to check the reviews of sellers when buying such used goods over the web.
When it comes to deciding whether to buy used items of any kind – not just clothes, the top factors are price (74%) and condition (68%
Clear pictures of the item are also important to consumers when shopping online (39%), according to the research carried out through OnePoll.
And the savviness involved in this form of shopping might explain why 16% actively prefer shopping for second-hand items – the thrill of finding a gem.
Carolyn Jameson added: “Used products can be cheaper, eco-friendly and practically new if you know where to look – so it’s a no-brainer in many ways.
"However, it’s likely many consumers will want to make sure that they’re making the best decision for them.
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“Despite the thrill of a bargain, consumers still want to know they’re not going to be ripped-off.
"Which is why it’s so important to hear from the experiences of customers by checking out independent review platforms like Trustpilot – to make sure you’re buying from businesses you can trust.”
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