Since the global pandemic there’s been a sea change in the where, how, and why of our ideas of home. And few segments of the design marketplace have seen these changes up close—and reaped the rewards—quite like the e-commerce platforms focused on furniture resale.
GlobalData estimates that the resale home furnishings market will hit $16 billion annually by the end of 2022, a 33% increase from a $12 billion market in 2019. And with 97% of shoppers saying there’s no longer a stigma associated with buying secondhand, the category could grow to $22 billion in annual sales in 2027.
To figure out where furniture resale trends may be headed between now and then, it’s worth diving into some more granular consumer data. Thankfully, Chairish and Kaiyo, two major players in the marketplace, offer a chance to do just that with their latest annual reports on the resale world’s biggest trends, with the former drawing further insight from GlobalData’s 2022 Resale Home Furnishings Consumer Survey. From considerations in sustainability to the sofas that are taking off on TikTok, here’s a closer look at seven significant findings that illuminate where the secondhand market sits as the year winds down.
Sustainability is powering the secondhand furniture market
In an age of increased consumer mindfulness regarding sustainability, resale platforms like Chairish and Kaiyo see themselves as fighting back against fast furniture. Their audiences increasingly agree: GlobalData’s survey found that 54% of shoppers strongly support the notion that buying secondhand is better for the environment. Meanwhile, half of Kaiyo customers said that sustainability drives their decision to sell their furniture on a secondhand marketplace. Those percentages could rise further as consumers become more aware of the carbon-offsetting potential of shopping secondhand, which Kaiyo pegs at 173 kilogram of CO2 saved when a living room is furnished with resale items.
The resale market is an inflation hedge
According to the US consumer price index, the cost of new items in the household furnishings category have jumped an average of more than 10% from 2021. However, the listing prices for items on Chairish have remained relatively flat. It’s therefore little surprise that 67% of those in GlobalData’s survey agreed that buying secondhand is a good way to pay less for design items they’ll love, and 60% of respondents polled for Kaiyo’s 2022 Trend Report say they choose to shop secondhand in order to score a great deal.
Resale interest skews slightly younger—and wealthier
Though it might be a function of younger generations’ online shopping savviness, GlobalData found that 88% of respondents aged 25 to 34 are “at least considering buying” vintage or resale home furnishings within the next year, with 18 to 24 year-olds (87%) and 35 to 44 year-olds (86%) showing similarly high levels of interest. The percentage of those considering a resale purchase dips into the 70s for those 45 and up.
Secondhand furniture attracts bargain hunters looking to score something stylish for less, but GlobalData’s survey also observed a positive correlation between income level and resale interest: 41% of those earning between $50,000 and $149,000 a year were interested in home furnishings resale. That interest edges up slightly to 43% for those earning between $150,000 and $300,000, compared to only 28% of those earning $49,000 or less. As Gen Z’s purchasing power increases in the years ahead, there’s plenty of reason to believe in a bright future for resale.
Bed frames and sectional sofas see surge in interest
So what are secondhand fans searching for? On Chairish, dining tables, bed frames, and nightstands saw year-over-year sales growth of 43%, 42%, and 32%, respectively. Materially speaking, antique pine saw 50% sales growth on the platform, followed by burlwood (40%), and raffia (31%).