What Is ReCommerce and Why You Shouldn’t Ignore It

Brooke Webber Updated on March 22, 2024

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Few things can be more profitable and sustainable than selling pre-loved goods or items online. Not only does it let you earn money, but it also helps save the planet.

Enter ReCommerce, short for ‘reverse commerce.’

To reduce environmental impact, this practice involves selling used, refurbished, or overstocked products at relatively low prices. In short, it’s about giving these goods or items a second life in the hands of new owners.

This page covers what you need to know about reCommerce. Find out why you shouldn’t ignore this profitable and sustainable solution in today’s business landscape.

Read on.

The Growth of ReCommerce

ReCommerce isn’t something new; It has been practiced for centuries. Since the inception of capitalism, people have learned to sell used goods or items for meager money.

ReCommerce began on early digital platforms as a way to declutter in exchange for money. However, it has become a key player in retail and e-commerce in recent years. It has gone beyond selling used products and focused on sustainability.

According to MarkNtel Advisors, the global reCommerce market could reach a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.22% from 2023 to 2028. This market growth is due to the increasing awareness and prioritization of sustainability among consumers, particularly Gen-Zers and Millennials.

Take a look at the facts and figures below on reCommerce growth.

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Generally, consumers opt to purchase new goods or items to capitalize on quality products. However, the reception to reCommerce is high due to its cost-savings benefit.

Take Codup’s Consumer Perspective on the ReCommerce report. When asked why they are patronizing reCommerce, consumers consider two key factors:

Economic consideration: They are looking to cut costs in their purchase decisions.

  • 78% of consumers buy used products to bargain.
  • 58% seek to avoid inflation-driven high pricing.
  • Nearly 35% seek to establish a budget-friendly lifestyle.

Environmental protection: They seek to help protect the environment through reusing.

  • Three-fourths of Americans now have less stigma towards secondhand products.
  • Over 40% regard secondhand items as a status symbol.
  • 62% of Gen-Zers and millennials choose sustainable businesses.

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Given the consumer reception, investing in reCommerce is a good idea. Individuals and businesses usually sell the following used products:

  • Clothes of all sizes and ages: Apparel resale has become a crucial part of retail and e-commerce.
  • Sporting goods or items: The secondhand market has a goldmine of sporting goods, such as athletic shoes, golf clubs, and weightlifting items.
  • Electronic devices and gadgets: Broken and repaired electronic appliances have long been a big marketplace. Some even sell refurbished mobile phones and computer devices directly to consumers.
  • Music instruments and gear: There’s always a market for aspiring musicians and bands looking to get started. You can sell secondhand guitars, violins, trumpets, pianos, and other instruments.
  • Pieces of jewelry: Diamonds are forever, and so is the market for luxury jewelry. You can put gold, silver, and gemstones out in the market. You can even go as far as selling pre-owned Rolex and other branded watches.

The proof is in the numbers. The eBay reCommerce report cites that:

  • About 67% of Americans said they sell secondhand products on eBay for extra money.
  • Nearly 15% of respondents also said they do so because of lost household income.

Further, the report shows that:

  • About 38% of Gen Zers said that the economy has caused an increase in their eBay activities.
  • Another 58% of Gen Z sellers said they sell on the platform to make extra money.

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ReCommerce is no longer just a trend in business. It’s a growing part of online commerce, driven by changing entrepreneur and consumer values.

Learn the pros and cons of leveraging reCommerce in the next section.

Potential Benefits of ReCommerce

ReCommerce comes with several advantages. While it provides buying customers with cost-saving benefits, it offers online sellers potential profits from used items. Overall, it helps promote sustainability in business.

That said, discover the practical benefits of reCommerce for both consumers and businesses.

For Consumers:

Let’s examine the benefits of reCommerce for online shoppers:

  • Cost savings: ReCommerce saves customers money by letting them buy pre-owned items at much lower prices. It is an easily accessible, highly sustainable, and budget-friendly option for consumers. Over 56% of all buyers and 64% of Gen-Zers consider cost savings the top reason for reCommerce participation.

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  • Environmental impact: Choosing reCommerce extends the life of products and helps reduce waste and carbon emissions. By buying pre-owned goods or items, consumers can contribute to environmental protection and planet preservation for a sustainable life.
  • Access to rare items: ReCommerce allows consumers to find a goldmine of rare yet precious products. Not only does it offer unique items not readily available in conventional retail, but it also adds excitement to the online shopping experience.

For Businesses:

Let’s look at the advantages of reCommerce for online sellers:

  • Additional revenue: Sure, online sellers can capitalize on selling goods or items on e-commerce platforms. However, reCommerce provides them with an extra source of income. They can declutter used products and turn them into actual profits.
  • Brand loyalty: Embracing reCommerce can boost an online seller’s brand identity. It helps align their branding with sustainability and promotes corporate social responsibility. Eco-conscious consumers often support businesses and patronize brands with sustainable practices.
  • Inventory management: ReCommerce enables online sellers to manage excess inventory efficiently and effectively. It helps them declutter items, recoup investments, and maintain a sustainable business model.

Possible Challenges in ReCommerce

ReCommerce proves beneficial to consumers and businesses in more ways than one. However, it also has potential risks, from quality concerns to logistics and operations to regulatory issues.

That said, be wary of the possible challenges in reCommerce:

  • Quality and authenticity: ReCommerce gets criticized for the lack of quality and genuineness of products being sold. Buyers often worry about the actual conditions and the accuracy of product descriptions. To build consumer trust, you must establish reliable verification and transparent communication.

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  • Logistic operations: ReCommerce logistics management involves handling returns, refurbishing items, and shipping products. You must have a solid plan for product returns, effective refurbishment, and efficient shipping. Doing so ultimately ensures a smooth customer experience.
  • Regulatory issues: Compliance with laws and regulations is often challenging in ReCommerce. Consider legal matters, such as warranties and liabilities of used and refurbished goods or items. As such, you must establish clear policies for handling returns and resolving disputes.

How To Succeed in ReCommerce

ReCommerce has been growing and expanding. Its market growth and expansion are 16 times faster than traditional retail. Capitalizing on its market is best for business profitability and sustainability long term.

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There are proven ways to boost your sales from reCommerce. explore the best practices and technologies to invest in for reCommerce below:

Best Practices in ReCommerce

Looking to optimize your reCommerce operations? Below are some of the best practices to implement when investing in reCommerce.

  • Be transparent in your product descriptions. Describe the actual conditions of your products to manage buyer expectations and build consumer trust.
  • Produce and post high-quality product photos. Use clear images with high resolutions to showcase an accurate representation of your pre-owned items.
  • Set fair and reasonable pricing. Establish competitive pricing for pre-owned items based on the market value and their actual conditions.
  • Establish secure payment portals. Provide online shoppers or buyers with secure payment options for safe and reliable digital transactions.
  • Streamline e-commerce logistics. Handle product returns, refurbishment, and shipping efficiently and effectively. Always stay on top of your global fulfillment services for e-commerce and retail.
  • Focus on sustainable practices. Adopt sustainable operations and contribute to a circular economy to attract and win environmentally conscious customers.

Technological Resources for ReCommerce

Planning to leverage technologies for your reCommerce operations? Here are some digital tools and technologies to invest in:

  • E-commerce platforms: Choose a well-established platform with a dedicated section for eCommerce.
  • Marketing automation: Invest in automated software to help promote your used and refurbished products.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning: Improve your user engagement (UX) with personalized recommendations using AI and ML.
  • Chatbots and virtual assistants: Enhance your customer service for reCommerce with AI-powered chatbots and VAs.
  • Secure payment gateways: Ensure safe transactions with trusted payment gateways for your reCommerce business.
  • Data analytics tools: Unleash the hidden value of data analysis in retail and e-commerce business. These insights will help you promote your pre-owned items to the right people.

Final Words

ReCommerce is a growing trend in business. It’s a game-changer in retail and e-commerce.

This practice is changing the way entrepreneurs sell and the way consumers buy. It’s focusing on long-term sustainability and wise consumer spending. Not only does it let you earn some money, but it also embraces a greener approach to consumption.

Jumping onto the reCommerce bandwagon is a win-win for both businesses and consumers. Consider the potential benefits discussed above, but be prepared for possible challenges involved in selling pre-owned products.

As an online seller, follow our best practices, invest in technologies, and implement marketing strategies to succeed. Ultimately, reCommerce is a viable step toward a more sustainable and responsible future in business!

And speaking of your future in business, if you’re looking to break into the online business world, or want to expand your business portfolio, head on over to our marketplace.

We have a wide variety of quality, cash-flowing businesses for sale, from content sites and e-commerce stores to Amazon KDP businesses and SaaS platforms, so you’re sure to find a business that suits your needs!

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