Electronics are the most-traded items on the secondhand market in the UAE, according to classifieds website dubizzle, which found six in 10 UAE residents bought or sold something used in the last six months.
Sixty per cent of residents said they engaged in the secondhand economy, the April poll of more than 1,000 UAE residents found, with used electronics the most-sold items - about a third of respondents sold an electronic product in the last six months and 39 per cent bought one.
“People have more unused items in their home than they think, but what they don’t realise is that they are sitting on an opportunity to supplement their earnings. Through buying or selling unused items, we can create a more sustainable and economical community,” said Salma Anabtawi, head of customer experience at dubizzle.
The global sharing economy is growing as consumers aim to live more sustainable lives and save money by sharing possessions and services. GCC consumers spent $10.7 billion on sharing economy platforms in the transportation, financial services, business services, household services, and accommodation sectors in 2016, generating an estimated $1.7 billion in revenues for these platforms, according to Strategy& - the global consultancy arm at PWC.
Dubizzle, which allows users to buy and sell items such as furniture and home appliances, had live listings worth Dh352 million as of April 30, which the company estimates is equivalent to the cost of building two Dubai Frames.
While Dubai was the largest market with Dh166m worth of live listings on that day, Abu Dhabi had Dh88m worth of listings, Sharjah Dh58m and Ajman almost Dh40m.
Used electronics were the most-listed items, accounting for 32 per cent of listings, followed by home and garden equipment at 25 per cent, child and baby items at 9 per cent and sport and outdoor and fashion and beauty items at 7 per cent each.
“When looking at the items being sold and bought through second-hand platforms, whether through dubizzle, social media or print classifieds listings, big ticket items tend to get the majority share," said Ms Anabtawi.
Needing cash was the main reason for selling, with 22 per cent listing an item because they needed money urgently while 19 per cent wanted funds to upgrade their lifestyle. Almost a fifth of respondents said relocating was their prime motivator; decluttering accounted for 15 per cent of sales and extending the life of an item for 16 per cent.
When it came to purchasing items, more than half of those polled said they bought items to upgrade their lifestyle. However, 14 per cent admitted to buying items to resell at a profit.
The majority that had not bought secondhand in the last six months said they had either not considered buying used products or simply preferred new purchases. However a fifth said they were not confident they could get a good deal, while 11 per cent considered the process too much work.
The poll found that many residents have other unused items stored in their homes; almost three-quarters said they had between one and 10 items that are unused and 27 per cent estimate their unused items are worth over Dh2,000.