Kijiji Launches Inaugural Second-Hand Economy Index in Canada

By: eBay Inc. Staff

The index measures impact on GDP, jobs and money.

kijCanadians spend close to $30 billion each year on used cars, hockey equipment and baby furniture, among other items, according to the inaugural Kijiji Second-Hand Economy Index. 

A study undertaken in observation of Kijiji’s 10th Anniversary by researchers from the University of Toronto and Montreal's Observatoire de la Consommation Responsible reveals that spending on second-hand goods contributes close to $34 billion to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in Canada by diverting dollars away from items that would otherwise be imported.  Other benefits of the second-hand economy include job creation and a reduction in environmentally harmful waste, the study shows.

Kijiji is Canada’s leading classifieds site and a top 10 internet site, and has more than six million ads to help consumers find whatever they need locally. With more than 1.5 million ads posted every week and 5.3 million replies to ads per week, 40 percent of the Canadian Internet population has used Kijiji. 

The Index, which is the first of its kind to look at the Second Hand Economy in Canada, shows annual sales of second-hand durable and semi-durable goods in Canada are now estimated to be about 15 per cent of the value of new goods purchased (about $30 billion).

Kijiji Canada, one of eBay Classifieds Group’s eleven global brands, has been enabling Canadian consumers to save and earn millions of dollars through the second-hand economy for a decade. The research revealed that the second-hand economy creates a significant win-win-win situation by helping families, the country and the environment.

According to the Kijiji Second-Hand Economy Index:

  • On average, each Canadian grants a second life to 76 products each year, across 22 product categories through buying, selling, trading and donating via peer-to-peer channels such as online classifieds, donations, local thrift shops and more.
  • The average family of four in Canada saves approximately $1,150 per year by buying second-hand goods.
  • Each $1 billion of second-hand sales contributes about $340 million to government revenue, through the taxation of the income increases related to the diversion of spending away from imported durable and semi-durable goods.
  • At the current rate of spending, with the total contribution to GDP, the second-hand market can be said to support approximately 300,000 jobs in the Canadian economy.

Beyond dollars saved and earned, the report highlights the environmental virtues of extending the life of products through the second-hand economy, in terms of reducing harmful impacts associated with manufacturing and distributing new things, and discarding old items well before their time. 

The Second Hand Economy Index received wide acclaim in Canada and the news of the Index reached 43 million impressions and was covered 125 times in all of the top TV, radio, newspaper, online and print media outlets. The Index has looked at an area of the economy that was not previously researched and quantified.  The Second Hand Economy Index will be repeated on yearly basis to measure the effects of Second Hand trading on the Canadian economy.

The full report can be found at secondhandeconomy.kijiji.ca – a landing page dedicated to sharing stories of the second-hand economy in Canada.