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Research shows UK consumers reluctant to give second-hand gifts

December 14, 2021

According to the latest research conducted by MPB, UK consumers are reluctant to send used and second-hand gifts this Christmas despite wanting to shop more sustainably


New research by the world’s largest online platform for used photo and video kit, MPB, has uncovered that miscommunication between buyers and recipients over whether consumers would be happy to receive a second hand or used gift is the biggest barrier to giving second-hand or used gifts this Christmas.

Despite nearly half (46%) of consumers in the UK saying they are considering the environmental sustainability of the Christmas gifts they buy this year more than they have in the past, very few are choosing to buy second hand or used gifts for fear of causing offence. In a survey of more than 2,000 consumers across the UK, less than a third (29%) said they are planning on giving a pre-loved gift this Christmas with 43% of consumers worrying that the recipient would be upset or offended.

christmas gifts

54% of UK adults feel uncomfortable about giving used gifts, but 22% would feel comfortable gifting a used camera. When it comes to receiving gifts however, over half (56%) of consumers would be happy to receive a used gift in good condition, including cameras (26%), and 38% would feel grateful, showing a clear communication gap between gift givers and receivers in the UK.

Matt Barker, CEO and Founder, MPB said: “23 million unwanted gifts are sent over the Christmas period, so the time has come to change our attitude towards gifting. While it is encouraging to see more people considering the environmental impact of the gifts they are buying this year, it is disappointing that lack of communication remains a barrier to gifting second hand or used items. We need to step up and do more this year to reduce the negative impact our Christmas shopping has on the environment.”

MPB CEO, Matt Barker

For those intending to buy second hand or used gifts, the main driver of this is a desire to gift more sustainably (42%). This is closely followed by wanting to cut down on the amount spent Christmas shopping (40%), as nearly three quarters of consumers (72%) feel there is too much pressure to buy expensive gifts.

Encouragingly, over three in five (63%) believe they could get more for their money with second hand or used gifts. MPB’s research did however find a lack of awareness amongst consumers of where to find pre-loved gifts, with 42% not knowing where to search online.

mpb boxed second-hand gift

Matt continued: “If you look, there are many amazing sites out there selling second hand and used items in excellent condition, so what’s stopping you? All of our kit is rated on its condition which means a lot of the time you can get a like-new product around 30% cheaper so it’s good for your pocket and for the planet this Christmas. There’s still plenty of time to let your friends and family know that you’d love to receive a pre-loved gift.”


Further reading

What are the best used cameras: Sony A7R II – Amateur Photographer

Over 80% of UK camera owners have bought or considered second hand: survey – Amateur Photographer

Best Second-hand Digital Medium Format Cameras – Amateur Photographer

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