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Research reveals how Australian consumers feel about shopping sustainably

GetApp, the leading app comparison website for small businesses, has revealed the findings of a study focusing on Australian consumer habits and perceptions towards second-hand shopping and online second-hand stores. 

In the last period, Australia has witnessed growth in its second-hand economy due to current inflation trends affecting the market. After collecting and analysing the data of 1,013 Australians, GetApp discovered that almost half of consumers choose to buy second-hand products for economic reasons, with 47% of respondents indicating money saving as a primary reason and 12% indicating financial reasons. In addition, only 11% of consumers stated that they buy second-hand to promote sustainability, as well as 8% who choose to do so to try and extend the life cycle of existing products. 

The GetApp study revealed that Australian consumers often engage in initiatives that promote sustainable behaviour, but when it comes to extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes, such as integrating the paid collection of recyclables, a staggering 69% of survey respondents declared to have never (or almost never) participated in buy-back programs. Instead, consumers prefer to re-sell their used goods through different channels because they feel it isn’t worthwhile selling certain products back to the manufacturer. Moreover, according to the research, the main types of second-hand products bought and sold in Australia are furniture (58%), books (55%), clothes (54%), electronics (25%), accessories (24%), and shoes (10%). 

GetApp study also explored the different channels that Australian consumers use to buy second-hand products. As a result of the fact that Australians place economic reasons over sustainability, 57% of respondents declared not to have a preference and would be happy to buy them either from the brand that manufactured the product or through a marketplace. 

Furthermore, according to the survey results, most respondents (76%) who currently sell second-hand products do so through online marketplaces. With these channels being so popular with sellers, 61% of Australians also purchase second-hand goods through these channels. Nevertheless, 70% of consumers also preferred physical second-hand stores when buying second-hand products. In addition, the survey uncovered that specialised second-hand apps or websites are not particularly popular among Australians, with 14% only 14% of respondents that buy second-hand products said they use specialised apps or websites to buy them and similarly, only 11% of respondents currently sell second-hand products using these channels. 

"The rising living costs have shifted buyers’ attention from sustainable motives to money-saving desires in the second-hand economy. Despite sustainable consumption initiatives led by manufacturers, consumers are being directed towards online marketplaces where they can sell their pre-loved items for extra income. Money matters steal the spotlight in the surging second-hand economy as necessity and hardship are being felt by consumers. As a result, consumers are open to shopping in whichever channel they can find the best deal which leaves opportunities for businesses looking to enter the market with specialised online stores, considering they have evaluated what second-hand products are the most sought-after and by whom." 

Survey methodology:

Data for the Consumer Habits Regarding Online Second-hand Stores Survey 2022 was collected in July 2022. The sample comes from an online survey of 1,013 respondents who live in Australia, are above the age of 18 years old, and understand the concept of circular economy (after being shown a definition, respondents were able to select the correct description of a circular economy from a choice of three).

(Includes multiple choice questions, so answers may exceed 100%). 

About GetApp:

GetApp is the recommendation engine small businesses need to make the right software choice. GetApp enables SMBs to achieve their mission by delivering the tailored, data-driven recommendations and insights needed to make informed software purchasing decisions. For more information, visit


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