Second-Hand Goods: A Solution to Over-Consumption Increasingly Valued by Quebecers

Close to ¾ bought second-hand goods in the last year

MONTREAL, Oct. 29, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - A recent study by the Observatoire de la consommation responsable (OCR) [responsible consumption observatory] reveals that close to three quarters of Quebecers bought at least one second-hand product in the last year. Over 15 percent of them did so more than 10 times. Buying second-hand has become a way for Quebecers to express their environmental and social concerns. In fact, close to 70 percent indicated that they did not like throwing away anything that could still be useful.

Fabien Durif, Professor of marketing at the UQAM School of Management (ESG UQAM) and Director of the Observatoire de la consommation responsable, is pleased with the positive effects that awareness campaigns have had on Quebecers' consumption habits. "We can see that alternative models of consumption allow for significant modification of behaviour. It is also encouraging to see that the main reason motivating Quebecers to buy second-hand is to protect the environment: 64.8% of them want to take action to help the environment!"

However, despite the fact that Quebecers have made a habit of buying second-hand goods, less than half (41.5 percent) actually sold their belongings. In fact, more than one-third of consumers have a tendency to accumulate their things in case they may be needed in the future by someone close to them.

"One thing we should keep in mind is that our goods can do good to others! The things we keep 'just in case' can certainly be of use to someone else - nowadays, buying second-hand goods has become a habit for Quebecers. Furthermore, the study notes that close to one quarter of respondents are considering buying second-hand goods as Christmas gifts," states Christian Jasserand, Head of Customer Support at Kijiji, who sponsored the study to better understand the evolution of responsible consumption practices.

Why not take advantage of the upcoming gray November days to clean up your home responsibly by giving a second life to your unused belongings? Kijiji offers some tips on how to clear out your home for the benefit of others:

  • Ask yourself this most important question: When was the last time I used this particular item? If it hasn't been used for more than six months, it has likely outlived its usefulness!
  • Take advantage of the changing seasons to clear your thoughts and renew your energy. Accumulating things promotes clutter in both your house and your mind!
  • Two people are better than one! Ask someone close to you for advice if you find that you are unable to do away with something that is no longer useful. A third party will help to reassure you in your decision to pay it forward.
  • We have a tendency to keep things simply because they are expensive (20.8% of Quebecers). Tell yourself that if it is of no use to you, it holds little value. Make someone happy! 52.3 percent of Quebecers mentioned that selling their belongings allowed them to help those less fortunate.
  • Even though you wish to get rid of certain things, you want it taken care of quickly and easily. Not surprising that close to 50 percent of sellers look toward online classified ad sites as the best way to do so - it is quick, simple and practical.

The study "Le point sur l'achat et la vente de produits d'occasion au Québec" (Focus on Buying and Selling Second-Hand Goods in Quebec), conducted with 1104 respondents representative of the province, is a part of the Baromètre de la consommation responsable au Québec (Quebec responsible consumption index). Published annually, it measures Quebecers' degree of responsible consumption, calculated according to (most notably) their preferences, attitudes, buying habits and motivations with respect to durable consumption. The 2013 edition of the Baromètre de la consommation responsable au Québec will be released November 26.

The complete results of the study "Le point sur l'achat et la vente de produits d'occasion au Québec" (Focus on Buying and Selling Used Goods in Quebec) are available on the OCR's website: (Results are available in French only)

About Kijiji
Kijiji, which means "village" in Swahili, is the number one classifieds website in Canada, connecting 11 million buyers and sellers each month. With local sites for more than 100 cities and towns across the country, including in Quebec, Kijiji makes it easy for its users to find exactly what they're looking for in their own community. In Quebec, 46% of Internet users use this service, and Kijiji sites receive over 2.8 million unique visitors per month.

In 2012, Kijiji websites in Quebec received an average of 309 searches per minute and 37 ad views per second, and 13 million responses of all kinds were sent.

About the ESG UQAM Observatory on Responsible Consumption (OCR)
The OCR is a University organization focused on knowledge transfer based at the School of Management Sciences (ESG - "École des sciences de la gestion") of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Composed of roughly fifteen researchers and directed by Professor Fabien Durif (Ph.D.), the OCR regularly produces studies on eco-responsible commercialization in Quebec and around the world. Its mission is to contribute to the development of scientific and practical analysis of the responsible consumption phenomenon by giving university and institutional researchers, practitioners, citizens, NPOs and media access to existing knowledge and relevant data.

SOURCE: Kijiji Canada

For further information:

Fabien Durif (Ph.D.) and Christian Jasserand will be available as of October 29, 2013. 

For more information, please contact:
Vanessa Migliacci | Véronique Beauchamp
514 739-1188, extension 225 | 247


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