National second-hand economy spending contributes up to $36 billion to Canada's GDP: Kijiji report

The 2nd annual Kijiji Second-Hand Economy Index shows the positive impact of the second-hand economy on GDP, jobs and the environment

TORONTO, March 1, 2016 /CNW/ - Canadians continue to spend billions on used clothing, cars, consumer electronics and baby items, among other categories, according to the second annual Kijiji Second-Hand Economy Index report, released today.  The Index, produced collaboratively by Kijiji and researchers from the University of Victoria and Montréal's Observatoire de la Consommation Responsable, found that in addition to each and every Canadian saving almost $500 and earning almost $900, the second-hand economy continues to be a steady force that bolsters the purchase of new goods and services. Other social and economic benefits revealed by the study include job creation, and impactful environmental benefits.

"This report confirms that the second-hand economy is an important social and economic force in Canada, and a bright light in an otherwise worrisome economy," says Marc-André Hade, Manager, Strategic Marketing, Kijiji Canada. "In the last year, almost 85 per cent of Canadians turned to the second-hand economy to find what they need and sell what they don't, and Kijiji is proud to play a leadership role in this positive movement."

The Kijiji Second-Hand Economy Index: By the Numbers

  • $36 billion: approximately the amount the second-hand goods market contributes to Canada's GDP.
  • $19 billion: represents the value of additional used purchases that would not have occurred without the second-hand economy, while $9 billion was shifted from the new to used market. Both total the value of second-hand economy transactions in Canada over the last year ($28 billion).
  • 325,000: the number of jobs in Canada created by the second-hand economy at the current rate of spending and with the total contribution to GDP.
  • $480: the average amount of money saved by each Canadian thanks to the second-hand economy.
  • $883: the average amount of money earned by each Canadian through second-hand economy sales.
  • 77: The average number of products across 22 categories granted a second life by Canadians in the past 12 months. This represents a 1-point increase in the number of items granted a second life from 2015 (76 items) to 2016 (77 items).
  • 24.9 million: The number of items granted a second life that represents the 1-point increase and equaling a total of 1.85 billion objects in 2016.

"The 2nd annual Kijiji Second-Hand Economy Index Report unquestionably demonstrates that the second-hand economy helps drive economic growth. It makes products available to individuals at an affordable price thereby increasing the overall purchase of goods," says study co-author Dr. Lindsay Tedds, Associate Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria. "The second-hand economy is a true win for consumers, and the economy: it creates savings, supports jobs, and even bolsters retail sales."

The full report can be found at

Additional Key Findings

  • When it comes to the average number of items granted a second life by each Canadian, those in the Prairies (Saskatchewan, Manitoba) lead the pack with 87, followed by Alberta (82), British Columbia (80) and Ontario (79).
  • The top three most exchanged products in 2016 remain steady compared to the inaugural Kijiji Second-Hand Economy Index. These include clothing, shoes and accessories, with two out of every five second-hand exchanges involving those items.
  • Kijiji remains the most commonly used platform to exchange second-hand goods for the second straight year.
  • Nearly 85 per cent of Canadians have participated in some form of second-hand transactions (monetary and non-monetary) in the last year.
  • Nearly 70 per cent of Canadians have bought or sold second-hand goods. This means that more Canadians participated in the second-hand economy than in Canada's labour force, which currently stands at 66 per cent.


  • Similar to the 2015 report, consumers are primarily motivated to dispose of goods for pragmatic reasons, with 70% saying that it is an opportunity to dispose of items they no longer use.
  • Economic motives remain the most important drivers to acquiring goods on the second-hand market, mentioned by 75 per cent of survey respondents.
  • Ecological motivations, such as recycling and waste reduction, remain the second most important factor driving consumers to acquire second-hand goods, mentioned by 65 per cent of survey respondents.
  • "Treasure-hunting" is the third most important motivation to acquire second-hand goods, mentioned by 57 per cent of respondents. This includes the prospect of stumbling upon valuable items and the quest for unique finds.

Kijiji Second-hand Economy Index Report Methodology

Primary data was collected using a sample of 5,990 respondents representative of the Canadian population. The survey was conducted online in partnership with MBA Recherche. Respondents were selected from a pan-Canadian Web panel according to pre-specified retention criteria such as gender, age and place of residence. Given that responses were obtained from a panel, the computation of the margin of error does not apply. Respondents aged 18 years or more.

The results of the survey revealed Canadians' behaviours and habits related to second-hand practices and quantification of the actual intensity of such practices across 22 product categories.

The conclusions reached in the economic considerations section of this report were based on the survey results regarding participation in and the economic value of second-hand economy transactions. The aggregation of these results to produce an estimate of the size of the second-hand economy in Canada is based on the assumption that the economic value of second-hand transactions is representative of goods not only bought and sold, but also acquired or disposed of through non-monetary transactions. The objective of this approach was to provide important insights into the second-hand economy and shed light on the debate over the interaction between the second-hand and the new market place.

About Kijiji Canada

Kijiji, which means "village" in Swahili, is the number one classifieds website in Canada, connecting over fourteen million buyers and sellers each month. Kijiji offers Canadians a free and easy way to buy and sell and find apartments, jobs and services on a local level.  At any given time, there are more than 6.5 million listings on the network and two new ads are posted on Kijiji every second of every day.  Kijiji makes it easy for Canadians to find exactly what they're looking in their own community.

SOURCE Kijiji Canada

For further information: For more information or to set up an interview with a representative of the 2016 Kijiji Second-Hand Economy Index Report, please contact: Michelle Titus, Environics Communications,, 416-969-1667; Jesse J. Bernstein, Environics Communications,, 416-969-2737

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