May 29, 2015
  • Rakuten Research, Inc.

Rakuten Research Announces Results of Survey on
Attitudes toward Used Goods (Recycled Goods)

- The No. 1 Reason for Selling Used Goods Is Not to Earn Extra Cash, but Because
“It is a Waste to Throw Them Away,” While Many People are Willing to Buy Used Goods
if They Are Half-Price, and Have Only been Used Once -

Tokyo, May 29, 2015 – Rakuten Research carried out an online survey on attitudes toward buying and selling used goods (recycled goods). 1,000 men and women from around Japan aged 20 to 69 were selected from among monitors registered with Rakuten Research (around 2.3 million people) to complete the survey, which was conducted from May 21 to 24, 2015, and the results from the survey are as follows.

Overview of Survey Results

Over 40% of people said they had sold used goods. Over 50% of people said they had bought used goods. Around 30% of people in their 60s said they had sold used goods, compared to over 50% of people in their 20s and 30s

In response to the question about whether people had ever sold used goods, over 40% (43.5%) of respondents replied that they had “sold goods.” Moreover, almost 30% (26.8%) of respondents said they had “sold goods within the last year.” When asked whether they had ever bought used goods, more than half (52.1%) replied they had, and over 30% (32.8%) said they had done so within the last year.

Comparing the different age groups, around 30 to 40% (41% of people in their 40s, 44.5% of people in their 50s, and 31.5% of people in their 60s) of people aged 40 to 69 said they had sold used goods, versus more than 50% (50.0% among people in their 20s, and 50.5% among people in their 30s) of people aged 20 to 39. Over 50% of people aged 20 to 59 (54.5% of people in their 20s, 56.5% of people in their 30s, 53.0% of people in their 40s and 54.0% of people in their 50s) responded that they had bought used goods, versus around 40% (42.5%) of people in their 60s.

Over 80% of people replied that they used PCs to buy and sell used goods online. Women in their 20s used smartphones more than PCs

When people, who had bought or sold goods online (number of people who have sold goods online: 209; number of people who have bought goods online: 295) were asked what kind of devices they used, it was revealed that over 80% (sold goods: 81.8%; bought goods: 88.1%) had used PCs, versus around 20% (sold goods: 22.5%; bought goods: 22.7%) who had used smartphones.

The proportion of women in their 20s using smartphones was higher than in other age groups. With the exception of women in their 20s, the use of PCs in selling used goods averaged 85.3%, while the use of smartphones averaged 17.0%. This compared to women in their 20s, among whom the use of both smartphones and PCs was 48.0%. Furthermore, in regard to buying used goods, an average of 92.1% of all people excluding women in their 20s used PCs, versus 16.9% who used smartphones. This compared to women in their 20s, among whom the use of smartphones was higher, with 53.3% using PCs, versus 63.3% using smartphones.

The No. 1 reason for selling used goods is not to earn extra cash, but because “it is a waste to throw them away.” A lot of women in their 20s sell good just to kill time

When people were asked why they sell used goods, the greatest number of people replied it was because “it is a waste to throw them away (86.7%).” This was followed by “as a means of earning cash (73.3%)” as the second most common answer. More women than men chose “it is a waste to throw them away (men: 81.1%; women: 91.9%)” and “in consideration of the global environment (men: 26.9%; women: 43.5%),” highlighting the fact that women are more conscious of recycling than men.

The greatest number of people who chose “as a means of earning cash” and “as a way of killing time” were in their 20s, and the proportion of people who chose these answers declined with an increase in age. The proportion of women in their 20s who chose “as a way of killing time (37.0%)” was much higher than the overall average (13.8%). It testifies to the fact that women in their 20s, with the greatest opportunity to sell goods through smartphones, are using their spare time to engage in this activity.

The purchasing price of goods that have only been used once is half of the retail price. Regarding watches, around one in three people replied they would not buy a used one even if it was inexpensive

Regarding goods that have only been used once, people were asked the discount rates for different items at which they would buy them. For DVDs and books, the discount rate at which many people were likely to buy them was around 50%, while it was around 60% for clothes such as T-shirts, skirts and pants. On the other hand, more than half of the people surveyed responded that they would not buy used underwear (82.4%), swimsuits (78.5%), perfume (54.4%), or shoes (53.1%) even if they were cheap, and around one in three people also said they would not buy watches (31.2%) even if they were inexpensive.

Survey Overview
Area: Japan
Survey target: Men and women aged 20-69
Samples returned: 1,000
Survey period: May 21 to 24, 2015
Organization conducting survey: Rakuten Research
The results of the survey and analysis are available in Japanese at the following link:

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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