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Canadians turning to second-hand trade to ‘make ends meet’

Last Updated Mar 15, 2017 at 8:55 pm EDT

The business of buying and selling second-hand goods has become a massive part of the Canadian economy, with many turning to it “help make ends meet,” a new study has revealed.

Kijiji’s Second-Hand Economy Index found Canadians spent $29 billion in second-hand transactions in 2016 — $1 billion more than the year before.

“In this year’s report, we were able to analyze how the second-hand economy has evolved over the past three years and we can see just how sizeable it is,” said Marie Connolly, an economics professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

“The second-hand economy is driven by the fact that people are looking for value, and for ways to help make ends meet, while also wanting to reduce waste by finding new uses for goods that are still viable.”

The researchers said most people traded used goods to save and earn money, which they then used for routine purchases, like gas, groceries and rent.

The average buyer saved $843 and the average seller made $1,037 by getting rid of things they no longer needed.

The index found a decline in income or moving to a new home are the biggest factors that lead to a person turning to the second-hand economy, and millennials are more likely to participate in it.

Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal were the Top 3 cities trading used goods, while Winnipeg, Quebec City and Toronto bought and sold the least.

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The Top 5 most exchanged items are clothes, shoes and accessories; entertainment products; baby clothes and accessories; games, toys and video games; and leisure items and crafts.

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The index surveyed more than 5,700 Canadians.