PayPal survey reveals Canadians could make an estimated $571 on average from pre-loved items in their home
  • A third of Canadians purchase second-hand goods more than once a month (31%) – with nearly three in four (73%) doing so to make their money go further
  • Almost half (42%) of Gen Z Canadians report buying pre-owned goods more than once a month
  • Half of Canadians (50%) say they’ve found reselling their unwanted items is a good supplement to their primary income

TORONTO, June 13, 2023 – As the cost-of-living continues to climb, the second-hand economy is experiencing a surge. PayPal’s Resale Renaissance Report, polling 2,000 Canadians, revealed the reselling movement has gone mainstream, with nearly three in four (73%) purchasing pre-loved items to make their money go further. Clothes (38%), books (21%) and furniture (20%) top Canadians’ thrift shopping lists, turning one person’s trash into their own treasure.

Despite the second-hand economy’s rise in activity, the realities of reselling are holding back this movement from unlocking its full potential. Canadians have on average $571 estimated worth of unwanted items stored around their homes, ripe for resale, and well over half (65%) agree that their homes are full of unused belongings.

Yet there are barriers preventing the second-hand industry from taking off, with only a third (31%) of Canadians saying they purchase pre-loved goods at least once a month, spending on average $116 in the last 12 months on used items. Reasons behind not taking advantage of these potential earnings include not knowing where to start when reselling (43%), hesitancy around doing transactions with strangers (39%) and not believing enough profit would be made to make it worthwhile (34%).

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure

Thrifty Canadians are value seekers, with almost half (48%) choosing to shop used items in search of a bargain. The average Canadian has generated $167 in the last 12 months from a reselling side hustle, making an average profit of $31 per sale – with half (50%) admitting that selling items they no longer need is a good way to supplement their primary income source.

Twenty-eight per cent of Canadians say clothes were the item they sold for the highest value – with furniture (20%) and gaming consoles and equipment (16%) completing the list of the most lucrative items sold by novice Canadian resellers.

“With prices soaring, it's no surprise we’re seeing a boom in the second-hand economy. Whether it’s shopping or selling on online marketplaces or resale mobile apps or using the Goods and Services peer-to-peer payments on our mobile app at garage sales, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing PayPal helps keep your financial information safe,” said Malini Mitra, Director of Communications, PayPal Canada.

Gen Z embrace pre-owned goods

Younger Canadians are more likely to buy and leverage pre-owned goods. Almost half (42%) of Gen Z Canadians report buying pre-owned goods more than once a month compared to 27 per cent of Gen X and Boomers. When it comes exploring the potential of selling pre-owned goods, nearly one in three (30%) Gen Z say they do so to have financial independence.

Older Canadians show more hesitancy around online platforms for pre-owned items than younger generations. Forty-two per cent of Boomers report that they don't trust such platforms, compared to 27 per cent of Gen Z.

Spending for lean and green reasons

People are increasingly becoming conscious consumers. One in four (24%) say they shop second-hand items to try to be more sustainable and help reduce waste. But it doesn’t mean they sacrifice style, as Canadians say they shop used items because:

  • they find it fun (21%)
  • they can find unique one-of-a-kind items (20%)
  • to reduce pressure to buy new clothing and keep up with fashion trends (17%)
  • they love vintage items (17%)

Of those who stated they shop second-hand to save money, 43 per cent say they put the extra cash they’ve saved towards their everyday living expenses, while 38 per cent say they use it to treat themselves, and 34 per cent to reduce financial stress.

Second-hand’s new home is online

As a movement that started in thrift stores and garage sales, the second-hand economy is moving increasingly online.

More than a third of Canadian thrift shoppers (36%) say they have purchased items from an online marketplace such as Depop in the last year. Similarly, a third (34%) also say they have turned to social media to seek pre-loved purchases.

However, despite the popularity of reselling platforms, Canadians still have concerns around the quality of the goods they’re purchasing, as well as being scammed. In fact, 4 in 5 say they sometimes worry about the quality of items when second-hand shopping online (86%) or about dishonest sellers (83%).

This attitude explains why in-store thrifting is still proving popular with shoppers looking for second-hand bargains. Almost half (48%) of Canadians say they purchased pre-loved items from charity shops in the last year, while almost a third (30%) bought from a garage sale and 18 per cent directly from friends or family.

When asked what would increase the trust shoppers have in buying items from online marketplaces, top answers included reviews and comments left for the seller (46%), offering recognized payment methods such as PayPal (44%) and having multiple images of the item (43%) as the most important factors for shoppers.

To learn more about how PayPal can help with secure payments in the second-hand economy, visit

Survey Methodology

PayPal Canada’s 2023 Resale Renaissance Report was conducted online by OnePoll, which surveyed 2,000 Canadian respondents. For this research, generational groups are defined as follows: Gen Z (18-24), Millennials (25-44), Gen X (45-54), Boomers (55+). The survey took place in May 2023.

About PayPal
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering millions of consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information visit

Media Contacts:
Malini Mitra,
Samantha Jen,

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