Steadfast FinancesGen Y Developing a Preference for Used, Secondhand Stuff?

Gen Y Developing a Preference for ‘Used’ Stuff?

Filed in 20s Something Advice , Auto Sales , Business Trends , Consumer Education 11 comments

There are just some things that Gen Y won’t pay for: news, music, banking fees, etc. Apparently, this social media savvy cohort doesn’t find a tremendous amount of value in these items or they can simply get them for free somewhere else.

This trend seems have spilled over — perhaps temporarily — to the auto industry.

In a recent study, potential Gen Y car buyers were 2.3 times more likely to buy a used car vs. a new car. (Minute 2:20 in video.)

But once I began to think about this, the only people that I know that buy gently used or secondhand stuff on a regular basis are the Gen Y crowd and late Gen X crowd (like me).

Think about this for a second…

So it’s not surprising that the younger, more tech savvy consumers are the ones more willing to do more research online and use the Internet’s disintermediation effect to full capacity to find the best bargains. Plus, now that so many different communities (like eBay or Craigslist) are arguably the world’s largest garage sale, it’s not surprising that savvy consumers are no longer willing to pay retail price for every little thing.

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Posted by CJ   @   6 January 2010 11 comments
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Jan 7, 2010
12:14 pm
#1 Craig :

Interesting study and because we get things all the time via craigslist or ebay we have no problem with this in other areas. I do, and things like electronics I like new.
.-= Craig´s last blog ..Weekly Personal Finance Twitter Chat: Unemployment =-.

Jan 7, 2010
5:59 pm

Kinda goes against the general “I want it, I want it NOW” attitude no? It’s a surprising study. It’s very important to coddle gen y’s, b/c of self esteem issues. buying used isn’t good for the self esteem, maybe.

I’m just being controversial :)
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..Potential Best Seller Review & Giveaway: “Your Money Ratios” =-.

Jan 8, 2010
12:21 pm
#3 Tracy :

It makes perfect sense to me. Although I’m a Jones Generation alum, once I began developing conscious spending habits, I turned my investigative training first toward researching how to have a quality life without overspending, then began to put it into action by using craigslist, ebay, thrift stores and similar places to shop instead of shopping new. But most of my friends in the same demographic are still neophytes online and wouldn’t dream of buying something without meeting the salesguy and listening to his pitch, without taking advantage of all the resources available if they could just oversome their fear of the computer. That is slowly beginning to change, but it will be awhile before the boomers, Jones’ or the early x’ers make the plunge.

Jan 11, 2010
6:40 pm
#4 Chance :

I think these findings are quite refreshing in a day when we see many of America’s youth feeling more and more “entitled” to have what they want, as soon as they want it. I think a little frugality goes a long way and if the Gen Yers are more inclined to buy used stuff, all the better. I’d say half the furniture in my home is stuff that my wife and I got used and then refinished/painted. And we always get compliments on our home design. My 2 cents, for what they’re worth.
.-= Chance´s last blog ..YNAB 3 Review =-.

Jan 11, 2010
6:54 pm
#5 Matt SF :

Well said Chance! I was hoping someone would make the observation that every Gen Y member isn’t spoiled spendthrift whose mantra isn’t a real life adaptation of Veruca Salt’s I Want It Now song (the spoiled girl from Willy Wonka).

In fact, I believe Gen Y probably has the best chance of being the smartest consumers currently perusing the aisle’s since they have access to so many information sources, and network both online, and offline, with people who are constantly trying to get the best deal.

Jan 12, 2010
11:30 am
#6 Chance :

You said it even better. I agree that Gen Y has a good chance of being smarter, more frugal consumers. Not only because of the abundant information sources, but also because they’ve been able to witness the economic situation that we find ourselves in.

If the downturn in the economy has done one thing, it has given Gen Yers a reminder that good financial decisions (and dare I say frugality) are imperative for both the government and individuals. At least I hope that that message is getting across.

Feb 1, 2012
1:35 pm
#7 kate :

i am not at all surprised that my generation loves used products. what i am surprised by is that it was surprising to other generations. i have always lived in a world of ebay, thrift store, and online bargain hunting. i have always lived in a world where people bragged about getting their new cell phone half off or even free. i never thought anything of it. i do not know of anyone in my generation who has ever bought a new car. why would they when a cars price can be 50% less for a car that is a year old. i am the only person in my generation that i know of who actually lives in a house with a land line and cable television. everyone else just gets magic jack and hulu/netflix (or borrows dvds from the towns public library). i will tell you that my generation does have an ‘i want it NOW’ thought process, but our i want it now is followed by ‘i want it for as little money as possible!’. we can often have the things we want, because we can find them for cheap prices. or even for free on freecycle

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