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Press Release: Research reveals cost-of-living impact on preloved trend

Could shoppers’ love for second-hand signal the end of ‘upcycling’?

  • Heightened climate consciousness and the cost-of-living crisis have collided to create new attitudes to shopping
  • 35% UK adults get a kick from saving both planet and pocket, coined ‘double buzz buyers’
  • Over a tenth (12%) of UK adults now buy better quality items knowing they will sell on later and recoup some of the cost
  • Majority (58%) are as - or more - excited by a preloved purchase
  • Thrill seekers: shoppers turn to preloved in the pursuit to find unique items (35%)

  • New research by ethical, preloved bookseller Wob shows how heightened climate consciousness and the cost-of-living crisis have collided to create new attitudes to shopping.

    With money not going as far as it used to, 79% of budget-conscious Brits are now buying preloved to save money. At the same time, the majority of Brits under 65 (54%) now experience bouts of eco-anxiety, and 65% of adults are also turning to secondhand as a more sustainable life choice. More and more shoppers are enjoying the twofold benefits of the circular economy - saving money and living more sustainably - with 35% buyers getting a kick from this perceived ‘double buzz’.

    Preloved buying and selling has become so embedded in our shopping habits that as many as one in ten are now buying better quality items knowing they will sell them on later and recoup some of the cost, rather than improving, or ‘upcycling’ them at home. Plus, most UK shoppers (58%) look forward to a preloved purchase just as much (or more) than new.

    Wob, which rehomed nearly 16 million books in the latest year, found that the thrill of finding something unique not available elsewhere motivates 35% consumers to choose second-hand. Yet surprisingly, the majority (73%) of UK adults still think that shopping sustainably is more expensive than regular shopping - despite the rising preloved trend.

    Rebecca Alford, Head of Brand at Wob, commented: “At the best of times we all love bagging a bargain but amidst the cost-of-living crisis it’s become even more important for shoppers to save money where they can. There's a real thrill in finding a treat for yourself at a more affordable price and it’s a double win when your purchase is environmentally guilt free too.

    “It’s time to dispel the myth that buying sustainably is more expensive. As a purpose-driven business, we are on a mission to help people save both their pockets and the planet and for our part, the group saved over 79 tonnes of books, CDs, DVDs and games (or the equivalent of 11 double-decker buses) from going to landfill last year. ”

    To find out more about Wob and the group’s commitment to sustainability, visit or you can access the full 2022 Impact Report here:



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    About World of Books Group

    • In 2002, World of Books Group was founded on an ethos to do good, protect the planet and support charities whilst making a positive impact on the world, all whilst continuing to offer our customers and communities more and more reasons to re-love a preloved book. More broadly, we are dedicated to our company mission to protect the planet and support charities. Today, we drive the circular economy through three re-commerce brands:
      • Wob: Through Wob, we sell. We provide affordable, preloved books and media to customers all over the world. A book leaves our collection of over eight million titles and begins a new chapter every two seconds, enabling more goods to be reused.
      • Ziffit: Through Ziffit, we buy. We give people around the world the opportunity to contribute to the circular economy, earn money and protect the planet, by trading their unwanted books and media.
      • Shopiago: Through Shopiago, we help others. By sharing the technology that has grown World of Books Group into the business it is today, we’re helping charities increase revenue and reduce waste through re-commerce.
    World of Books Group are an accredited B Corp. Certified B Corporations (B Corps™) are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.