Second hand goods gain popularity as UK Internet users look to beat the credit crunch

News release

Jannie Cahill
Marketing Director, Hitwise
+44 20 7378 3619 Tel Email


Hitwise UK online retail update

Second hand goods gain popularity as UK Internet users look to beat the credit crunch


London, UK, 23 October 2008 - Hitwise, an Experian company, today reveals that UK Internet users are increasingly looking for second hand goods online.


UK Internet searches for second hand goods have increased by 22% over the last 12 months, while Classifieds websites have experienced a 47% increase in traffic over the same period.  This latest trend identified by Hitwise continues to suggest that consumers are turning to the Internet to help them deal with the financial pressures and insecurities brought on by the global credit crunch. 


Searches for second hand goods up 22% year on year


The number of UK Internet searches containing the word ‘second hand’ increased by 22% between the weeks ending 13 October 2007 and 11 October 2008. During the 12 weeks ending 11 October 2008, UK Internet users searched for over 22,000 distinct terms containing the phrase ‘second hand’ with searches for ‘second hand cars’ proving to be the most popular.


Top five UK Internet searches containing ‘second hand’, 12 weeks ending 11 October 2008

  • second hand cars
  • second hand books
  • second hand car prices
  • second hand furniture
  • second hand bikes


    Freecycle traffic up 35%


    UK Internet visits to Freecycle (, the website that enables people to recycle their unwanted goods by passing them on to others, increased by 35% between September 2007 and September 2008. “The community aspect has played an important role in the success of Freecycle and lots of people are searching the web for lists in their neighbourhood,” commented Robin Goad, Director of Research for Hitwise. “The site is currently most popular in Wales and the West Midlands and is used most by people with families”.




    Traffic to Classifieds websites up 47%


    The increase in searches for second hand goods has also benefited Classifieds websites, which experienced a 47% increase in traffic between September 2007 and September 2008. However, equestrian searches are one area where Classifieds sites appear to be bucking the general trend.  Searches for ‘horses for sale’ - currently the most popular search term containing the phrase ‘for sale’ – have increased by 5% over the last 12 months.


    Top 10 Classifieds websites ranked by market share of UK Internet visits, September 2008








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    About Hitwise:

    Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service. Only Hitwise provides its 1,500 clients around the world with daily insights on how their customers interact with a broad range of competitive websites, and how their competitors use different tactics to attract online customers.


    Since 1997, Hitwise has pioneered a unique, network-based approach to Internet measurement. Through relationships with ISPs around the world, Hitwise's patented methodology anonymously captures the online usage, search and conversion behaviour of 25 million Internet users. This unprecedented volume of Internet usage data is seamlessly integrated into an easy to use, web-based service, designed to help marketers better plan, implement and report on a range of online marketing programs.


    Hitwise, a subsidiary of Experian (FTS: EXPN) operates in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. More information about Hitwise is available at


    For up-to-date-analysis of online trends, please visit the Hitwise Intelligence-Analyst Weblogs at and the Hitwise Data Center at


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