Do Secondhand Goods Hold Their Value?

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Not all secondhand goods are created equal, at least that’s what MainStreet found when we examined the resale values of popular products on eBay.

To compare how secondhand products depreciate, MainStreet worked with eBay, the world’s largest marketplace for secondhand goods. The data reflect the average sale prices of eBay’s three best selling items in different categories during September. Starred entries reflect average sale prices for the 90 days to October 15 as retrieved by MainStreet from eBay’s built-in seller tools.

We compared the eBay data to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, the full price of the item when sold brand new.

Of the items surveyed, only the iPhone 3GS sold for more than its retail price when new, most likely due to international customers buying the popular phone from countries where it is not yet sold. The sharpest loss in value came from our sample DVD, a moderately-successful movie released on DVD about a year ago, which on average sold for only about 10% of what it sells for new.

Note: This data set represents items in all conditions, including used, refurbished and “new in box” items from resellers.

For more on the resurgent popularity of secondhand goods, see MainStreet's series Secondhand Nation:

The New Era of Secondhand Shopping
Secrets to Buying, Selling Secondhand
Secondhand Shopping: Who Gets Hurt?

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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