This article first appeared in our Love issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 09 April 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
Making secondhand buying as smooth as the shopping experience you get in retail giants is a lofty goal, but that’s exactly what Jo Spolton set out to do when she co-founded 2Hand.co.uk.
‘A lot of life’s stuff can be reused and most things are out there if you look hard enough’, Jo tells us.
The only problem is the human attention span: 2Hand.co.uk research found that only 5% of us look in more than three places for a preloved version of what we want; if we don’t find it swiftly, 80% give up and buy new.
‘That’s a staggering testament to the instant shopping experience that we increasingly expect as standard’, Jo says. ‘To make secondhand first choice, we need to make it as easy as the experience offered by retail giants.’
With 2Hand.co.uk, Jo has taken the hassle out of trawling charity shops, car boot sales and markets at a time when access to the high street has been limited.
Users can simultaneously search for specific secondhand products – from bikes and appliances to clothes and home furnishings – across a diverse range of online sources.
In just a few seconds, 2Hand.co.uk scours the internet and pulls all the relevant products together for you – complete with prices – to browse in a single window.
When we gave 2Hand.co.uk a try, a quick ‘smartphone’ search threw up 200 results from eBay, Preloved, Shpock and The Big Phone Store. Prices started at £9.99 (with free postage) for an unlocked Blackberry 9720 in ‘average condition’.
Find local items
2Hand.co.uk searches all the big names in secondhand buying and will check even more sites if you set your location and tell it where to look. You can then filter the search results so only local items are displayed.
‘Trash Nothing and Freegle are run around local groups, so by adding your location we know which ones to search for you’, Jo explains. ‘Plus it is more green to buy locally. There is always the chance that, on a site you don’t normally use, someone round the corner has posted what you want.’