IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Contribution of Online Trading of Used Goods to Resource Efficiency: An Empirical Study of eBay Users

Listed author(s):
  • Jens Clausen


    (Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability, Hausmannstr. 9-10, 30159 Hanover, Germany)

  • Birgit Blättel-Mink


    (Department of Social Sciences, Institute for the Analysis of Society and Policy, Goethe-University, Robert-Mayer-Str. 5, 60054 Frankfurt am Main, Germany)

  • Lorenz Erdmann


    (Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, Schopenhauerstr. 26, D-14129 Berlin, Germany)

  • Christine Henseling


    (Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, Schopenhauerstr. 26, D-14129 Berlin, Germany)

Registered author(s):

    This paper discusses the sustainability impact (contribution to sustainability, reduction of adverse environmental impacts) of online second-hand trading. A survey of eBay users shows that a relationship between the trading of used goods and the protection of natural resources is hardly realized. Secondly, the environmental motivation and the willingness to act in a sustainable manner differ widely between groups of consumers. Given these results from a user perspective, the paper tries to find some objective hints of online second-hand trading’s environmental impact. The greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the energy used for the trading transactions seem to be considerably lower than the emissions due to the (avoided) production of new goods. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for second-hand trade and consumer policy. Information about the sustainability benefits of purchasing second-hand goods should be included in general consumer information, and arguments for changes in behavior should be targeted to different groups of consumers.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 6 (June)
    Pages: 1-21

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:6:p:1810-1830:d:8760
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:6:p:1810-1830:d:8760. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.