Open Accessibility Menu

Winmark Survey Examines Consumer Habits Related to Shopping, Decluttering, Resale, and Sustainability

To better understand how consumers decide what items to bring into, get rid of, or keep in their homes, Winmark - the Resale Company® commissioned an independent survey of 2,000+ general population individuals. In result, we found some great insights into the way people approach decluttering, shopping practices, and consumer sentiment towards secondhand and sustainability. Check out the findings below:

Decluttering Our Homes

People form sentimental connections with their things, and deciding what stays and goes in their homes can be an emotional experience – that’s why we train franchisees, and in turn their staff, to always approach every transaction with kindness and respect at the register.

  • Three-fourths of people (77%) reported forming emotional connections with the items in their home, regardless of whether or not those items have been used.

  • More than half of survey respondents (54%) admitted to having a cluttered home.

  • In an average year, most people declutter their homes either every six months (30%) or once a year (20%).

  • While decluttering their homes, people described feeling the following emotions: Determination (35%), Excitement (33%), Joy (32%), Nostalgia (29%), and Guilt (20%),

  • Top items discarded while decluttering include: Clothing (45%), Papers/files (44%), Hobby equipment or supplies (25%), Kids’ items (24%), and Sports/exercise equipment (20%).

  • When asked how people discard the items they remove from their homes, more than half of people (52%) said that they either donate or sell them to a secondhand store.

  • When asked the reason people removed or got rid of something from their home, most people (47%) said they simply did not want or need the item anymore.

  • Over two-thirds (63%) of people said they’d feel guilty tossing an item that “still has a little bit of life left in it,” or that could be passed on to another household.

Image of two shoppers with text stating 3 out of 4 are comfortable buying second-hand items

Where and How Consumers are Shopping

The way a consumer feels in our stores will determine the likelihood of them returning. With this, we should ask ourselves – are we creating a warm and welcoming environment? Are we providing personable and professional service? At the end of the day, we aim to ensure stores showcase a consistent experience across the brand with a local, community feel, so customers feel comfortable coming back to buy and sell with us.

  • When it comes to shopping, most people (60%) admitted that they spend a lot of time window-shopping, meaning that they go to stores without intending to buy anything.

  • When asked what people think the most fun kinds of stores to shop in are, most respondents said clothing stores (37%), secondhand/thrift stores (33%), and Arts and crafts stores (30%).

  • When out shopping, the following factors matter most to people: Quality (40%), Value (34%), and Usefulness (34%).

  • When asked about cost and value, a majority of people (92%) said it was either an important or absolutely essential factor in their shopping experience.

  • When asked why people would wander into a store they knew nothing about beforehand, most people said it would be to satisfy their curiosity (64%).

  • When asked who people would most want help or advice from during a shopping trip, most people answered a single friend or family member (30%) and a store clerk (22%), while others (20%) preferred to shop alone.

  • When asked which type of stores people prefer to shop at, more than half (51%) said they shop a mix of both local community stores and national big-box retailers.

image of woman with clothing with text stating 2 out of 3 said more than half of their belongings were pre-owned

Secondhand, Resale, and Sustainability

As we know, sustainability is king. The results below show that consumers want to shop sustainably and that they’ll continue to choose resale; however, the link between those two aspects might not always be obvious to them. That’s why it's up to us to help make that connection at various touch points throughout their in-store shopping experience.

  • A whopping 92% of respondents have shopped at second-hand, thrift or resale shops.

  • Two-thirds of people (66%) admitted that more than half of the items in their home were previously owned by someone else.

  • About three-fourths of respondents (74%) admitted that they were comfortable buying a gently-used, second-hand product.

  • Most people (78%) also said that they donate or sell their belongings to secondhand shops either occasionally or frequently.

  • Among those polled, secondhand stores are also thought to offer the most value (37%), just ahead of dollar stores (36%) and outlets (34%)

  • When buying clothes or other items, most people (83%) find it important or absolutely essential that they be sustainably MADE. Even more people (85%) find it important or absolutely essential that they be sustainability SOLD.


While there are several takeaways from this data, we’re especially thrilled to see that great strides have been made in reducing the stigma associated with secondhand. Amidst the current economic environment, our brands play a key role in providing solutions and products to millions of people looking for quality and value in North America.


Are you looking for a reliable franchise opportunity in the growing resale market? Contact us today to learn more about opening a Winmark store in your area!

Survey Methodology:
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,004 general population Americans was commissioned by Winmark between November 7 and November 10, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).