Rise of online used-goods stores due to COVID-19
Rise of online used-goods stores due to COVID-19
  • Kim Ha-rin
  • 승인 2020.11.07 02:20
  • 수정 2020.11.10 09:57
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Lee Hu-kook, the CEO of the Second-hand platform ‘Hello Market’. Photo provided by Lee Hu-kook.
Lee Hu-kook, the CEO of the Second-hand platform ‘Hello Market’. Photo provided by Lee Hu-kook.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the commerce of used items has been receiving attention more than ever. The desire to dispose of old goods and purchase items on sale is creating an enormous synergy effect in the current economic recession.

Additionally, second-hand platforms such as Daangun Market and Hello Market, which allow customers to sell their used items are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience. Sellers can post their products, and prospective buyers in nearby locations can view those products. Buyers are welcome to also negotiate the selling price through a chat function with sellers and soon after agreeing on how to exchange and pay for goods.

According to the Daangun market, the company’s stocks have skyrocketed, marking a 61 percent increase in sales from March to September after the start of the pandemic.

Lee Hu-kook, the CEO of the Second-hand platform ‘Hello Market,’ shared his thoughts on the rise of online used-goods stores in an interview with Ewha Voice.

He stated that the buying and the selling of second-hand goods has been revitalized due to the economic depression caused by COVID-19. According to Lee, people are increasingly adapting to new trends such as share economies, cooperative consumption, and minimalism. Moreover, thanks to the development of technology, he explained that people are able to participate in the economy individually through diverse platforms which engage in online transactions.

Lee emphasized that Hello Market is making an emphasis on “untact” platforms, which is what differentiates it from other platforms. Through this process, according to Lee, issues regarding the protection of one’s personal information protection will definitely be resolved when face-to-face interactions between users disappear. Confrontation is risky because it informs the users about one’s residence or their other personal information.

Hello Market was also the first platform to create a safe payment system called Hello Pay in Korea. The payment system ensures users to be able to safely purchase and sell used items without worrying about fraudulent transactions. Furthermore, the platform that users agree upon the delivery charges by making them post the shipping fees with the items.

Lee emphasized that the domestic second-hand platforms mostly involve direct dealing, which reflects the past when flea markets were prevalent. However, as society is changing and adopting new trends, online markets are increasing and it is natural for second-hand markets to focus on online transactions.

“I believe that it is very significant for corporations to accept the changing paradigm without hesitation,” Lee said. “Even though I am positive that the offline transaction will not disappear, as there are diverse platforms which encourage the buying and the selling of goods, those platforms should focus more on the development of online second-hand transactions. This is also beneficial for the customers since it provides them with a more diverse pool of goods.”

The buying and selling of second-hand goods among university students is also gaining popularity. Diverse boards in school’s online communities such as the online flea market board and the second-hand bookstore board in Everytime are designed for students to participate in online transactions. Students mostly buy and sell goods related to classes and school. However, unlike normal second-hand markets where only the seller posts items, various buyers actually upload posts where they look for specific items.

Kang Da-hyun, a freshman student majoring in mechanical engineering at Korea University shared her experience with second-hand transactions.

Kang mentioned that university students including herself buy and sell used goods frequently through second-hand platforms online such as due to the fact that it helps them save money and also enables them to buy rare items. Moreover, Kang highlighted that even though it is true that the buying and selling of second-hand goods is prevalent and beneficial for the buyer and seller, one should always be aware of being involved in a fraud by emphasizing her experience of getting scammed.

“Even though it is true that many people engage in the commerce of used goods, I believe that it will be difficult for second-hand markets to be the main trend of the economy,” Kang said. “There are so many serious risks that one needs to take when engaging in the second-hand market.”

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