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This year’s Christmas, second hand

The pandemic has upset the fragile balance of world trade. The sudden closure of industrial activity and the subsequent reactivation of consumption, which is faster than expected, have led, for months, to a shortage of raw materials, bottlenecks in various industries and traffic jams and skyrocketing prices in transport. maritime from Asia. Shops insist that supply is guaranteed for Christmas, but escalating costs and uncertainty about delivery times, especially in online shopping, are making many people opt for a safer route (which in addition, it plays its cards of being a more economical and sustainable alternative) and is encouraged to buy second-hand items, generating a boom in the second-hand market.

The clearest example is what is being experienced with microchips. For months we have been dragging the global scarcity of these small pieces of silicon that today incorporates almost any electronic device, and this situation is causing landslides in many sectors that feed on these microscopic but essential components in today’s digitalized world. The big loser is the car industry, but the effects extend to other industries such as telephony, video game consoles, home appliances, sports equipment, toys and even housing.

The sale of new mobile phones slowed in the third quarter for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, while the reconditioned pandemic (exhibition items sold at lower prices but guaranteed by the marketer) aspire to close 2021 with a growth of 13.2%, according to data from the consulting firm IDC. It is almost double the brand new terminals, which will be close to 7% year-on-year increase.

Production shutdowns in the auto industry are garnering media attention for the weight of this industry in employment and state GDP, but mobile manufacturers are also noticing a lack of chips: Apple will make 10 million less d iPhone 13 and Samsung units have delayed the launch of their latest model, the Galaxy Note.

Un any sense PlayStation

From Wallapop, the star app for second-hand products, they point out that the headlines “mobile and telephony” and consoles and video games led last October the ranking of the most sought after items on this platform for buying and selling used items. with over two million searches each. Video game consoles have burst into this table because the lack of semiconductors has also diminished their production capacity to the point that the fifth edition of the PlayStation, launched in November 2020, continues to be supplied dropper one year after its launch and is runs out of stock a few minutes after each replenishment.

This shortage has given rise to instant messaging groups with tens of thousands of subscribed users who are informed in advance of which stores will receive console units and when they can be purchased to be the first to bid when available. In addition, many users who get the prized item go to platforms like Wallapop to do business, as they end up being resold at between 20% and 30% more expensive than the original price.

The same goes for cars: the lack of new units has pushed many customers into the second-hand market. In this sector, the delivery times of the new vehicle have skyrocketed and range from six months to a year, which is why many buyers opt for second-hand.

This situation has led to a rise in the prices of used cars and that dealers with used vehicles are prioritizing the acquisition of old cars because even this sector is running out of units, as they also do not receive the used vehicles they used to buy. of renting companies, because by not being able to renew their fleet they are extending the useful life of the cars.

Apart from chips, the scarcity and consequent rise in the price of other raw materials is leading to a shortage of components for items such as bicycles. Many shops do not even have time to deliver the new ones and those that are dedicated to second hand also look with fear of their stock.

“Since there are no new ones, no one gets rid of theirs,” explains Óscar, in charge of Bikeconverters, a bicycle shop in Valencia. It remains to be seen whether the current boom is due to global distortions or whether the second hand has come to stay.


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