What Is Recommerce – Definition

Recommerce, short for “reverse commerce” or “resale commerce,” is a growing e-commerce trend and business model that involves the buying, selling, or trading of second-hand or pre-owned products. It often takes place through online platforms or dedicated marketplaces where consumers, businesses, or individuals can either sell their used items or purchase previously owned goods.

Within the recommerce sector, used items can be refurbished, renewed, exchanged, recycled, or simply directly resold further. This allows products to re-enter the market and extend their life cycle and thus offers consumers a second-hand alternative at attractive prices, often while retaining their original usefulness.


Recommerce in the Zero Waste Era

Recommerce has gained popularity for several reasons, including its environmental sustainability aspect. It allows people to give a second life to items they no longer need, thereby promoting a more circular economy. Additionally, recommerce can offer cost-effective alternatives for shoppers, allowing them to buy quality goods at a lower price point compared to purchasing new items.

Types of Recommerce

You can distinguish 3 basic types of recommerce:

  • Buyback – a company buys back used products from customers in order to refurbish or recycle them and then sell them again.
  • Upcycling – the process of converting or upgrading used products, in order to remarketing them in better condition or increased value.
  • Trade-in offers – a trading strategy in which customers give away their used products in exchange for discounts when buying new products from the same company.

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