The Next Big Thing (and how newspapers can leverage it)

What’s hot? Trading or selling your stuff according to TrendWatching, October 2011. And newspapers can facilitate this. Read on to be inspired.

Why is this hot?
It is now considered savvy to be ‘smart’ shopper. Sourcing a deal or buying on sale is not cheap; it’s fodder for water cooler conversation. And with the current economic turmoil, consumers are concerned about money making them open to creative options. Furthermore, reusing and recycling items fits into the current environmental mindset.

What can newspapers do?
Offer content and advertising opportunities to feature businesses and insights. Furthermore, current deal-of-the-day projects can be extended into areas discussed below. And newspapers can expand into related businesses such as one-day events, new deal/sale sites or apps.

What consumers are doing and how are businesses responding?

  • Trade In: Many electronic brands offer trade-ins (e.g. Rogers HD PRV and this has begun to spread to retailers – see Best Buy
  • Gently Used stores: Many of these established ‘almost new’ retailers continue to flourish: Play It Again Sports and Once Upon a Child.
  • Trade up for charity: Many brands have caught onto this trend. It helps the consumer feel good about their new purchase, supports a charity and in the process provides savings on the new item. Aeropostale successfully undertook Teens for Jeans: 25% off coupon for an in-store donation of old jeans which would be given to charity. Gap had a similar offer in May 2011: 30% off for donating clothes in-store to Goodwill.
  • Specialized online marketplaces: While eBay, and kijiji offer online second-hand sales, new specialized opportunities are cropping up. For example, buying designer goods or fundraising through donated gadgets.
  • Re-selling deals: (U.S.) resells and buys past Groupon, LivingSocial, and BuyWithMe deals. Others include, and
  • Re-selling gift cards: Many people receive gift cards that may not be appropriate to their interests. Rather than have these linger about unused, a solution has been created – sell them. See for a Canadian example.
  • Mobile apps: While sites offer deal/sale solutions, some of these have been extended into mobile. Stubhub (ticket sales) launched its mobile version in August. In this case, mobile is a natural evolution as it allows users to sell and buy tickets right at the event.