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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trend site recognizes increasing tendency to trade-in and trade-up is a consistently reliable source for trends across a wide scope of business categories.  And the October Trendwatching newsletter holds a series of stories having to do with our desire to trade-in.  Click here to see it.

Implications:   Re-commerce is nothing new; you’ve probably traded-in a car to buy a new one, or sold one house to buy another.  But this story does a good job of pointing-out how consumers are more inclined, lately, to trade-in where a variety of new categories are concerned, and using a variety of tools.  Many local pawn shops are well stocked, Craig’s List is quite populated with goods for sale, and companies advertising that they’d like to buy your unwanted gold and silver are plentiful.  

Is there a way that folks are trading-in as a means of trading-up to your product or service?  How might you facilitate that move?  And besides discounting the price of a new purchase, what other benefits does the consumer receive by trading in?  (Are you messaging about those benefits?)

At our house, I recently enrolled in a class I wanted to take.  But before I did it (it has to do with a hobby of mine), I decided to sell some power tools and sports equipment I hadn’t been using.  It wasn’t just that I didn’t want to take the tuition out of our household budget; I built the goal of de-cluttering into the process… not wanting to go further with one interest until I off-loaded some of the things that had to do with other activities.

Also, respect that this isn't just about consumers who want to turn their possessions into cash; they simply recognize that their property now has a value... if not to them, then perhaps someone else.  I've recently seen furniture store ads asking people to trade-in their mattress, which is then donated to a shelter for the homeless.  And I've seen a department store campaign that invites shoppers to trade in their winter coats; their old coat goes to charity, and the consumer receives the reward of a discount toward their new jacket purchase.  Again... can you apply this principle in your company, and do good as you do well?

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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