Approximately 25% of the Polish population is consciously adopting a more mindful approach to consumption, opting to buy less, according to the latest research titled ‘Poles and the Shared Economy.’
The survey, commissioned by the economic information agency BIG InfoMonitor and conducted in collaboration with the product rental firm Gleevery, sheds light on the evolving consumer behaviour among Poles. Among the key findings, over 50% of respondents revealed a preference for purchasing used items, and nearly 90% indicated a tendency to buy new products only when their existing items are worn out. However, a noteworthy 45% admitted to having unused items at home.
Slawomir Grzelczak, the president of BIG InfoMonitor, highlighted the growing awareness of the environmental impact of consumption as a driving force behind these changing habits. Grzelczak noted that individuals are increasingly seeking ways to monetize excess possessions and that the study indicated a rising inclination to buy second-hand items. “The research conducted for us shows that as many as half our compatriots have no problem with that. Many of them will probably use sharing services, given the chance, with a view to limiting purchases,” he explained.
The survey unveiled that 51% of Poles actively choose second-hand goods when available, and 18% of the respondents were familiar with the shared economy model. Awareness of this model was found to be higher among individuals with a higher level of education and those under the age of 25. A significant 73% of those polled recognized the benefits of shared economy solutions.
Examining rental preferences, the research revealed that, aside from medical equipment, sports equipment was the second most popular category for borrowing (54%) as opposed to buying (25%). Additionally, 8% reported renting apartments, 7% rented bikes or scooters, and 5% opted for renting cars.
The study indicated a correlation between age and the popularity of product rentals, with younger respondents showing a greater inclination, facilitated by the convenience of online rental platforms.
Grzelczak emphasized the financial aspect of these trends, revealing that over 25% of respondents had unpaid debts. Data from BIG InfoMonitor and credit-scoring company BIK indicated that one in 11 adult Poles faced challenges in meeting their debt obligations promptly, affecting approximately 2.7 million individuals. Grzelczak highlighted the cautious approach of rental companies in assessing potential customers to mitigate risks associated with unreliable clients.
Conducted by Quality Watch using the Computer-Assisted Web Interview method, the survey gathered insights from 1,065 people between September 15 and 18, 2023.