Gumtree Australia has released the findings from its 2018 Second Hand Economy Report.
The research shows that the second-hand economy is now worth $34 billion but 50 per cent of Aussies are throwing unwanted items in the bin.
As one of the pioneers of the sharing economy, Gumtree has released its eighth annual Second Hand Economy Report, revealing that the potential value of peer-to-peer trading in Australia could be worth a staggering $34 billion.
The research shows that Aussies with unwanted items stand to make close to $4,200 per household, with the average household holding onto approximately 25 unwanted or unused items.
While most Aussies are donating (72 per cent) or selling (56 per cent) old goods, as many as 50 per cent admit to throwing items away.
The most common unwanted items include clothing, shoes and accessories (65 per cent), books (57 per cent), music, DVDs and CDs (54 per cent), games and toys (48 per cent) and electronics (47 per cent).
Gumtree Australia GM Martin Herbst said: “The second-hand economy is a multi-billion dollar sub-economy which brings communities together, contributes to Aussie’s back pockets, supports not-for-profits and reduces waste from going to landfill.
“Any time you donate, swap, buy or sell a used or unwanted item, you’re part of the second-hand economy.
“Our report lifts the lid on the increasing opportunity for Australians to make extra cash, extend the life of their unwanted items, and make a significant environmental impact along the way.
“This year, we’ve also teamed up with leading second-hand economy experts and sustainability organisations to better equip savvy Australians with the tips they need to buy and sell used items like a pro – all whilst contributing to a waste-less society.
“It’s our mission to empower people and create economic opportunity and with potentially thousands of dollars’ worth of unwanted items sitting around homes across Australia, we believe the second-hand economy is the perfect way to do that.”
Making money through the second-hand economy
According to the report, the cost of living (57 per cent) and making mortgage repayments (17 per cent), present the biggest financial strains for most Australian households, with the second-hand economy helping to alleviate this.
To this end, founder of SugaMammaTV, Canna Campbell (pictured below), has come on board as Gumtree’s money expert for this year’s campaign.
Campbell is passionate about helping Aussies notch up their income above and beyond their paycheques.
Campbell commented: “I am extremely passionate about showing people useful ways they can build passive income, revealing how the money you can make from selling your unwanted items can go towards your savings goals and achieving financial freedom.
“The process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. I’ve long been a fan of Gumtree, using it to not only find unique items for my home, but to declutter or make way for a new purchase.
“Simply start by searching through your kitchen cupboard or wardrobe, finding unused or previously loved items, take a picture and list them today and cash in.”
Buying and selling in the second-hand economy
According to the report, over 56 per cent of Australians have sold second-hand items in the last year, with almost all Australians (90 per cent) having purchased a second-hand item at some stage.
The most commonly sold second-hand items include clothing, shoes and accessories (39 per cent), home décor and furniture (37 per cent), games and toys (33 per cent) and electronic goods (30 per cent).
Incredibly, 1.3 million Australians joined this sub-industry for the first time by selling second-hand items online in the last 12 months.
Millennials are most likely to be cashing in on their unwanted items, with 61 per cent having sold something that they have decided they no longer need in the last year, compared to 54 per cent of Gen X and 51 per cent of Baby Boomers.
Over the past 12 months, Millennials have generated more from the sale of their items ($1,958), than Gen X ($1,637) and Baby Boomers ($910).
Understanding the value of the second hand economy
The majority of Australians believe the main benefits of buying and selling items through the second hand economy is the ability to buy things at a lower price while saving money (72 per cent), reducing waste (66 per cent) and the ability to cash in and make money (53 per cent).
The key life moments when Australians consider using the second hand economy to buy or sell is when they are spring cleaning (69 per cent), moving house (60 per cent) or downsizing (57 per cent).
Two in three (62 per cent) buy something second hand at least once a year or more frequently.
The items Australians prefer to buy second hand are books (41 per cent), home décor and furniture (31 per cent), collectibles and antiques (28 per cent) and cars (29 per cent).
Sustainability and the second hand economy
This year’s research also showed that people are environmentally minded, with two in three (66 per cent) Australians seeing a key benefit of buying and selling items second hand being to reduce waste or recycle useful items.
Herbst added: “Any time you give unwanted items another lease of life, you’re reducing waste from going to landfill.
This year, we’re proud to announce that Gumtree has also officially partnered with Garage Sale Trail – Australia’s biggest annual community and reuse event.”
Education on the second hand economy
For those who have not participated in the second hand economy, they claim this is due to being time poor (37 per cent), or uncertain about what items in their household are worthwhile selling (34 per cent).
The number one tool that would give savvy Australians confidence to buy and sell is a step-by-step guide (39 per cent).