New research commissioned by Gumtree reveals the Second Hand Economy is now worth a staggering $40 billion dollars, a rise of more than $10 billion compared to 2015.
The Second Hand Economy Report, commissioned annually by leading community online marketplace Gumtree, highlights the financial benefit of accessing the second hand economy market. The research reveals selling unwanted items online means more than just pocket money and shows that many savvy Australians are tapping into the second hand economy market and boosting their incomes.
The report indicates that this substantial rise in the second hand economy is largely driven by the 89 per cent of people who are holding onto an average of 25 unnecessary items per household – equating to a value of more than $5,200. This is an increase of nearly $1,000 than last year.
Plenty of Australians are reaping the rewards of the second hand economy rather than letting their unwanted goods collect dust, with 84 million used goods sold in the last 12 months. The report suggests that the estimated value of the untapped second hand selling market is now reportedly more than $26 billion dollars. 62 per cent of Australians recognise second hand via an online marketplace do so to save money.
As 90 per cent of people have already purchased at least one second hand item at some stage, Gumtree is encouraging more Australians to tap into this market with buyers reporting savings of almost 50 per cent, on average.
Dr Rebecca Valenzuela, from the Department of Economics at Monash University said that the reported growth in participation and volume of exchanges is a clear indicator that the second hand goods market in Australia is a booming industry. “Sites like Gumtree are quickly becoming an important channel through which Australian households can relieve financial strain, increase their consumption options and/or afford some goods that are otherwise out of reach.
” It makes sense for Australians to tap into this resource especially with, on average, $5200 worth of unwanted items per household which could be sold and help clear debt and free up their hard-earned money for other things like family holidays, sports club dues or violin fees for their 7-year-old protégé. In addition to making some extra cash, buyers and sellers in this market feel proud to ‘do their bit’ for the environment through the second hand economy, while others enjoy the interaction and gaining a positive social experience in the process.”
38 per cent of those who sold unwanted items in the past year, did so to combat the rise in the cost of living, service a debt or pay their rent. The report suggests that more than half (56 per cent) of Australians have sold second hand goods in the last year. This also presents a great opportunity for Australians in the market for a more affordable option; particularly when it comes to clothing, shoes and accessories, which are the most common unwanted items. When it comes to second hand shopping habits, the report indicates that Australians prefer to buy second hand books (39 per cent), collectibles and antiques (27 per cent), homewares and furniture (25 per cent) and vehicle accessories (24 per cent).
Australians recognise that buying second hand items for the home has financial benefits, particularly when the money is put away for a holiday (52 per cent), cover living expenses (45 per cent) and reduce their personal debt (29 per cent).
Kirsty Dunn, Spokesperson for Gumtree said, “It is clear that many Australians recognise the value of their second hand items. Gumtree has more than 2.5 million live listings across hundreds of categories and on average, almost 30 per cent of these are listed as ‘new’.
“Interestingly, of those Australians surveyed, only 1 per cent associated the term ‘second hand’ with items that are brand new with tags, so we see great opportunity to change perceptions of what ‘second hand’ is and to reinforce the value sites like Gumtree can bring to a smarter way of living. Over the past year more than one million Australians sold second hand items online for the first time, so it’s no wonder Gumtree attracts more than seven million Australians to the site each month..”
 Gumtree commissioned Second Hand Economy Report, by Galaxy Research, August 2016
 Gumtree data Sept 2016
 Gumtree data August 2016