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How Aussies made $4,300 from household items

A man counting Australian dollar bills. A picture that describes buying, paying, handing out money, or showing money.
Do you have thousands of dollars in unwanted junk? Image: Getty. (MultifacetedGirl via Getty Images)

Australians made an average $4,292 selling pre-loved goods on eBay last year, while one in 10 made a huge $10,000, the marketplace’s latest research has revealed.

The number of Australians shopping with eBay every month has also grown by 1 million as the pandemic forced shoppers online. South Australians made the least, $1,892, while Victorians made the most, $5961.

eBay’s Lockdown: One Year On report found that the mandatory lockdown meant many Australians had free time, with one in five using it to hawk their pre-loved items online. Of those, 52 per cent described it as a side hustle.

Books were in high demand, with Australians spending more than $59 million on books alone over the lockdown period.


Sales of The Barefoot Investor increased 152 per cent as Australians turned their eyes to their personal finances during the economic downturn, while sales of Fifty Shades of Grey also roared higher as readers sought excitement between the pages.

Additionally, sales of face masks increased a staggering 700,000 per cent in March in Australia. In America, they increased by a comparatively low 5,041 per cent.

Shoppers also went LEGO mad when the first episodes of LEGO Masters aired in April, with three LEGO sets selling every minute on eBay.

Chicago Bulls jerseys were also in high demand in May when The Last Dance aired, sending sales up 283 per cent.

“We’ve also seen huge support for homegrown businesses. Searches on eBay for ‘Australian Made’ items rose by more than 430 per cent in July,” eBay Australia managing director, Tim MacKinnon said.

A trend that’s only going to get…weirder

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the transition to online shopping, and there’s no going back now, futurist Chris Riddell told Yahoo Finance.

“In the last 12 months of COVID, we’ve seen the extraordinary power of what technology can do,” he said.

“Without online - the world would have collapsed. eBay is the number one online shopping platform in the world. If it weren’t for these platforms, Australia would have gone into meltdown.”

The thing is, that now the “super platforms” like eBay have a phenomenal amount of data about consumer habits that can be spun out into any number of applications.

As he detailed in the report, eBay would have the ability to branch out into romantic matchmaking - just based on the sheer amount of data it has at its fingertips.

“These platforms that have been such a huge part of our lives for the last few years are starting to focus on how they can actually become a more integral part of connecting us together as human beings, because ultimately, they have the data, they have the information,” he said.

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Image: Yahoo Finance
Image: Yahoo Finance