Australia markets closed
  • ALL ORDS

    7,328.00
    +2.20 (+0.03%)
     
  • AUD/USD

    0.7774
    +0.0034 (+0.44%)
     
  • ASX 200

    7,065.60
    +2.10 (+0.03%)
     
  • OIL

    62.97
    -0.16 (-0.25%)
     
  • GOLD

    1,780.80
    +0.60 (+0.03%)
     
  • BTC-AUD

    73,679.98
    +2,661.47 (+3.75%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,299.64
    -92.07 (-6.62%)
     

Your household rubbish could be worth $4,200

Jessica Yun
“Australians are missing out on potentially making thousands of dollars from the sale of items they no longer need or use.” <i>Photos: Getty</i>
“Australians are missing out on potentially making thousands of dollars from the sale of items they no longer need or use.” Photos: Getty

Look around the house and you’ve probably got clothes and shoes you don’t wear anymore, books you’re never going to read again, and a whole array of CDs and DVDs that are gathering dust.

But before your next spring cleaning, don’t head for the bins – sell it online.

Also read: Why I left private equity to focus on impact investing

Most of us (89 per cent) have unused or unwanted items sitting around at home, with an average of 25 such items per household, according to a new Gumtree report.

<i>Source: Gumtree Second Hand Economy Report 2018</i>
Source: Gumtree Second Hand Economy Report 2018

The Australian family is virtually sitting on a ‘goldmine’: the average Aussie home could be getting back $4,200 from their unused or unwanted items by selling it online, at a market, doing a garage sale, or swapping or exchanging it.

But half of us (50 per cent) are wasting these opportunities, admitting to sending these items straight to the bin.

“Australians are a nation of hoarders,” the report said.

“This means that many Australians are missing out on potentially making thousands of dollars from the sale of items they no longer need or use.

“When we take a closer look at the 89% of Australians holding onto unwanted or unused items; Baby Boomers have more items lying around their house than the younger generations but attach a far lower figure to the estimated value of their items.”

However, all men are not made equal – the ‘millennial’ demographic seem to be making the most out of their unwanted things compared to their older counterparts.

<i>Source: Gumtree Second Hand Economy Report 2018</i>
Source: Gumtree Second Hand Economy Report 2018

It’s just further proof that one man’s treasure is another man’s gold. The items Aussies are willing to buy second-hand are books (41 per cent), home decor and furniture (31 per cent), cars (29 per cent), collectibles and antiques (28 per cent), and clothing, shoes and accessories (20 per cent).

So what’s holding us back? We’re evenly split between three reasons: being time poor (37 per cent); uncertainty about what we own that’s worth selling (34 per cent); and concerns about trust and safety (33 per cent).

Nonetheless, it seems Australians are quite taken with the second hand economy, with 90 per cent of us having bought something second hand at some stage and nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) purchasing something second hand once a year or more frequently.

“The second hand economy is a great way for millions of Australians at various life stages to earn extra cash and to prolong the lifespan of unwanted items,” the report said.

“Many Australians are turning to the second hand economy and making it work – by collecting their unwanted items and selling them online through marketplaces like Gumtree or at a garage sale, or by donating to charity or giving to friends and family.

Also read: 7 mega trends shaping the future of investing

“There’s plenty of ways for Australians to donate, earn some extra cash and ultimately save waste from landfill.”

On top of that, access to the second hand economy has never been easier, with new technology giving rise to new services, platforms and apps.

“It really does pay to look around your house and imagine those unwanted goods are little bundles of money.”

Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign up here and stay on top of the latest money, news and tech news.