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How to turn your rubbish into $5,300

Your trash is another man's treasure. (Source: Getty)

Aussies have an average of 23 unwanted or unused items just lying around the house – and it could mean an extra $5,300 in your pocket.

According to Gumtree’s 2019 Second Hand Economy Report released today, we could be cashing in on the $43 billion second-hand economy given most Aussies (89 per cent) have unwanted items in their home.

“Many Australians are missing out on potentially making thousands of dollars from the sale of items they no longer need or use,” the report said.

These items range from clothing, shoes and accessories to electronic goods, furniture, tools, gardening and DIY equipment, appliances, and sport and fitness equipment.

While 85 per cent of Aussies say they sell their unwanted items, 33 per cent are admitting to throwing it straight into the trash.

But these items are potential cash cows: the average seller earns $4,356 from selling their second-hand items. Millennials in particular stand to make the most, saving an average of $7,082.

And the second-hand economy is growing: Gumtree’s report from last year revealed the average earnings were $4,200.

(Source: Gumtree 2019 Second Hand Economy Report)

What second-hand items make the most money?

Clothing, shoes and accessories are the most popular items to sell, with the volume of items in this category rising from 12 per cent in 2011 to 62 per cent in 2019.

But the number of people selling second-hand clothing, homewares, games, toys and electronic goods has also “dramatically increased” since eight years ago, the report said.

And in fact, there are some items Aussies actually prefer to buy second-hand, such as cars, home decor and furniture, and clothing, shoes, and accessories.

Where is the money going?

Not only can Australians stand to make money from unused items lying around the house, but the extra cash can help in big ways: Aussies put it towards their living expenses (17 per cent), paying off a debt (12 per cent), to their rent or mortgage (10 per cent), or towards a car or holiday (10 per cent).

Tips for buying items online

  1. Do your research: Find out what the average price is for similar items, and save your searches so you get an email update when a similar items is listed.

  2. Ask questions: Contact the seller and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the condition of the item, as well as for receipts or warranties.

  3. Negotiate: Don’t be afraid to propose a price you think is fair, but by the same token, don’t be unrealistic.

  4. Meet in person: Where relevant, make transactions face to face with in-person payment once the goods have been inspected or the service completed. And for your own safety and peace of mind, meet in a public place or bring someone with you.

Tips for selling your items online

  1. Do your research: How much are other sellers flogging similar products for? Do your due diligence to ensure you’re setting a fair price.

  2. Be descriptive: Describe the product you’re selling, such as its features, a brief history and even include why you’re selling it. “The more information you provide, the more likely you are to make a sale at the price you’re looking for,” Gumtree says – so don’t be afraid to get creative.

  3. Upload high-quality photos: Just as you eat with your eyes, you buy with your eyes, too! High-quality images will make your listing stand out from the rest.

  4. Manage your listing: Keep on top of messages from potential buyers. Download any relevant apps to help you stay prompt with communication.

  5. Meet in person: Exchange money and the item in person, and bring a friend or family member with you for extra security.

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