Finance Consumer The top ten items Australians are keen to buy second-hand
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The top ten items Australians are keen to buy second-hand

Australians are more likely to sell their pre-loved goods during this pandemic.
The average Australian has $5800 worth of unused goods lying around their home. Photo: Getty
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With unemployment hurtling towards 10 per cent and wages growth stagnating, Australians are selling their old things for money.

A new report from online second-hand marketplace platform Gumtree estimates Australia’s second-hand economy is worth an estimated $46 billion in 2020.

That record-breaking figure is a full $3 billion more than any previous year on record, and comes as Australians take steps to pay off debts and recession-proof their finances.

The report found 42 per cent of Australians are now more likely to sell their old possessions online to make money because of the pandemic.

“The second-hand economy is the perfect way to relieve financial pressure during this time,” Gumtree head of marketing Amanda Behre said.

Based on the data Gumtree collected, Ms Behre said most Australians have approximately $5800 worth of unused goods lying about their homes.

“We’re encouraging Aussies to find the $5800 worth of pre-loved items lying around the house as a way to supplement income or help pay for necessary expenses,” she said.

The ten most sought-after items

After months of lockdowns and social distancing restrictions, Australians are clearly keen to explore the outdoors.

In July, caravans were the most sought-after item on Gumtree, seeing a 28 per cent increase in searches between May 5 and May 25 alone.

Mountain bikes and surfboards also proved popular, rounding out the top-three most-searched items on the marketplace.

Furniture and whitegoods such as lounges and fridges also proved popular as cooped-up buyers looked to make their homes more liveable.

Practice safe selling

The threat of a global pandemic makes buying and selling second-hand goods more complicated – and risky – than during more normal times.

But sellers can take steps to reduce the risks associated with the coronavirus.

First and foremost – follow state and federal government guidelines for social distancing. Not only will this help keep you and your community safe, it will ensure you don’t get fined for breaking your state’s rules.

To further lower the risk of spreading the deadly coronavirus, Gumtree said both buyers and sellers should wash their hands and – importantly – wear face masks when meeting in person.

Both buyers and sellers should also take steps to clean all second-hand items.

In some cases it may be possible to conduct a sale without ever having to meet face-to-face too.

Where possible, buyers should request a video inspection of the item they wish to purchase, and have the seller maintain their distance when handing over their goods.

It may be worth considering delivery for some items too, so that neither party needs to travel further than is absolutely necessary to make a deal.