Money at home: Are you sitting on a goldmine of unwanted items?

By Tara McCabe ·

Nearly 90% of Australians have items that they either don’t want or don’t use in their homes, according to Gumtree’s 2019 Second Hand Economy report. The report shows that the average Aussie household is sitting on over $5,000 worth of unwanted goods that could be sold on.

Could you be selling these items?

In these times of economic uncertainty, most of us would agree that finding ways to make a quick buck isn’t such a bad idea. The most unwanted items, according to Gumtree’s report are:

So, if you upgraded your phone last year or the food processor you bought two years ago is sitting gathering dust in the cupboard, why not think about making yourself some quick cash. 

One-third of Aussies missing a trick

When it comes to dealing with unwanted items, a large number of Aussies said they either donated their goods to charity or gave them away to family and friends. However, a significant 33% admitted to throwing them in the bin. Effectively sending not only valuable resources, but also money to landfill.

Secondhand market more popular during Covid-19

Interestingly, the secondhand market has actually grown during the pandemic.

Popular app Depop, where users can buy and sell preloved and vintage, recently reported  a huge increase in signups, traffic and sales. Online thrift shop thredUP also noted a dramatic increase in activity with 50% more people cleaning out their cupboards in April and May. 

Taking part in the secondhand economy

In its report, Gumtree says that the secondhand market is worth a whopping $43 billion and if you have some unused items hanging around, you could claim a piece of that pie. For some inspiration, Gumtree’s top ten search terms in July were:

Of course you don’t just have to take part in the second hand market as a seller, you can also take part as a buyer. 

When you sell your unwanted items on, you give someone else the opportunity to save money on something they would otherwise have had to buy new. On the flip side of that, when you buy secondhand, you can grab some really great bargains. Just make sure to follow all of Gumtree’s health and safety guidelines for selling during Covid-19. At this time, Gumtree is advising Victorians not to meet face-to-face to trade.

Saving for a rainy day

One thing that might help with your secondhand selling aspirations is to have a goal. So let’s just say you gather all your unwanted items and figure out that you have around $1,000 worth of stuff. If you manage to sell all of it on either Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace or eBay, you could keep that money aside and stash it away for a rainy day.

You could even boost your earnings by shifting your money into a high interest savings account. Head to Mozo’s high interest savings accounts page to compare options or check out the interest rates on offer below to see if you could be earning more interest.

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Tara McCabe
Money writer

Tara McCabe writes across all areas of personal finance here at Mozo from banking through to insurance. Tara is expert at practical money tips, showing readers ways to live richer and be socially conscious while doing it. She earned a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Canterbury Christ Church University.