Second-hand economy reaches $46 billion as COVID-19 drives interest in pre-loved bargains

second-hand economy

Aussies are selling their once-loved possessions in droves amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with the second-hand economy booming over the last year, according to online marketplace Gumtree.

The company released its 10th annual Second-Hand Economy Report yesterday afternoon, claiming the second-hand economy will reach $46 billion this year.

That’s $3 billion higher than any other time over the past decade.

Gumtree says it is experiencing a rise in customers selling on its platform rather than just buying items, citing a customer survey that found 42% of Aussies are more likely to sell items in the second-hand economy due to the coronavirus crisis.

In 2011, Gumtree recorded the second-hand economy’s value at $25 billion, meaning more than $21 billion has flowed into the industry over the last decade.

The findings are good news for myriad sole traders operating in the second-hand space as part of their general business operations, while a survey undertaken by the marketplace reveals some interesting consumer trends.

“According to 2020 findings, it is evident through the second-hand economy that Australians are benefitting by clearing out unused goods and upgrading our spaces, buying second-hand items such as home décor and furniture,” Gumtree managing director Mark Kehoe said of the report.

The findings were pulled from a nationally weighted YouGov Galaxy survey of 1,020 Aussies in the first to second week of August.

Those surveyed, on average, said they had 19 unwanted household items in their lives, worth what Gumtree estimates is about $5,800 on average per household.

Gumtree says growing environmental consciousness is also helping drive customers to its platform, with 48% of Aussies saying they’re becoming more concerned about their “brand new” footprints.

The most common items Aussies said they would purchase second hand were home decor/furniture (48%), textbooks (39%), cars (39%), sporting equipment (32%) and electronic goods (31%).

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