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Average Australian household has $5,300 worth of unwanted, sellable goods, report reveals

A Second Hand Economy Report estimates that the average Australian household has about 23 unwanted or unused items, estimated to be worth $5,300.

The ninth annual report, released by Gumtree on September 4, estimates the collective value of these items are $43 billion.

Over the past 12 months, almost 95 million used items changed hands across living rooms and front yards, with Australian adults selling an average of 11 items per head during this period, the report revealed.

The report shone a light on Australian consumers’ increasing desire to do the right thing by the environment.

Australians estimate they have saved about 15 items from ending up in landfill due to selling them through the second hand economy in the last year.

Four in ten Australians (39 per cent) are now concerned about the environmental impact of buying ‘brand new’ products, with millennials most concerned at 44 per cent.

When purchasing items, Australians have moved towards a trend of minimalism as they seek ‘quality over quantity’.

The report reveals Australians are most likely to associate the term ‘value’ with items that last longer (50 per cent) and items that cost a fraction of what they would cost if bought new (50 per cent), followed by high quality items (38 per cent), trusted brands (31 per cent) and cheaper or low cost items (30 per cent). 

Three quarters of Australians (76 per cent) are now making a conscious effort to ‘declutter’ their homes – but as has been indicated by the buying power of the second hand economy, there is always someone who finds value in the unused or unwanted items of others.

Gumtree Australia head of marketing, Amanda Behre, said more than half of Australians (57 per cent) have sold second hand items in the last year.

“[They] are most likely to spend the extra cash on important things like household expenses (42 per cent).  However, many are also leveraging the sharing economy to pay for that holiday (30 per cent) that they might not otherwise be able to afford.”

Behre explained that the second hand economy can be equally as lucrative for buyers.

“The average Australian estimates that they can save almost half (43 per cent) buying second hand over new.”  

The report estimated the main unwanted household items in 2019 are furniture (35 per cent); tools, gardening and DIY (25 per cent); general electrical goods, including phones and PCs (43 per cent); white goods and appliances (22 per cent); collectables and antiques (20 per cent); sports and fitness (34 per cent); clothing, shoes and accessories (62 per cent).