You can make up to $5,000 just by clearing out your home and selling your household items.

Online trader Gumtree has released a report, Trading in the Circular Economy. Since 2000, Gumtree says it has been helping people participate in the circular economy – which is basically recycling under a flash new name.

So what exactly is the circular economy?

The circular economy is a system where people rethink how they use products for society, the environment, and business. Instead of going into dumps or being wasted, creating more pollution, products and materials are kept in use.

Products and materials go through three stages in the linear model: take – make – dispose.

In the circular economy they go through extra stages – Make – use – repair and reuse – recycle and then back through each of those stages.

Gumtree encourages people to challenge traditional models of consumption and choose to buy and sell pre-loved or unused items.

Australians who have gone through their unwanted household items and participated in the circular economy have made around $5,300 from their unwanted items.

Millennials have unlocked the highest amount of money through the circular economy, with them earning $6,907 on average. This compares with $3,669 for Gen Xers and $3,399 coming in last at $3,399.

The industry’s value is $48 billion, which is a growth of 89% over the last ten years.

Gumtree’s report, Trading in the Circular Economy has revealed that 87% of Aussies have approximately 21 items they could sell. This is an increase from 19 in 2020.

One fifth of Australians have much more than that, with the potential to resell 40 pre-loved, unwanted or unused items per household.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aussies have started to re-assess their finances.

Almost half (48%) said that the pandemic affected their income with 34% reporting a reduction in their earnings and the same number experiencing a form of financial stress. 6% said that their financial stress was high.

Over half of Australians said they were worried about their ability to pay for regular household expenses such as food, utility bills, internet, etc.

A third of Australians were concerned about their ability to meet unexpected costs.

Gumtree’s survey asked respondents about what financial freedom meant to them.

Almost half said that selling pre-loved, unwanted, or unused items was one way they were trying to unlock financial freedom.

So what exactly does financial freedom mean to Australians?

Almost 40 per cent said that it meant they could meet their daily living expenses and still have some money left over for luxuries, 36 per cent said it meant being debt-free, 33 per cent said that it meant not being pre-occupied with financial concerns and 31 per cent said it meant being able to save some of their income.

The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt in all sectors of the community, with 55 per cent of those affected creating their alternative income streams.

Over half ( 53%) of Australians who experienced a financial loss have already bought or sold pre-loved items to supplement their lost income.

Aussies are using the extra cash for lifestyle or house and garden items, and over 60 per cent have sold their pre-loved items to replace the item with something new.

Over 8 in ten said they are consuming goods with a focus on how it will affect the planet and almost half  are concerned about the environmental impact of buying new.

Gumtree has plans to educate more of the community on how to share more and waste less.

Half of Australians have sold pre-loved items in the last year and 9 in ten have purchased pre-loved items at some stage, which translates to 89 million used goods changing hands.

Here’s what Australians sold in the circular economy:


The top categories

Office furniture (42%), dining tables (41%), cars (40%), and home decor or other furniture items (37%).

Five tips to make the most of the circular economy.

  1. Be descriptive when selling your items.
  2. Interact with your buyers.
  3. Trade safely by taking a friend to collect an item.
  4. Think ahead by keeping the packing and receipt for any item you buy new.
  5. List what’s in demand.

Five buying tips:

  1. Do your research.
  2. Save your searches.
  3. Ask questions.
  4. Practice safe trading.
  5. Set it up safely by following the supplier or manufacturers instructions

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