How to make money by turning your unwanted goods into cash

Whether it's not-quite-right Christmas gifts or the results of a New Year clean out, your trash might be someone else's treasure.  

A survey by online marketplace Gumtree found that Australians received more than 21 million unwanted gifts for Christmas in 2017 with an average value of $68 each1.

If that sounds familiar, you might be among – or might want to consider joining – more than 3 million Australians who plan to sell an unwanted gift, and move forward in the new year with fewer belongings and a bit of extra summer spending money2.

Why sell secondhand?

Aside from unwanted gifts, a bout of decluttering or a good clean out can also unearth saleable items you’ve been holding onto.

Or perhaps you’re feeling weighed down by material possessions and simply want to live with less.

Whatever the reason, the good news is that in 2017, secondhand sellers in Australia collectively earned $36.2 billion3.

And there are plenty of buyers, with 86% of Australians saying they prefer buying secondhand over brand new, with the main reasons being that they can save money, find something unique and reduce waste by recycling useful items4.

With the high cost of housing, electricity bills skyrocketing and wages stagnant, cost of living pressures are another reason it makes sense to find a way to put a few more dollars in your pocket.

Where to sell secondhand

Of the 9.1 million Australians who sold something secondhand in 2017, 7.5 million did so online5.

Consider mass market websites like eBay, Gumtree or the Trading Post, search for local buy, swap and sell groups on Facebook or specialty sites relevant to the product you’re selling.

If online isn’t your thing, you could always hold a garage sale, or book a stall at a local market or fete.

Tips for selling secondhand

Wherever you choose to sell your goods, there are a few tips you should remember to improve your chances of a successful sale.

  • Do your research so you can set a realistic asking price.
  • Provide a detailed - and honest – description of the item you’re selling, including good quality photos. The more information you give the less chance there is for misunderstandings, which could bring the sale undone.
  • Ensure you respond to potential buyer’s questions quickly and update the description if necessary to actively manage the sale.
  • Allow potential buyers to view the item, especially if it’s expensive.
  • Be prepared to negotiate.

Other ways to save and simplify

If saving more or managing your money better is one of your goals this year, check out our articles New year, new financial resolutions and 5 rules of thumb to make your money go further.

The award-winning AMP Bett3r Account, a smart bank account which enables you to separate your money into pay, save and spend buckets may also help.

And if simplifying your life, reducing your consumption and avoiding waste is on the agenda, our articles What minimalism can do for your mind and money and 9 ways to stop wasting food and start saving money may provide some inspiration.

Happy selling!

 

1,2 Gumtree, Unwanted Gifts Survey, 2017.
3,4,5 Gumtree, Secondhand Economy Report, 2017.
 

Managing your money

Find out how you can make a big difference to the opportunities and lifestyle you enjoy today and tomorrow with our online module. 

Begin module

News&insights

Want to keep up to date with the latest news? Sign up now and be in the running to win one of 3 Google Homes.

Subscribe now

Manage your money the smart way

The new AMP Bett3r Account is a smart bank account that helps you manage your money and save for your goals.

Find out more

Want to keep up to date with the latest news? Sign up now and be in the running to win one of 3 Google Homes.

Sign up now

Recommended articles

Important information

Show more

Any advice in this page is general in nature and is provided by AMP Life Limited ABN 84 079 300 379 (AMP Life). The advice does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of this advice having regard to those matters. AMP Bett3r Account is issued by AMP Bank Limited ABN 15 081 596 009, AFSL 234517. Consider the terms and conditions available on request by calling 13 30 30 or at amp.com.au/bett3r and whether this product is appropriate for you. Fees and charges apply.

Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any decision. Except where liability cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability for any resulting loss or damage.