The average Kiwi could make as much as $1700 from selling their unwanted items online, auction website Trade Me says.
During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, the most in-demand items were mountain bikes, caravans, spa pools, Lego and couches, Trade Me says. Following the Delta outbreak in August, the website has seen a "sharp increase" in the number of second-hand goods listed and sold.
Released on Thursday, results of a 2021 Secondhand Economy Report of 4403 Kiwis commissioned by Trade Me in August show almost three-quarters (74 percent) had bought a preloved item in the last six months. Over half (58 percent) had sold at least one item.
Survey responses indicate the average person has 26 unwanted items they could offload. The most common items were clothing, books and/or CDs/DVDs and home and living items, Trade Me says.
Based on this year's average auction selling prices, Trade Me head of marketplace Ivan Fuyala estimates those secondhand items could potentially be worth $1700.
"Based on the average selling price of items sold on Trade Me, each Kiwi has around $1700 worth of unwanted stuff gathering dust in their cupboards, wardrobes and garages," Fuyala said.
The three most common reasons for selling preloved items were to declutter (67 percent of respondents) and thinking of others (53 percent), followed by environmental benefits (39 percent).
At $108.16, the home and living category has the highest average selling price. Within the category, desks and couches were most popular, Trade Me figures showing 42,000 and 26,000 searches over the last week.
Clothing and fashion items carry an average selling price of $27.69, while for books, the average selling price is $15.21 ($11-$12 for CDs/DVDs).
Depending on brand and condition, selling unwanted clothing can be hit-or-miss. But predictably, certain brands are more sought-after.
"Nike is the most loved brand on site seeing 32,100 searches in the last seven days, Lululemon came second with 10,400 searches, while Country Road saw 9900," Fuyala added.
But while there is an opportunity to turn unwanted items into cash, listing and selling items takes time and effort: items have to be cleaned and photographed and any defects or missing parts noted.
If the item sells, there's either postage or pick up to arrange. A success fee (7.9 percent of the sale price for casual sellers, up to $349), also applies. Although a basic listing is free, additional fees may apply, such as for gallery and feature listings.
"I generally won't sell something unless it's $20 or more," one Trade Me member said.
But if there's life left in the item and profit isn't the main motive, the time and effort could still be worthwhile.
"If it's something I don't want to throw into landfill and I think someone could get use out of it, it's worth it (as long as they pick it up)," another said.
Before listing unwanted items, sellers are wise to consider their reason for selling and what the item could be worth, ensuring the opening bid and/or reserve price are set accordingly.