Aussies Can Make $5k Selling Second-Hand Items in Their Homes, Data Finds


The 10th annual Second Hand Economy Report from Gumtree has revealed Australia’s second-hand economy is worth $46 billion — $3 billion more than any other year.

In addition, the findings from the report show each Australian household is sitting on approximately $5,800 worth of pre-loved or unused items they no longer want or need.

It’s an amount households could theoretically make back if they engaged with second-hand marketplaces like Gumtree to sell approximately 19 items, according to the data.

Now, Gumtree wants to empower Australians to list these unwanted items as a way of earning some extra income, to help people pay for necessary expenses, and in particular, in a time when many households have been affected financially by the ongoing pandemic.

“It’s our mission to empower people and create economic opportunity and with potentially thousands of dollars worth of unwanted items sitting around homes across Australia, we believe the second-hand economy is the perfect way to relieve financial pressure during this time,” says Amanda Behre, head of marketing for Gumtree Australia.

“We’re encouraging Aussies to find the $5,800 worth of pre-loved items lying around the house as a way to supplement income or help pay for necessary expenses.”

Of course, some items are worth more than others in the second-hand economy. So far in 2020, it’s pre-loved furniture and home décor that has earned sellers the most money, and fastest too. With people spending more time than ever at home, it’s perhaps no surprise that home and garden items have been the most popular.

According to the data, appliances, kitchen and dining pieces, chairs, gardening tools, lamps and home decor listings have performed the best and have earned sellers the most money. But the buyer benefits from the sale too.

Gumtree’s findings show 43% of shoppers felt they saved almost 50% on items purchased through the platform. The most popular items for buyers include furniture and decor, textbooks, cars, sporting goods and electronics.


Not only does listing and shopping second-hand items help save money, but it’s also, without doubt, the most sustainable way to accrue items and reduce the environmental impact of shopping new.

According to Gumtree’s findings, Australians using the second-hand economy each saved 13 items from ending up in landfill, which is a huge achievement and one that could seriously make a difference if more people shopped this way.

As for how you can make the most of second-hand marketplaces and earn your $5k in a flash? Well, we have some ideas.

Lillian Ahenkan, who goes by the name Flex Mami on Instagram, is a huge fan of second-hand furniture and decor shopping. Forever making colourful updates her eccentric Sydney home, the podcast host, DJ and entrepreneur knows a thing or ten about upcycling lacklustre pieces with potential, into one-of-a-kind items to be treasured forever.

Flex Mami knows, perhaps better than most, the importance in putting effort into your listings. An eye-catching listing that stands out in a saturated online marketplace is truly the difference when it comes to selling your pieces fast.

“Aesthetics are crucial to make your listing stand out from the crowd. You want people to stop scrolling to click through to your item, and a killer image is what draws people in,” she tells The Latch.

“The thought of making things look cute can be exhausting but if you take that work off the buyer and show off an item at its best, they are more likely to be drawn to your listing.”


Flex Mami says laziness in your listings shines through, and by cutting corners, you can actually convey to buyers that you care very little about the pieces you’re trying to sell, which can actively work against you.

“A listing with only one or two dimly lit or blurry photos and a limited description is a turn off for me. I love upcycling so don’t mind if an item is old or a little worn out, but you just want to make sure you know exactly what you are buying.

“This is why it is so important to have great images and detailed descriptions when selling second-hand, regardless of the age or how pre-loved an item is.”

Below, Flex Mami shares her top five tips for successfully listing and selling your second-hand items on Gumtree.

The setting is everything. Find a blank background like a wall to shoot against.

Styling is super easy. Place your item on a pillar or a tabletop and put all the accessories that go with it in the frame.

Good lighting is so important. Natural lighting from a window is hard to beat so try and take photos during the day if you can. Use the edit functions on your smartphone or camera to add extra light, if necessary. Standard rules — never take a photo at night with your lamp on and never have a shadow on your pic.

Find the angle that makes your item look the best. Don’t be too close or far away, just enough so you can see the item in all its glory.

Take a few crystal clear photos to show your item in detail and people have a better idea of what you’re selling. For example, I find holding up décor in my hand with my brightly painted nails draws maximum attention.


Listing your item is just the beginnings. Flex Mami says the work continues into the negotiation phase, and that to be successful in selling your items for what they’re worth, you need to conduct your Gumtree profile like a business.

“Just like any normal business it is important to treat your customers with respect. Putting your best foot forward is key to a smooth and successful sale. Starting with strong images and following up with a detailed description means more people will be inclined to click on your listing but it will also reduce the volume of questions people will send you, which will save you time.”

Flex Mami says it’s important for your own ratings as a seller not to ‘ghost’ potential buyers and to keep your notifications turned on on the Gumtree app so you can reply as promptly as possible.

“If you aren’t happy with the price someone is offering you are allowed to say no,  just be clear and polite!”

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