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Trade Me’s Secondhand Economy Report; Every Kiwi Could Make $1,700 Without Even Leaving The House

Kiwis could make $1,700 by offloading items that they no longer use or need according to a recent report by Trade Me on New Zealand’s secondhand economy.

Trade Me’s Head of Marketplace Ivan Fuyala said over 4,400 Kiwis took part in the survey looking at the state of New Zealand’s secondhand economy in 2021. “This year’s data paints a picture of a thriving secondhand economy, with millions of Kiwis getting involved and caring for the environment, saving money, and giving used items a second life along the way.”

Mr Fuyala said this year marked the third edition of the report. “In 2019, we set out to explore New Zealand’s secondhand economy for the first time and find out exactly where, how, and why Kiwis buy, sell, and trade preloved items. We want to understand the scale and significance of our secondhand economy, and track how it evolves over time.”

Three years on, Mr Fuyala said Trade Me’s latest research shows the secondhand economy is stronger than ever in 2021. “In the past six months alone, 58 per cent of Kiwis have sold a preloved item and two thirds of Kiwis have bought something secondhand.

“On the whole Kiwis are pretty chuffed with these purchases, too, with 83 per cent of respondents saying they feel proud of their secondhand purchases.”

Every Kiwi has 26 items to sell

The report found on average every New Zealander has at least 26 items they could offload. “That adds up to a total of around 133 million secondhand items in homes across the country that are no longer used or needed.

“Clothing, shoes & accessories, home & living, books, CDs & DVDs were cited as the most common things Kiwis have to clear out.”

And with the average selling price of a used item on Trade Me Marketplace increasing by 10 per cent in the past year, Mr Fuyala said Kiwis now stand to make more when they sell their secondhand stuff. “Based on the average selling price of items sold on Trade Me, each Kiwi has around $1,700 worth of unwanted stuff gathering dust in their cupboards, wardrobes and garages.

“This marks a $200 increase when compared with 2020, and a whopping $500 increase when compared with 2019.”

Millennials prove to be the biggest secondhand lovers

Looking across different generations, Millennials were the most likely to purchase preloved items, with over three quarters (78%) of respondents in the age group saying they would buy secondhand. “By comparison, 67 per cent of Boomers said they would purchase used items.”

Mr Fuyala said zooming in on the regions, Northland is secondhand central. “As we also saw last year, those living in and around Northland are the strongest supporters of the secondhand economy, with 44 per cent saying they ‘definitely would’ buy secondhand.

“Of New Zealand’s main centres, Wellingtonians and Cantarbrians are the most active in the secondhand economy, with 37 per cent saying they definitely would buy preloved items in both regions. Aucklanders were a little behind, with 32 per cent saying they’d definitely go for secondhand.”

Covid-19 shapes the secondhand economy

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a massive impact on the New Zealand economy in 2021. “After the nationwide lockdown in August this year, we saw a marked increase in the number of secondhand goods listed and sold onsite.

“This reflects what we saw after the 2020 lockdown, after Kiwis spent their spare time at home clearing out cupboards and selling items that no longer sparked joy.”

In the most recent lockdown, Trade Me search data showed Kiwis looked for used items to make their lockdown more enjoyable. ”August’s lockdown proved to be a great time for Kiwis to turn to the secondhand economy to find a more comfy couch, order an air fryer, or upgrade their work-from-home stations.”

Looking ahead, 43 per cent of respondents think that the effects of Covid-19 are likely to cause the secondhand economy in New Zealand to grow.

The future of the secondhand economy

Mr Fuyala said Trade Me has played a significant role in New Zealand’s secondhand economy since its launch in 1999. “We’re proud to have been part of our secondhand economy for over 22 years and our research shows Kiwis who use Trade Me are 10 per cent more likely to consider the environment when they make purchases, compared to those who don’t.

“Our mission is to continue to provide Kiwis with a safe and trusted online marketplace where they can find that item they’re looking for - whether that’s a sausage roll maker, a Toyota Hilux, or anything in between.”

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