How to make a quick $1500 from household items
Exclusive: Cash-strapped Australians are selling off their preloved wares to make more money during the coronavirus pandemic, as others rent out everything from camping tents to sewing machines.
Consumers are also turning to online marketplaces like Gumtree and eBay Australia to trade their second-hand and unused items.
New data obtained by News Corp from eBay revealed preloved purchases were up 40 per cent across March to May compared to the same period last year.
It also recorded a 15 per cent rise in the number of second-hand items listed over March and April.
The most in-demand items were high-value tech including laptops and monitors, video game consoles and televisions.
Sellers made an average of $414 through selling mobile phones - the most popular second-hand purchase.
Laptops typically generated sellers $536, while TVs and video game consoles had average sale prices of $395 and $204 respectively.
Australians were also willing to forgo instant coffee while working from home, with espresso machine sales also up, selling for an average of $198.
"We know the last couple of months have been tough on many Australians and it's not surprising that March saw the biggest uplift (a 23 per cent increase in people listing second-hand items) as many people felt uncertain - financially or otherwise - as isolation began," eBay Australia spokeswoman Sophie Onikul said.
"The spike in selling was likely driven by people wanting to make some extra money or those with more time on their hands cleaning out their homes."
Gumtree also told News Corp it had seen demand shift with a 65 per cent increase in people browsing bicycles when compared to the three weeks prior from mid-April to early May.
Consumers were also hunting for house and garden items, books and games.
Browsing activity for wedding and party services climbed almost 40 per cent, and nearly 30 per cent for caravans and campervans.
Some of the most searched-for items on Gumtree during the national lockdown included desks, bikes, gym equipment, gaming consoles and home and garden items.
"COVID-19 has changed consumer behaviour in many ways, and what we are finding at Gumtree is that people are looking for online opportunities to buy, sell and connect more than ever before," Gumtree spokeswoman Amanda Behre said.
"This trend could be attributed to Australians having more time at home during the ongoing restrictions to browse and de-clutter their homes."
Entrepreneurial Melburnian Ally Phillips has launched a peer-to-peer lending service so people can make money from unused items without having to sell them.
She and business partner Dan Watts recently launched Checkout My Shed.
Users of the site can rent items from others including power tools, barbecues, camping gear and kitchenwares.
Owners choose how long they would like to lease the item for and set their price, with the website taking a 15 per cent cut of any money made.
Lenders can also select a replacement fee in case the item is broken or lost.
While the bulk of listings are currently in Melbourne and Sydney, Ms Phillips said numbers are growing and has hopes for the website to become a national service.
The 31-year-old said she had received some "overwhelmingly positive feedback".
"What we focus on is rentals; so it means we're here if you want to list, or if you want to rent," she said.
"It means that members can search for exactly what they want and when they want it."
'IT'S A GOOD WAY TO MAKE MONEY AND HELP THE COMMUNITY'
Hannah Keenan has embraced the rental movement, listing everything from a sewing machine to a camping tent on Checkout My Shed.
Ms Keenan, 29, from Reservoir in Melbourne's north, recently joined the site and said it seemed like a good way to make easy money, especially though renting out unused high-value items that might otherwise go to landfill.
"It's hard rubbish collection near me at the moment and there is so much stuff that is going to end up in landfill. I think it's good that there's now a way to lend out high-value items that we do buy, make a bit of money from them and also help out someone in the community," she said.
She said she had a slow cooker, camping chairs, sewing machine, suitcases and a tent available for rent, ranging from $15 to $90 with varying loan periods.
"The 10-person tent for example I have up for $90 for a week, and that's a good amount of time to be able to borrow it, use it and return it," she said.
While she hasn't made a transaction yet, she said you could just "set and forget" until someone made an inquiry.
"You can post them item on the site really easily and forget about it. It's not something you have to maintain. It's just a matter of waiting for someone to request to borrow those things.
The expectant mother said baby items were very expensive, and she had previously looked for ways that she could borrow rather than buy them.
"Once I've used things I've bought to their maximum capability, I'm going to list them to make sure that other new mums that may not be able to afford new things can potentially borrow something for up to three months," she said.
Originally published as How to make a quick $1500 from household items