Australia’s booming second-hand economy is dramatically transforming our loungerooms, kitchens and garages as budget-savvy, environmentally aware and trend-conscious homemakers fervently embrace ‘preloved goods’.
Search activity on second hand trading sites such as Gumtree and Buy Search Sell has exploded by over 100 per cent over the last year as Aussies seek to make cut-price, sustainable and fashionable updates to their homes.
After recently moving out of home for the second time, after losing her job due to COVID-19, Charli Mayer, 26, furnished her entire home via the second-hand economy
“I went to Ikea to see what I could afford, but once I put together the cost of every item, down to the tea-towels, it was a lot of money,” Ms Mayer said.
“It was getting out of hand.”
Friends who had been through something similar suggested she look at sites which sold contemporary and trendy second-hand goods.
“I was really shocked at the quality of the items,” she said.
“The pandemic had seen a lot of people move back home with their parents or just reassess their living arrangements and they were selling beautiful furniture and homewares too … a lot of things were brand new.”
Ms Mayer estimates she saved around $3000 by furnishing her home via second-hand sites, garage sales and community Facebook groups.
Year on year searches on Gumtree for video game consoles are up 34 per cent, audio and speakers are up 37 per cent, kitchen and dining goods are up 54 per cent, and interest in home gym and fitness items are up a whopping 112 per cent.
Home offices are also giving used goods a new lease of live with interest in office chairs on Gumtree up 115 per cent year on year, search for monitors up 80 per cent and desks up 50 per cent over the same period.
Gumtree’s Eleni Gavalas says Australians are increasingly turning to the second hand economy to save or make money.
“Our 2020 Second Hand Economy Report shone a light on Australian consumers’ increasing desire to do the right thing by the environment, with individuals saving approximately 13 items from ending up in landfill by buying or selling second hand.”
However, despite the shift to online, the traditional buyer beware principle still applies.
“Be aware,” Ms Gavalas said.
“If a listing seems too good to be true it probably is.”
And do your research before you commit to buying.
“Research the style you love, and compare products and prices online before searching,” Ms Gavalas added.
Don’t miss our new look At Home magazine every Saturday or visit us online At Home.