The phenomenon of selling to save

Ebay logo that represent selling to save

Savings

Alistair Hardie

11th October 2013 at 3:56pm

Do you remember the story of the man who sold his life to make a fresh start?

 In 2008, 44 year old Ian Usher from Darlington auctioned everything he owned – house, furniture, car, even his job, on eBay.

Now it seems the rest of us are catching up. Our recent research revealed that nearly one in three UK adults are selling their unwanted belongings on sites like eBay and Gumtree as a way of making some extra cash.

Last year eBay revealed research that showed the average UK household contains over £1,045 worth of unwanted items.  This includes things such as handbags, mobile phones and laptops, which could be sold to release their cash value. Our research seems to suggest that more and more of us have figured that out – and are doing something about it.

It’s just part of a major trend to be more financially savvy.  A trend that also includes buying second hand rather than new.  More than one in four adults are now going online to buy second hand furniture, cars, clothes and gadgets – and pocketing the difference.

One can only applaud this upsurge in entrepreneurial spirit; a win-win for buyers and sellers alike. But what are we doing with all that extra money we save?

18% used the cash to fund a holiday rather saving the sale proceeds for the future.

According to eBay, 18% used the cash to fund a holiday rather saving the sale proceeds for the future.  That’s certainly preferable to building up debt which you can’t afford to repay.  But maybe for some people a priority item could be to build-up an emergency fund.  Or maybe a nest egg for the future?

For more information on getting your savings back on track, read our 6 tips to shaping up your savings here.

In the meantime, it might be worthwhile sorting through some of your unwanted possessions this weekend, with a view to unlocking their hidden value. You never know how much cash is in your attic.

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