Britons earn cash selling personal goods in Covid clearout

Martin Lewis Money Show viewer discusses her past debt

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Selling items you no longer want is a great way to raise cash to pay down debts built up over the last year, or fund a post- Covid spending spree. One in three shoppers bought clothing during the pandemic that they no longer wear, with more than a quarter buying electronic items they no longer use. Web retailer eBay has seen a post-lockdown surge in secondhand sales, with the average seller making more than £500 by selling just 15 items. The site’s head of pre-loved Emma Grant said: “We anticipate more people looking to sell things they no longer want, wear or need, to fund their lifestyle.”

Electric bicycles are big sellers, fetching an average price of £877. Elsewhere, camera drones (£648) theApple iPhone X 64GB (£382) and treadmills (£355) also sell well.

Others are selling unwanted furniture, with mirrored sliding wardrobes selling for £361 on average. Branded goods are also very popular, with Next, Nike, Lego, Apple and Adidas generating the highest number of second-hand sales.

Separate research from 118 118 Money shows that some make hundreds or even thousands of pounds from selling rare items or collectibles. Pokémon card collections have an average listing price of £69.33, but rare card bundles go for £10,000.

First edition Harry Potter books sell for up to £6,800 on eBay, it said, while old comic books can fetch up to £8,450.

The average 1950s coin was sold for £113.50, but collector’s item the 1958 Great Britain Gold Sovereign Elizabeth coin can go for as much as £550. Vinyl has also made a comeback and this has boosted the value of vintage record collections, with The Beatles, Pink Floyd and progressive rock LPs typically worth most, if in good condition.

Vintage toys such as Polly Pocket, Beanie Babies, original Furbys and Tamagotchis can also fetch good money, especially with the original packaging.

Grant said when selling items online, let the product speak for itself. “Shoot your item on the plainest, simplest background, and avoid background clutter.”

Think seasonally, for example, selling old sunglasses in spring and heavy coats in September. “Sunday is the best day for selling on eBay, as people have more time to shop,” she said.

Always be honest and upfront. “Mention any flaws such as scuffs on shoes or chips on glassware,” Grant said.

Save on postage with delivery and drop-off services such as Packlink, with prices starting from as little as £2.85. Make sure you understand what charges you pay when selling online, and if your item has a unique selling point, say, a first edition, this should be up front and centre in your description.

You can sell items up to £1,000 a year tax-free under the trading allowance, but check rules on larger sales, or if turning your hobby into a business.

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