£27*/ *2 billion untapped cash sitting in homes accross Britain

The average UK household contains over £1,045*/*2 worth of unwanted items that could be re-sold for cash, new research from eBay reveals.

clearing out your drawers and cupboards could earn you the equivalent of a family holiday this summer -


The average UK household contains over £1,045*/*2 worth of unwanted items that could be re-sold for cash, new research from eBay reveals.


Among the most common unused items piling up under beds or tucked away in dusty drawers are mobile phones (average eBay selling price (AESP): £109*2), handbags (AESP: £21*2) and laptops (AESP: £142*2) – all of which could be sold to raise extra money this summer. In fact, £896 is the equivalent of the average UK family holiday for four,*3 so decluttering could mean a free holiday this summer.


While one fifth of Brits (18%*) who sell unused items admit they sell to fund holidays away, a staggering 3m Brits (5%*) admit to never throwing anything away, preferring to hoard household items at home, even if they are no longer of use.


eBay spokesperson Laura Wilkinson said, “Just because you no longer use something, it doesn’t mean it’s not useful to someone, or not worth something in re-sell value. For example, sat navs sell for an average of £73*2, Games consoles for £58*2, and bicycles for £122*2. Selling things you no longer need helps declutter the home and it’s never been so easy – sellers can now download the eBay app for free, which allows you to list items in just 60 seconds using barcode scanning technology.”


Those looking to sell unwanted household items and make some quick cash in time for summer can use eBay’s top tips for selling:

  1. Timing is key. Have a think about the best times to list – listings that end in the middle of the night will be seen by less people
  2. Start at a low price. If you keep your start price at 99p then it’s free to list, and  you’ll attract more buyers
  3. The title is vital. The first thing that buyers see is the item title. You only have 55 characters to get their attention, so make them count. Include details like size
  4. Retail with detail. Make sure you include all available information when you’re describing your item and use good, clear pictures.  Also, make sure you’re on hand after the sale to provide great customer service.  This will ensure positive Feedback and a great experience for both you and your buyer
  5. Use your mobile. The eBay app is free to download and can list an item in just sixty seconds


Jasmine Birtles, independent finance expert and founder of agrees that selling things you no longer need is a great way of boosting your finances. She says “if you don’t need something anymore, I think selling is a brilliant way of making extra cash and giving yourself some extra space at the same time. You can even get into 'neutral shopping' where you use the money you've made from selling to buy something else - that's like getting it for free! There are lots of ways you could sell on your old things to make way for shiny new ones. You could have a house clear-out and raise enough cash for your summer holiday and more."


eBay, the UK’s number one shopping destination, conducted its research in eight countries across the EU, and found that Brits are much better at decluttering than our European counterparts. Italians came out top as the biggest hoarders in Europe, with each household sitting on 84 unwanted household items, compared with 28 per household in the UK*:


Number of unwanted items per household in Europe*:

  • Italy: 84
  • Belgium: 64
  • Austria: 54
  • Spain: 53
  • Ireland: 41
  • France: 41
  • Germany: 39
  • UK: 28

- Ends -

For further information, case studies or more research data, contact Shine Communications on: 0207 100 7100:

Kate McGregor /


* TNS Consumer research ‘unused item’ carried out March 2012

*2 eBay internal data

*3 TNS Consumer research ‘GB Domestic Tourism’ 2011


Notes to editors:


TNS consumer research of 992 UK respondents. Respondents were asked to list the number of unwanted items in their household, based on a list of 48 common household items, providing an average number of each item that was unwanted per household. This average was then multiplied by eBay’s average selling price for each household item, which was combined to give a household total value. £27bn is based on the UK household average of £1,045 multiplied by 26.05 households in the UK.


Great Britain’s biggest hoarding regions, based on value of unwanted items per household*/*2:

  1. London: £2,030
  2. Scotland: £1,080
  3. South West: £1,050
  4. West Midlands: £1,040
  5. East Midlands: £1,040
  6. Wales: £1,010
  7. South East: £1,020
  8. Yorkshire: £980
  9. Northern Ireland: £960
  10. North East: £960
  11. East Anglia: £820
  12. North West: £670


Jasmine Birtles’ top tips for making extra money on the side:

1)       If you want to make money on the side, start with what you have. Everyone has something - it may be spare time or spare space or being in a handy location - and there's always a way of making money out of it. Even if you are house-bound, there are things you can do to make money including using your computer to do online surveys and other money-makers, accepting parcels and deliveries for neighbouring businesses and individuals and running a Virtual Assistant business.


2)       Even if some of the things you would like to sell on eBay are broken you may still be able to sell the parts. Computer parts sell as do car parts and parts of some machines. Broken electronics often have valuable metals inside them which is why some companies are eager to buy your old mobile phones, even if they're broken.


3)       More and more people are making money from their hobbies. Have a look at your hobbies - could you make money by selling things you make or by teaching what you know - maybe teaching yoga, singing or a language? If you're a great cake maker you could make more and sell them at car boot sales. Those with green fingers can grow plants to sell at local garages and markets.


4)       Don't just go for one money-maker. You could have several ways of making a small amount of money that add up to enough to live on. For example, I have friends who keep their families going by doing a mixture of walk-on work, tutoring, market research and some copywriting. That's a real 'portfolio career'!


Average eBay selling prices of household items*2:

  • Tablet PC: £46
  • Television: £133
  • Armchair: £90
  • Guitar: £46
  • Barbie doll: £10
  • Lego set: £10
  • Refrigerator: £63
  • Drill: £30
  • Pushchair: £83
  • Wristwatch: £42



Founded in 1999, is the UK’s largest online shopping destination, providing a platform for over 17m unique visitors per month to buy and sell new, unique and used items in a fun and easy way.

  • eBay has around 40 million live listings on the UK site, with fixed price goods accounting for the majority (61%) of items sold globally.
  • Sellers of all sizes, including 180,000 registered businesses and over 100 well-known brands and retailers use to reach the UK’s largest online shopping audience.
  • The eBay fashion Outlet sells products from over 30 high street brands at up to 70% off the recommended retail price.
  • Over 4m shoppers regularly look for Clothing, Shoes and Accessories on Transaction volume on eBay Fashion grew 30% YoY over 2010, outstripping the market.
  • is owned by eBay Inc, which has expanded to include a range of brands that help consumers find and purchase the goods they want including eBay, PayPal,, RedLaser, Milo and others