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By Brad Young, Money team

Unwanted items worth hundreds of pounds are lying around our homes – but knowing what’s trending on second-hand sites can be the difference between earning a pittance and a pretty penny.

Springtime essentials, coffee machines and wedding outfits are among several unique buying trends shared by eBay and Gumtree exclusively with the Money team.

Gumtree sellers expect to make £562 on average in 2024, and with almost half (48%) of Gen Z planning to earn from second-hand markets, that figure jumps to £841 among those aged under 26.

People own 56 unwanted items on average and “that is just money that is waiting to be made”, says Jill Cotton, head of public relations at Gumtree. 

And Lisa Marcais, eBay UK’s director of customer-to-customer, says: “There’s probably something lurking in every room, from retro toys hiding away in the loft to a kitchen appliance you no longer love to use.” 


Sunnier days ahead

In the “deepest, darkest depths” of winter, people are thinking of spring and “wanting to get back outdoors”, Ms Cotton says.

Searches for patio and garden furniture have jumped a “crazy” 172% in the past month.

Garden toys, lights, lawnmowers and topsoil have also been trending, as well as tents and caravan trailers up 100%.

“You can see that people are beginning to think about outside their homes after having snuggled down for the whole of winter,” she says.

Spring babies and summer weddings 

Wedding-related search terms have increased, from mother-of-the-bride outfits to bridesmaids’ dresses. 

“That’s probably because over the Christmas period, lots of people get engaged” and now people are receiving their wedding invitations, Ms Cotton says.

“Babywear, strollers, cribs, prams, things like that are also having a moment in time as we gear up for all those spring babies.”

Always in vogue 

By tallying up annual searches, Gumtree data shows sofas, tables and beds were among the top most sought-after products, with sellers asking for £294, £143 and £145 on average respectively. 

Bikes, iPhones and guitars were also at the top of the table, but variation between brands made providing an average price a little unreliable. 

“It’s lots of those big-ticket items that you need for your home,” she says.  

“So if you’re buying yourself a new fridge-freezer, chest of drawers or wardrobe, definitely list because there’s absolutely people all year round looking for those items.”


“Lego and Barbie – that is the type of brand that is well-loved by lots of different ages and always sells well on our platform,” Ms Cotton says.

Big branded items tend to retain their value best, depending on the condition. 

Designer furniture “holds its value really well” on Gumtree, while 90s fashion has been “all over the catwalk”, giving old Carhartt and Berghaus jumpers a boost.


Winter warmers 

In contrast to Gumtree’s findings, Lisa Marcais says the wintery season is a more difficult time to sell spring-themed items at a good price. 

“Seasonality plays a huge role in what sells best and when. Whilst the weather is still chilly, we expect to see demand for items of warm clothing,” she says.

Searches for heated blankets increased by 200% between 1 January and 1 February, with scarves up 55% and hats 30%. 

Home tech

Being stuck indoors may also play a role in the high demand for home technology on eBay.

“While the mornings are still dark, home-tech items such as Lumie alarm clocks are particularly popular as people look to brighten gloomy mornings,” Ms Marcais says. 

“We’ve also recently seen a surge in searches for coffee machines and cafe bar styling as people look to create cosy cafe vibes at home.”

Customers searched for coffee machines 400% more between Christmas and 7 January, with Smeg espresso machines seeing a 116% increase and Smeg kettles 62%. 

Think retro  

Retro items are coming back into style across all categories, Ms Marcais says. 

Digital cameras ranked third among eBay’s top-selling items in 2023, selling for £200 on average. 

Vinyl came in eighth, earning sellers £15 on average. 

TV trends

Driving the retro trend are TV shows and movies. Interest in 70s fashion increased after the release of Daisy Jones And The Six, and eBay saw a “huge increase” in searches for pink clothes and handbags once Barbie fever took hold, according to Ms Marcais. 

“Looking ahead to 2024, expect to see popular TV shows and films continue to influence sought-after items and check out if you have anything that matches the trend.”

Household tools 

“The popularity of household tools always surprises me,” Ms Marcais says, adding many people tend to buy tools for one-off projects and then sell them on.

How to make your product stand out 

We asked Ms Cotton and Ms Marcais for their top tips on making a second-hand sale:

  • Take clear, well-lit and high-quality pictures from many different angles
  • Write a clear, concise heading including keywords 
  • Don’t skimp on the detail in your description – and use bullet points so it’s mobile-friendly
  • Time your listing: More eyeballs are looking on Sunday afternoon (Gumtree) and evening (eBay), than during the school run
  • Price fairly: Take a look at similar items
  • Choose the right category – check whether other sellers are listing their football boots under “shoes” or “sportswear”
  • Be responsive to questions 

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