New eBay Study Reveals Growing "Social Selling" Trend

A new Glocal (sic) Trade Study, commissioned by eBay Classifieds Group, reveals the growing trend for "social selling" such as that found on, yep, you guessed it, eBay. It also reveals staggering wastage, with over 3-billion re-saleable items making there way to landfill across the globe. Here's the information from the study...

250 million people worldwide trading for extra cash
Study reveals growing trend of social sellers as people seek to make money through consumer to consumer trading.

A new study reveals a growing trend of social sellers, as people seek to make money through consumer to consumer trading both on and offline.

Key highlights include
• Over 250 million people globally have engaged in the growing trend of consumer to consumer trading to make some extra money, creating a new breed of social sellers
• 20% have made over £100 in the last 12 months
• 1.9m Brits claim to have made over £300 – bringing a national income of £587m
• The most entrepreneurial age in the UK is 26-35 year olds; the least is the younger generation – 18 to 25 year olds
World Wide Waste
• Despite this, over 300 million people admit to throwing away re-saleable goods giving an estimated global waste of 3 billion re-saleable products
• 77% of Brits say they will increase social-selling to help reduce the amount of waste in 2011.

In the last 12 months, over a quarter of a billion[2] people globally have engaged in the growing trend of consumer to consumer trading to make some extra money, creating a new breed of social sellers[3]. Whether it be at a car boot sale, a newspaper advert or an online classified, twenty per cent[4] of this budding business generation have made over £100 in the last 12 months through this consumer focused trading, according to a study released today.

The Glocal Trade Study, commissioned by eBay Classifieds Group, examines the patterns and attitudes across nine different countries on trading with other consumers in their area, combining internal data with findings from an external study of 9,000 respondents. Internal data from the market leader further supports the revelation of the growing social selling trend with a total of 221 million[5] classifieds adverts posted across its online classifieds sites in 2010, a 22 per cent increase since 2009.

Across the nine countries, the Netherlands takes first place for the most active social sellers, with 77.8 million adverts posted on the eBay Classifieds Group site Marktplaats.nl in 2010. Not only does this nation of traders have approximately four online classifieds adverts to every person, it has seen an increase of 28 per cent since 2009, and in the last year, one in 10 (10.2%) of those who have sold online in the Netherlands have made over €300.

World Wide Waste: 3bn re-saleable products thrown away      
Despite the growing trend of social selling evident from both the internal and external data, there is also a large amount of products that are going to waste, with over 300 million people[6] admitting that they have thrown something away which they could have sold. With the average person throwing away at least 10 products that could have been sold, there is a global wastage of 3 billion re-saleable products across the world.

The Netherlands is not only proving it’s entrepreneurial but also its recycling spirit, with over a quarter (27.9%) of the population selling everything they can rather than throwing products away. Italians are at the bottom of this league table, with 84% throwing items away which could otherwise be sold.

Jacob Aqraou, General Manager, eBay Classifieds Group says: “We have seen dramatic growth in both supply and demand on our sites over the past year as people look at how they can make some extra money. More and more consumers are beginning to understand that they are sitting on some extra pocket money and that there is money to be made through selling unwanted goods rather than simply throwing them away. With such high wastage, we expect the social selling trend to continue to grow in 2011.”

2011: A year of growth
Not only does the study reveal growth over the last 12 months, over two thirds of respondents claim they are more likely to buy and sell goods in 2011 compared to 2010 in order to make extra money. This is especially true in the UK with over three quarters (77%) of Britons saying they will increase consumer to consumer trading and sell products they no longer want, reducing the amount of waste..

Aqraou continues: “The study reveals that more people intend to buy and sell goods from other consumers whether at a car boot sale or from a classified advert. We’ve certainly seen this happening across our sites. Our latest figures show an increase of 39 per cent in the number of postings in January 2011 compared to the same time last year.”

Additional statistics
• The most entrepreneurial age in the UK for buying and selling online is 26 to 35 year olds (22.8%)The least is the younger generation – 18 to 25 year olds (14.4%)
• 1,956,751 Brits claim to have made over £300 – bringing a national income of £587,025,324[7]
• A quarter (25%) of Australians believe they have saved between 50 and 75% through buying from another consumer instead of from retail
• Canadians are quite prudent / savvy when it comes to making $ from unwanted items, with a fifth (21%) selling everything that they can over throwing them away