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Playstations, freezers, treadmills: what you're trying to buy online

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Do you have any gym gear that you don't use? Or a Playstation 4? A bicycle? Or just a desk?

You could be sitting on a mini gold mine. All these items are in hot demand as Australians stay in, exercise, amuse themselves and work from home.

Gumtree says Australians typically have 23 unwanted or unused items around the house worth an average of $5300 if sold on the second-hand market. Gumtree allows people to list their goods for free.

coronavirus buying treadmill freezer playstation gumtree

With gyms closed, not surprisingly people are hunting down gym fitness equipment. They are paying up for anything from hand weights to treadmills to exercise mats.

Gumtree says as online gym sessions have jumped by 7% and there has been a 64% increase in the number of people searching for gym fitness equipment.

Working from home means people are buying monitors for their laptops or, if they haven't got one, a laptop. Gumtree has seen a 14% increase in the number of searches for computers.

People with time on their hands are searching for gaming consoles, particularly the PS4 and Nintendo Switch, with Gumtree recording a 19% increase in the number of people searching for video gaming consoles.

As Australians stockpile food, they have been buying up refrigerators and freezers on Gumtree to store the mountains of meat and other items.

Gumtree says the most searched for items include:

  • Freezers
  • Fridges
  • Desks
  • Bikes
  • Monitors
  • Treadmills
  • PS4s
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Laptops
  • Weights

"If people have items lying around the home and the extra time, they could upload on Gumtree for free and make some money," explains a spokesperson from Gumtree.

But what about meeting strangers when you buy or sell your stuff?

Gumtree has developed some new COVID-19 safety precautions when exchanging goods:

1. Wash your hands before and after you meet up to trade

If you need to meet in-person, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap, or use an alcohol-based rub, before and after every exchange.

2. Clean items

Whether you're buying or selling, clean items as per product care instructions or with regular household cleaners. When holding a car inspection have the vehicle ready at a convenient location, cleaning the keys, steering wheel and console.

3. Do a video inspection

To reduce physical contact, offer or request a virtual inspection of an item. Avoid filters and aim for daylight.

4. Practice social distancing

To maintain safe social distancing of 1.5m, we recommend leaving clean items in an accessible area ready to exchange. Take photos and message clear instructions of the area or organise doorstep drops at a mutually agreed time. Consider using Australia Post's 24/7 parcel lockers.

5. Rate, don't shake

The best way to reduce the spread of germs and disease is to keep your hands clean and maintain 1.5m social distancing where possible. So instead of the classic handshake, rate your interaction on Gumtree, or simply give a thumbs up.

6. Use PayPal and avoid cash

Use contactless digital payments for transactions where possible. PayPal is a Gumtree partner, making it easy to connect PayPal to your Gumtree account. Remember to inform buyers that you would like contactless payment when negotiating the price.

7. Act responsibly

Consider the wellbeing of the community and stay home if you are sick. You can pause your listing or delay your purchase until you are feeling better.

We're cutting through the confusion to help you manage your money during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here for more on how COVID-19 could affect your job, budget, super and investments.

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Susan has been a finance journalist for more than 30 years, beginning at the Australian Financial Review before moving to the Sydney Morning Herald. She edited a superannuation magazine, Superfunds, for the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and writes regularly on superannuation and managed funds. She's also author of the best-selling book Women and Money.
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