Consumers spend €4.5bn turning clutter into cash
Ireland's second-hand economy is valued at more than €4.5bn, with thousands of us using the web to turn "clutter into cash".
More than €300m worth of goods a month were traded on DoneDeal alone last year, according to the 'Second-Hand Ireland Economy' report by economist David McWilliams.
It said while high street retail sales remain sluggish, the online second-hand market had seen an explosion with growth of 215pc over the past five years.
The value of goods advertised on DoneDeal last year represented €4.5bn or almost 3pc of Ireland's GNP, it said.
The three most popular sections in terms of adverts placed last year were motor with 46pc, house and DIY with 17pc, and electronics with 8pc.
Other big sellers include sport, hobbies, clothes, farming equipment and baby goods.
BMW was the most sought- after item, with over 2.2 million searches, followed by John Deere with almost 800,000.
Nearly half-a-million searches for 'iPhones' were carried out while there were over 400,000 for 'sofas' and 154,000 for 'bikes'.
Mr McWilliams said that the Irish economy had reached a tipping point.
"What started out as a small bunch of online traders has become a mass retail movement. This is changing the way we shop, forever," he said.
Some 157,000 new ads are put up on the DoneDeal site each month, with Dublin leading the way with over €1.3bn worth per year.
Other leading classifieds websites operating in Ireland include Adverts.ie, Gumtree.ie, buyandsell.ie, and global monolith eBay.ie.
In the first six months of last year, Adverts.ie, sold over €112m worth of second-hand items.
These included home and garden furniture (€5.7m), mobile phones (€5.6m) and sports equipment (€2.5m).