Image of over 65 reseller

Sitting on a pre-loved goldmine - Over 65s are letting dust gather on almost £700 worth of unwanted items

13 July 2023
  • Barclays research reveals that 75 per cent of over 65s have on average 18 items in their home they want to rehome
  • While 50 per cent would consider a car boot sale, only a quarter have thought about using an online marketplace, despite 95 per cent already adopting digital habits
  • Barclays Digital Eagles provide free support online or in person to unlock digital skills, and are partnering with Sabrina Grant, second hand selling expert to help over 65s maximising their listings

LONDON, July 13th: Barclays are calling on over 65s to consider tapping into online marketplaces, as research reveals they could clear their clutter and boost their bank balances by nearly £700[1] if they set about selling the unwanted items in their homes.

The research revealed only a quarter (26 per cent) of this age group have considered using online marketplaces, despite admitting having on average 18 items lingering at home that they would like to sell on. The research comes as sales of preloved goods soar, with savvy buyers looking to snap up bargains and take a more sustainable approach to shopping.

Whilst the main barriers to embracing digital selling included not feeling confident using the online platforms (35 per cent), not knowing where to start (33 per cent) and requiring help (31 per cent), almost half (46 per cent) of over 65s want to find out more about how to sell their items online.

And for many it may be easier than they think. Though just over a third (38 per cent) describe themselves as ‘digitally savvy’, perhaps surprisingly, 95 per cent of over 65s polled already embrace daily digital habits such as online banking (68 per cent), online shopping (57 per cent) and reading the news (57 per cent).  

For some, it’s a case of needing a helping hand to unlock the opportunity of second hand selling online. Barclays also surveyed those who have a friend or family member over 65, finding that over a quarter (27 per cent) have been asked for help by an older relative to sell something online.

Commenting on the findings, Kirsty Adams, Barclays Digital Eagle, said: “The vast majority of us have things we would like to clear out of our homes, and through our phones and tablets we have the opportunity to do so without ever needing to leave our front door.  

“Our research reveals over 65s could boost their bank balances by selling unwanted items online. Barclays Digital Eagles are here to help you get started on this journey and flex digital muscles in ways that will save you time and bring in some extra cash.”

Items most likely to be gathering dust and in need of a new lease of life were clothes (56 per cent), small furniture pieces like chairs (29 per cent), jewellery (26 per cent) and tech items (23 per cent) - all of which over 65s wanted help selling.

To help people get on top of decluttering and monetise their pre-loved items online, no matter their level of digital skills, Barclays Digital Eagles has teamed up with presenter and second hand selling expert Sabrina Grant, to provide tips on how to have a seamless experience and make the most money.

Sabrina Grant says: “There are so many ways to sell preloved items online, so it’s no wonder people find it a bit overwhelming to get started. People think that no one is going to want their second hand items and that they’re not going to get anything for it. But with the demand increasing for second hand goods and a variety of online marketplace options now to choose from, there’s even more chances to find someone who would happily rehome your items!”

“It’s now easier than ever as selling online is often quicker than travelling to in-person marketplaces, such as auction houses or car boot sales. You can leave an item online until you get offered a price you’re happy with, rather than feeling pressured to selling on the spot. You reach a wider audience, and sometimes the screen makes for a great confidence boost when it comes to negotiation.”

Sabrina shares her top tips on how to make your items stand out and how to make the most money you can from them.

  1. Take high-quality photos: Images can make or break a sale. Make sure to capture clear, well-lit photos of your items looking their best from different angles, ideally in front of a clear blank background so that your items really stand out. On reseller sites where you can see all of your items in one place, it’s also good to have consistent lighting and backgrounds so the items look more appealing together.
  2. Do a good sales pitch: When you list your item, it’s important to include all the key details from condition to brand to size. Clearly naming your listing too will help it get seen on the platform. For example: “Tailored suit trousers, size M” is more effective than “brown trousers”.
  3. Set a competitive price: Have a look at similar items on your chosen online platform to work out what is a fair and competitive price. Some platforms will also help guide you with a suggested price based on similar items so that’s one less thing you need to think about.
  4. Be clear on pick up vs. postage: It’s also helpful to clearly set out whether you are looking for pick up or happy to post, what payment method is preferred and if you will accept returns. This can all be included in your item description. A lot of the online resellers now clearly map out different postage options which makes it even easier to know what is best suited for your item.
  5. Offer a deal: Everyone loves a good deal, so if you are keen to pass on an item, consider offering extras to attract buyers, such as free shipping, bundle deals, or discounts for multiple purchases. It’s not essential but these extras can sometimes make your listing more appealing to potential buyers and stand out from the crowd. Certain online resellers have this as a specific function so it is always worth checking.
  6. Be responsive and professional: Make sure to respond promptly to enquiries from potential buyers and always be polite. Answer questions, address concerns, and negotiate terms professionally to make sure your customers will return
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Getting started is sometimes the hardest part and never be afraid to ask questions to seek guidance if you’re unsure. If you’re looking to take the first steps into selling digitally, Barclays Digital Eagles provide support online, or you can speak to them in person at one of their Digital Upskills sessions.
  8. Remember to enjoy the process: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to upload everything at once, and don’t panic if an item doesn’t sell immediately. Even if it’s a couple of items at first, over time you will begin to get into a groove with each sale you make. Remember to celebrate each small victory.

For those who are looking to take the first steps into selling online, Barclays Digital Eagles provide free support online or in the community via their Digital Upskills sessions and online resources about specific digital skills.                      

For more information, please visit: https://digital.wings.uk.barclays/digitaleagleshelp/


For further information contact:

Annie McQuoid, Barclays External Communications, +44 (0)7385 535614

Ismail Jan, Barclays External Communications, + 44 (0)78 51037905

Notes to Editors

[1] £682 on average

Censuswide consumer research study of 2,004 participants, June 2023:

  • 1000 general consumers (nat rep)
  • 1004 general consumers aged 65+

About Barclays

Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diversified by business, by different types of customer and client, and geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations around the world, as well as a top-tier, full service, global corporate and investment bank, all of which are supported by our service company which provides technology, operations and functional services across the Group. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website home.barclays.