One man's unused clothes may be another's treasure - and also a significant source of income.

Juvy Garcia  |  Singapore
Published 2014-10-29 15:00:32

Buying and selling of secondhand items is a thriving market in the Philippines. You can see this by the number of sites facilitating the secondhand goods trade, like OLX, AyosDito, and Ebay.ph.

OLX Philippines, an online classified ads site, says that close to 600,000 Filipinos have registered and listed their pre-owned items for sale on the site. In Cebu, an average of 2,000 ads are posted daily, according to RJ David, managing director of OLX Philippines, formerly named Sulit.com.ph. David adds that 40% of these are sold in a week or less. David further reveals that the number of new memberships have more than doubled this year compared to the figure in 2013, but OLX Philippines is aiming to have 1 million Filipinos sign up before the year ends.

Secondhand Items is a ‘Huge Untapped Wealth in the Country’

Image Credit: ning4u.com
Image Credit: ning4u.com

David reveals there is “huge untapped wealth in the country” that is generated every 3 to 6 months. The wealth he is referring to is the P21 billion (approximately USD469 million) worth of unused, but still usable, items tucked away and gathering dust inside homes in the country.

Taking a look at my own room, I can definitely agree. There are a bunch of items here that I can easily sell online, like that Amy Tan bestseller I don’t read anymore and clothes that don’t fit me anymore.

“It’s astonishing to learn that P21 billion worth of unused items in working condition are just sitting in people’s homes, gathering dust, and left to waste,” said RJ David, managing director of OLX Philippines. “Just imagine how much cash people can make when they sell these items.”

Image Credit: OLX Philippines
Image Credit: OLX Philippines

By selling stuff they don’t need, sellers earn extra cash that they can use to “upgrade their lives”, says Regina Aguilar, senior marketing manager for Cebu. On the other hand, buyers get a better deal because secondhand items sell for less than the price of brand new goods.

This “untapped wealth” could very soon turn into hard cold cash as the survey shows Filipinos are not averse to selling their unused stuff online. The “Yesss, Yaman! Study”, which aims to emphasize the potential of the secondhand market, shows 42% of survey respondents are comfortable selling pre-loved items and 56% of those who have plans selling secondhand items are open to doing so online.

Second-Hand Items with the Most Potential to Sell Online

Image Credit: OLX Philippines
Image Credit: OLX Philippines

According to the study, which was commissioned by the online classified ads site TNS Global, the largest valued items waiting to be sold are automotive products like motorcycle, helmets cars and accessories at P4.5 billion. Computers and mobile phones come in a close second at P3.5billion each, and unused clothes come in third at P1.5 billion. The breakdown of functional items waiting to be sold includes the following:

  • Computers such as old desktops, laptops and accessories—P3.5 billion
  • Mobile phones—P3.5 billion
  • Unused clothing—P1.5 billion
  • Kitchen appliances—1.08 billion
  • Cameras, video cams and accessories—P1 billion
  • Automotive products like motorcycle, helmets cars and accessories—P4.5 billion
  • Jewelry and watches—P708.95 million
  • Books and magazines—P153.9 million
  • CDs, disused VCDs and DVDs—P65.8 million
  • Furniture— P32.16 million
  • Artworks—P4.5 million
Image Credit: OLX Philippines
Image Credit: OLX Philippines

Looking at these numbers, you could say that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is pretty true. For Me-Anne Bundalian, Head of Business Development, Sales and Marketing of OLX Philippines, this is exactly the case. So declutter your houses and become active in selling, urges David. He believes selling secondhand items is “something that can improve your life”.

Do you agree? And did this study convince you to sell your pre-loved items online? Why or why not?

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