Brits Hoard up to £48 Billion of Unwanted Items According to eBay

Britain is a nation of hoarders, with a staggering £48 billion worth of unused household items gathering dust, reports a study from online auction site eBay.

The typical household has accumulated £1,784 worth of unwanted goods, with items including clothing and home goods such as kitchen and keep fit equipment.

According to the research, the average home could contain items in storage varying from slow cookers and blenders, heart monitors, rowing machines, punch bags, golf clubs, VHS recorders, vinyl records and last season’s fashions.

From the survey of 1,500 adults, two-thirds admitted their houses are full of items never or rarely used, and almost a quarter used their attic for storing these. Sheds and garages were the most common places used to keep these items, and whilst a third of respondents will have an annual de-clutter, one in ten wait until moving house.

For those planning their annual clear-out, half of those polled will be getting their hands dirty this May, with two bank holidays inspiring a spring clean and sale of unwanted clothes to fund summer purchases.

The findings are backed up by eBay’s own data from the last two years, which confirms that an average of 20 million listings go live across the two Bank Holidays. The site is then searched 262 million times as Britons then hunt for summer purchases.

A May purge is recommended as nearly half of the adults polled said they frequently row with their partner about the number of unused items they have accumulated over the years. Almost half of those polled said they hang on to items because of sentimental reasons, one in five confessed to being a hoarder and over half said they hang on to items for too long ‘just in case’.

But 43 per cent have good intentions to part with their belongings this year and 34 percent will specifically use the May bank holidays to raise some cash.

Nikin Patel, C2C Director at online marketplace eBay, said: “May is the perfect time for selling unused winter items to fund your summer plans, whether that’s something new for the garden or the family summer holiday.

“eBay data from the last two years shows that over the Spring bank holidays there are an average of 710 million searches on the site, which is why we are encouraging sellers to really take advantage of this and make May pay for their summer through savvy selling.

“Our data also highlights 9pm to 10pm on the bank holiday Monday is when searches really peak. Last year the first May bank holiday saw 12 million searches in this hour alone. Using the long weekend to list your unused items is the perfect way to cash in on this Spring shopping moment.”


Kitchen: £170

Bedroom: £208

Spare room: £242

Garage: £400

Shed (tools, garden furniture): £342

Attic / loft: £422