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Average U.S. Household Has Over 50 Unused Items Worth $3100 According to eBay/Nielsen Survey
[April 26, 2007]

Average U.S. Household Has Over 50 Unused Items Worth $3100 According to eBay/Nielsen Survey

SAN JOSE, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- Many Americans think spring cleaning is a way to get rid of clutter and get organized, however it's also the perfect opportunity to earn some money and reduce the impact on the environment at the same time. A new eBay (Nasdaq:EBAY) survey conducted by Nielsen Customized Research reveals that the average American household spent over $3,100 for the 50 unused items around their home, and that selling these items secondhand is widely considered a way of recycling.

When asked about future plans for these items, survey participants are filled with good intentions:

-- Nearly 75% of households plan to donate some of their used items;

-- Over 50% also mention that they would keep some of the items for use in the future, for sentimental reasons, or to save for their children;

-- Over one-third (36%) plan to sell their items, and of that group, they would most likely use the money earned to pay bills (36%), put into savings (30%), or buy something new (29%).

"eBay is a great place for people who want to be responsible consumers, because buying and selling secondhand products creates a cycle of reuse," said Jim Griffith, Dean of eBay University. "The old adage is true -- one man's trash is another man's treasure. Instead of throwing things away that end up in a landfill, sell or donate them to people who really want these items, in turn extending the products' lifecycles."

Recycling Perceptions Broaden

When most people think about recycling, paper and plastic immediately come to mind, however the survey also found that most people (83%) consider donating or selling used items as a form of recycling. In the past year alone, over one quarter (27%) of American households recycled some of their unused items using these methods.

The same holds true when it comes to buying secondhand items. Three-quarters agreed that buying secondhand is a form of recycling as well. The most common used items that people consider buying as a way of recycling are home decor and clothing.

And while the general consensus is that buying used items is thrifty (68%), almost half (45%) also think it's smart. Interestingly, the survey revealed that close to half of the population believes that people who recycle are even smarter (40%) and more attractive (38%).

Create a Cycle of Reuse

According to the survey, the average U.S. household has 52 unused items around the house, which include:

-- Clothing (52%)

-- Electronics (53%), with televisions and cell phones being the most common

-- Accessories (44%), including handbags, watches, hats and sunglasses

-- Computers and hardware (41%)

-- Sporting goods (35%)

-- Toys (25%)

-- Furniture (21%)

It's easy to recycle your unused household items by selling them online. In fact, while the specific value of these items varies, more than half of the eBay sellers from the survey received more money than they expected for their unused items. Items of value include the obvious (old china or antique furniture) and the unexpected (handbags and sporting goods). Out-of-date electronics are often overlooked as potential sale items, including computers, video games and cell phones.

For more information and to get started selling unused items, visit

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online by Nielsen Customized Research for eBay and included the following:

-- A nationally representative survey among online population in the U.S. of 1,000 randomly selected household decision makers;

-- A nationally representative survey among 1,000 randomly selected eBay members;

-- The respondents were surveyed from March 7 - 20, 2007. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3% at 95% confidence level.

About eBay Inc.

Founded in 1995, eBay Inc. connects hundreds of millions of people around the world every day, empowering them to explore new opportunities and innovate together. eBay Inc. does this by providing the Internet platforms of choice for global commerce, payments and communications. Since its inception, eBay Inc. has expanded to include some of the strongest brands in the world, including eBay, PayPal, Skype,, and others. eBay Inc. is headquartered in San Jose, California.

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