A recent global study commissioned by the classifieds industry has shown that South Africans have more than R4,000’s worth of unused items in their homes – which could potentially contribute more than a trillion rand to the country’s economy if sold.
“A lot of South Africans are sitting on goldmines without realizing it,” says Estelle Nagel, Marketing Manager for Gumtree SA. “There are also entrepreneurs who are scooping up bargains and reselling them at a premium to collectors, so it is well worth doing your research before selling items online.”
According to Nagel, these are a few of the top selling items on Gumtree:
- Lego (R300 – R30,000 per set)
The popular modular children’s toy has been on the market since the late 1940s but the prices have skyrocketed, with sets selling to collectors for up to hundreds of thousands of rands. “If you have a rare and complete set (especially of the Star Wars genre), you can easily get R10,000 for your Legos. But, if you are like most people, limited to a plastic tub of non-descript Legos, you can still sell your collection for R500-R1000 with ease.”
- Vinyl records (R200+ per record)
Vinyl records have gone from selling for R200 for an entire collection to fetching R200-R500 per LP. “Classical music LPs aren’t fetching a lot, but rock and punk hits from the 1970s – 1980s are selling for up to R1000 per album. Iconic albums by bands like the Rolling Stones and Beatles are the most sought after items but there are collectors for every genre. Record players, needles and parts are also popular.”
- Vintage Cellphones (R100-R2000)
Cellphones are hot-ticket items – and not just the latest models. “You should always try to sell your phone after you’ve upgraded – they tend to fetch the most money. But there is also a growing market of collectors that are looking for your old “bricks” – cellphone models from the 1990s and early 2000s. Pricing varies from R200 to R2000.”
- Granny’s furniture (R10,000 to R100,000)
Decorators are desperate for nostalgic furniture items from the 1940s-1950s to refurbish or repair. Items that are in vogue include melamine tables and storage shelves, Imbuia furniture and ball-and-claw bathtubs. “Aga stoves are hot-ticket items, fetching between R50,000 to R100,000 on Gumtree, whether they are in working condition or not. These items were often dumped as more modern electric appliances took over, but today they are worth their weight in gold.”
- Vintage games (R500+)
Long before Playstation and Xbox, children of the 1980s and 1990s were wiling away their weekends playing Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong on their SEGA TV game consoles. Today nostalgic collectors are willing to fork out a pretty penny for consoles and games. “Collectors are also equally keen to buy vintage toys, especially Masters of the Universe, Barbies and Troll dolls in good condition.”
Some vintage items are not quite in vogue, though. “Video tapes, CDs and cassettes, VCRs and televisions from the 1990s aren’t really selling. We sadly aren’t expecting a revival just yet, but you never know!” says Nagel.