Gumtree’s Take on Recycle Week

Throughout the year, millions of people across the UK use Gumtree to recycle, re-use and repurpose items others no longer need. But as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas approach, the pressure to buy new increases. That's why this Recycle Week we're urging consumers to brush up on their bartering skills and think why before they buy.

Launched in 2003, Recycle Week is a UK-wide celebration of recycling that aims to galvanise people into recycling more of the right things more often. The good news is that 9 in 10 people recycle items from their homes regularly. However, recycling is much more than ensuring our plastics, cans and bottles go into the right bin. Buying, selling, giving away or swapping preloved items through groups and platforms means we’re extending the life of products and cutting down on consumption. It also offers the opportunity to own or borrow items we might not otherwise have been able to, due to cost or availability.

For any item that can still be used, Gumtree is the perfect place for its next owner to be found. Listings in our For Sale category are totally free, making it a great way to share amongst your community. Plus, with our Circular Economy Report finding each person can make an average of £186 selling unwanted items, there’s no better time than Recycle Week to clear out your cupboards to make a little money ahead of Christmas.

Shopping second-hand can have a big impact on your pocket and the planet. But Gumtree research found 8 in 10 people in the UK struggle to bag a bargain when trying to participate in the circular economy – with 51% blaming a feeling of awkwardness for not bartering a better price.

As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, it’s no wonder 85% of people want to improve their bargain hunting skills to alleviate financial pressures. Negotiating the best price for a Good Find doesn’t come naturally to everyone, which is why we’ve rounded up tips for anyone looking to take the financial pressure off the forthcoming festive season.

6 tips for bagging a second-hand bargain in Recycle Week

  1. Do your research. Is the item priced fairly or is there room to negotiate? If there is wiggle room, make sure you’ve compared it against similar items so you can confidently go in with your offer. You’ll also feel more at peace should you miss out knowing you didn’t over pay. Be brave with bartering, while you don’t want to waste the sellers’ time by carving the price in two, what’s a reasonable compromise?
  2. Always check our freebies section. You never know what someone might be giving away for free. Sellers may also list free items in the specific category, so a chair in ‘chairs, stools and other seating’ but priced at £0. Spend time exploring the site to land your good find.
  3. Don’t forget an old fashioned swap shop! A swap can be a great option, especially for enthusiasts and collectors. Suggest a swap, is there an item you’re willing to part with in exchange for something else? From a vinyl record to an unused vase or even a VW van, it’s worth a try.
  4. For larger ticket items it may be useful to widen your search area outside your local community to find what you need.
  5. See the potential: don’t be put off if something needs a little TLC, particularly if the item is priced low. Use local repair services for any fixes you are unable to do yourself.
  6. Creating search alerts for specific items is a great way to get Gumtree help with your hunt.