More than 40% of Brits selling online plan to develop “side hustle” into primary income, Royal Mail finds

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A poll of 3,000 adults, commissioned by Royal Mail Parcel Collect, has found that almost one in three British citizens selling items online claims to have a “side hustle” – trading approximately £200 (US$243) of goods a month.

One in four (27%) claim it is their main source of income, with 41% planning to develop their side hustle into their main source of income. According to the company, almost half of the sellers feel a sense of achievement when they post wares to new homes, while for 32% of buyers a parcel delivery is the day’s ‘highlight’.

Almost one in three Brits selling items online claims to have a side hustle, trading goods to the tune of £200 (US$243) a month. The poll found that two-thirds (67%) love trading their second-hand wares and send or receive an average of seven parcels per month, with 47% of respondents saying they “support side hustlers and independent businesses more than any other online retailer”. Clothes, books and electronics are the most popular products shoppers and sellers are exchanging across the UK.

The study also found eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Etsy were the online marketplaces that respondents use most frequently, with one in five using Vinted. The top reasons recorded for using online platforms like these were saving money (42%), enjoying the thrill of hunting down the perfect item (35%), enabling someone else to enjoy something they no longer need (35%) and giving items a new lease of life (31%).

Environmental factors also play a role, with a third using online marketplaces because it’s better for the environment, while 28% want to set a good example to their kids about buying and selling pre-loved items, rather than buying new ones. Sales are going so well for some that 41% of those polled have plans to develop their side hustle into their main source of income. The over 65s are most likely to have plans already in place (60%), with Londoners leading on this charge (58%) versus 6% in East Anglia.

Holly Tucker, a long-term partner of Royal Mail and founder of notonthehighstreet and Holly and Co, said, “It’s impressive to see how entrepreneurial we are as a nation and how many of us are selling and sending parcels across the UK, from handmade wares through to second-hand goods. With many of us juggling side-hustles and full-time jobs, it’s important to be efficient with our time when it comes to running our ‘shops’, tapping into the tools and services available to support us.”

Nick Landon, chief commercial officer for Royal Mail Parcel Collect, said, “It’s wonderful to see the nation’s entrepreneurship blossom and grow. We are delighted to play a pivotal role in making that possible, supporting the nation’s small businesses and side hustlers to distribute their precious cargo up and down the country, safely and reliably, from doorstep to doorstep.”

Over a quarter (29%) of those polled already have their parcel collected from home by a delivery company (41% for 18–24-year-olds) and 55% are likely to consider using Parcel Collect, showing the growth potential of Parcel Collect.

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