[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 15 August 2005, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Internet auctions boost UK wealth
Ebay screen grab
Anything and everything is available in the cyberspace market
Selling goods via online auction websites such as eBay can boost the average UK household's wealth by about 3,000, says an economic consultancy.

Over 50,000 people currently generate a sizeable proportion of their income from buying and selling online.

More than 4bn of trading is likely to be carried out on eBay alone this year, said the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).

This is the equivalent of 1.3% of total UK retail sales, the consultancy said.

Confidence boost

Websites have increased the value of second hand goods by providing a cost-free platform for advertising them and maximising their sale price.

One man's junk is another man's treasure
Gareth Johnson, Newcastle, UK

This has, in turn, boosted the value of goods lying around people's homes and consumer confidence in general.

"If people realise that they have sellable goods sitting in their cupboards, it ought to increase consumers' confidence just like any other unexpected boost to wealth," said Laura Phaff, one of the authors of the report.

In addition, the site could provide a hidden boost for retail sales, as sales from the auction house are generally not included in official figures.

And small niche traders are finding themselves able to tap huge national - and even global - markets, increasing the likelihood of making a successful and lucrative sale.

"Auction sites are increasing competition, widening consumers' choice and helping keep down inflation - both online and on the High Street," said Mark Pragnell, managing director of CEBR.

Train robber tracked by eBay sale
23 Jun 05 |  Scotland
eBay 'most popular brand' online
21 Apr 05 |  Technology
EBay sees higher auction profits
21 Apr 05 |  Business
Dozens hit by e-mail auction scam
28 Mar 05 |  Scotland
eBay: Money for Old Rope?
25 Feb 05 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific