Survey: Canadian parents to make lifestyle changes as kids head off to

Back-to-school survey examines how parents transition to "empty-nesters"

TORONTO, Aug. 17 /CNW/ - As thousands of Canadian students get ready to start college or university this fall, an eBay Canada research study released today revealed that parents have plans of their own.

The survey of more than 1500 Canadian adults examined the lifestyle changes that are likely to occur when a child leaves home for school. More than 450 empty-nesters - Canadians with children older than 18 who no longer live at home - were asked to share how they plan to deal with leftover items, additional space and extra time.

  • 80 per cent plan to get rid of unwanted items due to lack of space.
  • 39 per cent plan to downsize to a smaller home or condo.
  • 30 per cent plan to repurpose a child's room into a home office or storage space.
  • 10 per cent plan to purchase a recreational vehicle or motor home.

In addition, the survey also revealed that half of Canadians (51 per cent) with children older than 18 still living in their household say they plan to encourage their adult-aged kids to move out of the house within the next five years.

"Canadian parents have big plans after their children leave home for school," says Jim Reid, eBay education specialist and trading assistant who specializes in reselling other people's unwanted items. "Selling on eBay makes sense for parents looking to downsize or get rid of all the items left behind. The money made on eBay can be used to redecorate your child's room into that fabulous office you've always wanted."

Living in Victoria, British Columbia, Steptoe Online Auctions owner Jim Reid (eBay ID: auction-victoria) decided to downsize a few years ago after learning that most households contain more than $1,000 worth of items that the owners don't need or use. After being pleasantly surprised by how much his items were worth, he converted selling on eBay into a full-time job. As a trading assistant, Jim resells people's unwanted items for them. Clients bring their items to Jim's depot in Victoria and he takes care of the rest, researching prices, photographing, listing and shipping. He sells about $10,000 each month on eBay.

Jim offers these tips for Canadians looking to downsize:

  • Start with baby steps. Choose a room (possibly your child's room) and take inventory of the items no longer useful or being used in that room. Separate items into piles of "keep," "toss" or "sell".
  • Take photos. Decide which items you want to sell and take photos from different angles, including close-ups.
  • Research. Find out what prices of what similar items have sold for online to help set your starting sale price.
  • Set-up an eBay account. Selling on eBay enables you to instantly access the world market and you could fetch considerably more than you would at a garage sale.
  • Consider hiring a professional. If the task seems too daunting, consider bringing your items to a trading assistant who specializes in selling on behalf of others. For a small fee, a trading assistant takes care of everything from taking photos to shipping the item to the seller.

To find an eBay trading assistant near you, visit:

Don't know what to sell? Jim offers these ideas for inspiration:

  • Antiques (dolls, lamps, furniture)
  • Art (original comic art)
  • Clothing (designer garments, purses, shoes, scarves and belts, designer maternity wear)
  • Consumer electronics (TVs, DVD players, MP3 players)
  • Toys and hobbies (model trains, teddy bears)
  • Sports memorabilia

About the survey

The online survey of 1526 adult Canadians, including 473 empty-nesters (Canadians who have children over the age of 18 but no longer live in their household) was conducted for eBay Canada by Leger Marketing between July 19 and July 23, 2010.  This method simulates a probability sample which would yield a maximum margin or error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About eBay Canada

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. connects millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBay Classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. In Canada, eBay was visited by nearly 8.3-million Canadians in March 2010. (comScore Media Metrix).

SOURCE eBay Canada

For further information: For further information:

For media inquiries, contact:
Elisabeth Napolano
Environics Communications for eBay Canada
(416) 969-2705

Nazia Khan
Environics Communications for eBay Canada
(416) 969-2781

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