Britons made £8.5 billion last year by trading goods online, according to a new survey. The research, by Orange Broadband, said UK citizens made an average of £341 in 2005 through auction sites such as eBay.

People in their 30s are making the most money online, while 12% of people surveyed claimed to have made more than £500 last year.

Other findings include proof about the huge uptake in social networking. Over 60% of respondents also said they regularly use community-orientated sites such as MySpace.

Moreover, one in three people said they spend at least 11 evenings every month on the web, instead of going out with their friends.

Orange Broadband says 20% of Britons have created personal websites, while 5% have their own blog.