Selling your stuff online is a great way to make extra money, but also to get rid of unwanted items you barely use anymore.
Now you can declutter your life a bit, while bringing in some cash that you can use however needed!
And although it’s not difficult to sell your stuff online, you might be unsure of what to sell, where to sell it, and tips to be successful.
Certainly, if you are strapped for cash and need some quick sales, then you might not get too detailed with the process.
However, if you want to maximize your returns and save money in the process, then it’s important you have a plan when you sell your stuff online.
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Benefits of Selling Your Stuff Online
Thanks to technology and the internet, selling stuff online is a breeze and super convenient for both sellers and buyers.
Although traditional ways of selling your unwanted items can still work (think garage sales), they can be much more work to set up and you generally are only reaching local people
Here are some benefits of doing all your selling online.
By selling online, you can reach a much larger audience. Suddenly, someone on the other side of the country might be interested in buying your old jeans or children’s toys!
By selling online, you are opening yourself to the entire U.S. market and can even take it a step further and sell internationally.
Less time and energy intensive
Selling online is much less of a hassle. You don’t need to meet the person beforehand, you can easily accept payments and agreeing on terms is pretty straightforward.
You can also find plenty of apps and websites that will do the heavy lifting for you. Many times all you need to do is take a pic, write a description and ship the item!
Quick way to make money
Whether you are in need of money now or just looking to make some extra on the side, selling online is a great way to get money fast.
Certainly, some things you try to sell may take time, but generally if there is a decent market for what you want to sell, you’ll be able to unload your unwanted stuff with ease.
Selling your stuff online is often safer than selling in person. You won’t have to meet someone in a dodgy alleyway and with e-commerce websites and apps you don’t have to worry about the buyer not paying up.
Selling online is safer and more secure. Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of protecting yourself from online scams either as it can and does happen.
How Do I Start Selling Online?
Although pretty much anything can be sold, it’s still a good idea to have a plan for your stuff and online listings. In order to maximize the amount of money you make, it’s a good idea to follow a few steps.
1. Select your items
Pick the items that you think are worth selling. Go through your house, the basement and any cupboards and drawers looking for extra items. If they are in good condition and seem valuable, why not try?
This could include old exercise equipment, furniture, electronics that still work, jewelry and general luxury items.
But you shouldn’t rush to sell everything right away. You have another important step, which is researching if there is any market for what you want to sell.
2. Do the research
Now that you’ve got your items, it’s time to check if there’s a market. You’ll basically want to see if there are people who are already buying similar items to you. Head over to websites such as Amazon, Ebay and Etsy and search for your item in the search bar.
Keep an eye on them and see how they perform over time. If they sell quickly, that’s a sign that they are in high demand.
Ideally, you might want to keep a spreadsheet of this info before listing your own items. This lets you stay organized and prepared.
3. Create an account
You’ll then need to create an account with the selling platform(s) that you’ve picked and register your products.
You’ll want to take the best photos possible with various angles, and then write an engaging description with keywords related to your items.
While you don’t need to be the most creative copywriter, you do want to create your product pages in such a way that they will click on your listing – that’s the first step. Then you want to keep them on the product through engaging and interesting content.
4. Get the pricing right
If you’re not sure how much to charge, simply look at what your competitors are selling. Exercise gear may be in the hundreds, while lamps and smaller objects may be under $100.
It’s likely you’ll tend to overprice your items because of your personal bias, so make sure you do your research to get the pricing right.
Additionally, look at the average prices for items and the various conditions. You can also do research outside of any websites where you sell your stuff.
For instance, some collectibles you may have might be worth consulting with an expert to get the appropriate value.
5. Promote your items if need
Pending what marketplace you publish your stuff on, you may want to do some additional promotion to ensure people are seeing your listings. There are tons of people selling stuff online and have competing items.
A way to get a leg up is to promote on your own social networks, maybe via email to contacts, or pending the time — you could pay for some additional advertising on some of the marketplaces.
Where Can I Sell My Stuff Online For Free?
There are a few websites and apps where you can sell your stuff online.
Depending on the platform, there are some that may charge a fee and some that are free to list, but may collect fees from the sale.
If you want to sell your items quickly, your best bet is selling on a high-traffic platform that charges a fee. If not, you can make money with your own Shopify store or utilize some free listing sites as well.
Craigslist is forever free and is a platform where you can literally sell anything. It’s more of a forum than a platform, and it can be tricky to find a buyer sometimes — but it’s free and relatively easy to manage.
On this platform, you’ll find it is best if you are selling locally, since you can then meet the person physically and make sure they pay. Craigslist is also good if you’re selling large items that are expensive to transport.
Remember to be smart if you are meeting someone to sell an item. Go to a public and populated place, bring someone with you, and be aware of your surroundings. If something seems off, then it probably is and you should back out of the sale. There are also many sites like Craigslist that might be a better solution for you.
2. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is part of the Facebook network. There are thousands of Facebook groups all around the world, each selling different products and services.
With Facebook Marketplace, you can easily sell to local groups and even reach out to further locations and ship your stuff. It’s easy to set up, and is a bit safer than Cragslist since you can choose to only communicate with someone who has a complete Facebook profile.
You won’t have to pay for anything, but it’s likely you’ll need to meet them in person and accept payment in cash.
Geebo is another selling marketplace but is lesser known than the two above. It is specifically for buyers and sellers in the US, and it’s another great free option when trying to sell online.
With this free site, Geebo focuses more on the community aspect and is a little safer than Craigslist. You can find job adverts, items being sold and a whole host of other items to sell on Geebo.
Letgo is both a website and an app. They are a fast growing online marketplace that allows sellers to sell items in the local area. You can sell your products for free on Letgo, and it works similarly to Facebook Marketplace.
Having said that, their filters are a little more accurate and the app uses artificial intelligence to categorize product images into the correct categories. It also has a chat feature and a good app design.
Other Ways to Sell Stuff Online
The above places are free options for you to sell stuff online. While it’s nice not having to pay a fee or commission based on sales, sometimes those are not the best places for your items.
There are plenty of different reasons why you might choose one of these apps or websites below like higher audience, easy platform to use, people looking for the stuff you have to sell, etc.
If you do choose one of these platforms or apps, ensure you do your research and understand their fee structure, so you aren’t caught off guard.
Naturally, Amazon would be on this list as it is the largest online retailer in the United States and one of the most visited websites in the world. Each month more than 197 million people around the world get on their devices and visit Amazon.com!
You can sell pretty much anything on Amazon and with so many people buying items, advertising to help your listings, and fast shipping — it can be a great place to sell your stuff.
Getting access to that audience and platform is not free, and depending what you are selling the fees may be a bit high for you. But if you are interested in learning more, you dive into Amazon’s selling fees here.
Another great marketplace platform is eBay, which has been around for a long-time. It’s a great place to auction off your stuff, even if it is not a super popular item — you’ll still find someone looking to buy.
eBay also has some seller fees, but their pricing structure is a tad better than what Amazon offers. The platform will charge you a listing fee as well as a final fee for when your item sells. There are more details about eBay’s selling fees here.
I almost did not add Etsy to this list because this platform is more focused on handmade items, crafts, and art that people make. However, you can sell those types of items you may not make yourself, but fits the style of what people might be shopping for currently.
But if you are also looking for ways to make money from things you create fairly quick, this can be the platform for you.
And just like Amazon or eBay, you’ll have various fees to pay with Etsy too. A way to avoid this is build your own online story, however it’s much more work to build an audience that will buy.
So again, you are paying for the platform, audience, and convenience. You can read more about Etsy’s fees here.
Poshmark is a great selling app to sell clothes. It’s free to list items, and you even get a prepaid postage label to make the transport easier.
They’ve made it incredibly easy for buyers to download the app, take some photos and upload them to the product page. The app also encourages buyers to browse all items on the seller page so they can pick and choose even more items if they wish.
OfferUp is another app to sell your stuff online. The main differentiator is that buyers and sellers can both leave reviews whenever they make a transaction.
This adds more security and assures you that the person you are talking to is verified.
You can also link to your Facebook account to make it even more secure. Similar to eBay, you can add items to a watch list, ask questions to the seller and try to negotiate. It’s free to use and list items, but you will pay a few for items you ship.
Vinted will let you sell your own clothing, as well as swap clothing with others. If you are simply swapping clothes with another use, then the transaction is free.
If you are looking to sell your clothing on the platform, you will need to pay a commission. They are easy to use and can offer a pretty good deal if you are simply looking to swap items.
Tips and Tricks to Selling Your Stuff Online
While you can sell online pretty easily and your stuff may sell fast, your experience and results can be much better by applying some of these tips.
Do your research:
When selling online, you’ll want to make sure you do your research so you are listing the appropriate prices and selling to a market where your product is in demand.
Look at your item from a seller’s point of view and ask yourself whether you would buy the item. Read the descriptions of others selling similar items, look at the product pictures, find the price range so you aren’t selling too low or high.
There is a bit of initial work involved if you want to make the most money possible and have the best success.
Prepare your items:
Make sure your item is perfect for photos and to be sold. That means it needs to be washed, prepped, and sanitized. Buyers want an item that looks good on photos and delivers in reality.
As you begin selling items, you’ll start getting reviews on certain platforms. These can be valuable to your selling success and improves your listings pending which online outlet you choose.
Take great photos:
If you can, get a nice backdrop, some lighting and remove any decor that would make the image fuzzy. The clearer the picture, the more likely you’ll get a buyer!
And it’s easier than ever to get great quality pictures thanks to our phones, so no need to get any fancy camera equipment.
Write a good description:
Buyers usually prefer precise writing rather than never ending detailed descriptions. Instead of saying “slightly used,” explain what the buyer should expect when they receive the item.
Break up larger paragraphs into bullets and more whitespace. Make it easier for people to read your listings and get the information they need about your items.
Be fast in responding:
For any platform where you are selling your stuff online, responding to inquiries fast will be beneficial. You want to grab people’s interest in buying as soon as possible, so answering their inquiries can help you sell something much quicker.
Don’t negotiate too much:
Once you have a buyer who’s interested in your items, make sure to follow through on your pricing. Many buyers pressure sellers into getting a good deal — but if you’ve done your research and are confident about your pricing, make sure to not let them lower your price too much.
if you are selling local, it’s safer to ask for cash than to do a direct transfer. If someone mails you a check or asks you to complete the payment with something like cryptocurrencies, it sounds like a scam and it’s better to not go ahead with the sale.