One of the easiest ways to get some quick cash in a pinch is to look through your stuff, find items that you don't need, and then sell them. Back in the day, you would really have just two options for selling:
- A consignment store
- Have a garage sale
That sounds like way too much work just to drum up some extra money. Thankfully, the internet has plenty of websites where you can sell your items. Here are our tips to maximizing your profits and minimizing your work.
Best Website to Sell Your Stuff
Okay, you probably already know about eBay.com, but this wouldn't be a comprehensive list unless we included them. One of the original auction marketplaces, eBay is still going strong with 800 million items being listed at any one time. For their roll in helping you sell your item, eBay will charge a 9% fee on the final sale amount (up to $50). That said, there are other potential fees that you might have to pay depending on how you list your item. If you have a collectible or are looking to do a one-off, eBay is probably your best bet.
If you're reading this, you've probably purchased something off of Amazon before. Who hasn't? You might have also noticed that you're not always purchasing a product from Amazon, but from a seller who is using the Amazon platform. To do this, you just have to set up a seller account. This account will cost you though. It has a monthly fee of $39.99, so Amazon is best suited for people who sell a high volume of items. On the plus side, it is one of the biggest marketplaces on the planet.
You might have guessed from the name alone, but eBid is super similar to eBay, except smaller. The smaller market has the upside that there are also smaller fees. In fact, eBid offers a "lifetime" membership for $49.99. If you don't opt for the lifetime membership, eBid has cheaper one-off fees (3% of selling price) that are transparently displayed before you complete your listing.
If you are looking to sell an electronic device, DVDs, textbooks, or legos, then you should check out Decluttr. This site only accepts limited items, but they ask a few questions on the quality of the device and then offer you a cash price. Payments are sent the next day and they cover shipping -- so you don't have to pay listing fees or shipping costs. This option is definitely one of the quickest and easiest routes.
Poshmark is a community built around fashion. If you have a closet full of name brand clothes that you never wear, then this is a great option. For sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat $2.95 fee. Anything over that, Poshmark takes a 20% cut of the final sale price.
Craigslist is one of the most popular marketplaces for local goods and services. Even better, it is free to use. Unless you live in a very small town, there is likely a craigslist community dedicated to your city. The only downside about using craigslist is that it is not as organized as some of these other platforms in terms of categories. This means that the odds of someone stumbling across your listing is decreased. Craigslist also doesn't provide any form of authentification for either the buyer or the seller -- so always be cautious when doing business and make sure you meet in a public and safe place.
One of Facebook's more recent additions, the marketplace allows you to list basically anything. I've seen everything from saxophone lessons to houses. Customers can browse through categories and then, if interested, send you a direct message inquiring about the product. Like Craigslist, there are no listing fees and you should be cautious about meeting up with people.
Take the bigging model and security of eBay, but apply it to a local-only market, and you have 5 miles. Their website reinforced the message that security and verifying the parties is their top priority. Users receive peer ratings and you have the ability to confirm someone's identity before doing business with them. There is a small fee associated with creating your listing that is based on how long you would like your listing to be up for.
Tips for Selling Your Stuff Online
Here are some of our favorite tips for ensuring that your listing fetches top dollar:
- Clean the item - No matter how well the item works, if it looks dirty people will assume that it is lower quality. Make sure that before you take photographs for your listing, you clean the dust and scuffs off of whatever it is you will be selling. That couple of minutes of work could double the price of your item.
- Take great photos - A photo is worth a thousand words and a majority of people will choose to click on your listing just by looking at the photo. Some tips are:
- Make sure the item is well lit (but not over lit). Using natural lighting or soft light is your best bet.
- Put the item in the center of the frame.
- Use a tripod to ensure there is no blur or motion.
- Take several photos so you have options to choose from.
- Take photos of all the features and damages you will list in the description.
- Be aware of the background. You don't want to have a pile of dirty laundry behind something you are taking a photo of. It can call into question how well the item has been cared for.
- Know what you have - One man's trash is another's treasure. You might think that old toy car is worth $0.25, but a collector would know that it is worth $45. Before you list anything, do a quick search on Google, Amazon, and eBay to see what others are selling it for.
- Be descriptive - On eBay, you can look at recently completed auctions. Look through to see which ones sold for the highest amount and take note on how they described the item. Did they list any specific features? Model numbers? Clearly, something they did worked and you should try to replicate their success.
- Do everything - Take advantage of every field and opportunity a platform provides to promote your item. If they allow for 5 photos, upload 5 photos. If they allow for 1,000 words in the description, use 1,000 words.
- Pick the right site - Imagine you have a lawnmower to sell. You list it on eBay and forget about shipping... The lawnmower sells for $100 and you're excited... then you try and box it up and weigh it. How much profit will you actually walk away with? Craigslist would have been a much better choice of platform. Pick a platform that has your ideal audience and allows for you to keep as much profit as possible (factor in site fees and shipping).
What did we miss?
Do you have a website you love or a tip for selling that we missed? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or by sending us a tweet to @Kasasa!