How to sell unwanted items online
Something I like to do on a semi regular basis, is to declutter the stuff in our home that is not needed anymore. Although there always seems to be some sort of mess around these parts, extra clutter drives me crazy. But before I haul everything off to the thrift store, I set aside anything I think I could sell online; it’s always nice to earn bit of extra spending money!
While I’m a fan of the traditional garage sale, selling some of our old things online is really gaining popularity in my books. I’ve found it to be less work and I tend to make more money than if I were to sell the items in a garage sale.
I’ve been dabbling a fair bit with some local Facebook Buy & Sell sites, so that’s where I have most of my experience. But Craigslist and Kijiji are also great free options for selling your stuff online. Although, I’ve found that small items typically don’t sell well with Craigslist and Kijiji so that’s why I’ve been sticking with these Buy & Sell Facebook groups. Ebay is also a great option is you have brand name items and collector items to sell.
Here are some tips on how to sell unwanted items online through Craigslist/Kijiji, Facebook and eBay:
Spend some time taking a look at items similar to what you want to sell to get an idea of what you should price your item at. It might also be a good idea to research some of the details you think buyers might want to know. (ie: dimensions, special features…etc.)
Price Your Item Well
If you simply want to get rid of stuff quickly, price your stuff quite low. If earning a bit of money is your goal, price your items by what you see similar items selling for. Quite often I’ll price something a bit higher then what I’m willing to take because it’ll be a bonus if someone does purchase it at my asking price. But I know people like to barter to get a lower price. They’ll feel like they’re getting a deal and I’m happy I was able to earn some decent spending money!
Take Good Photos
Having good, clear photos with your item is fairly crucial if you want to sell it quickly. Here are some basic tips for taking a good picture:
- Find good lighting. Try to take your pictures in natural light. In a dark room, the photo won’t show clearly, and artificial light can change the color of the item.
- Clean the item. Make sure you give the item a good wipe down or wash to show off the condition.
- Create a clear background. Place the item in an area of your home or yard that is free of clutter. You want to make it clear what you’re selling so don’t let any other distracting items show up in the photo.
- Take several shots. Take at least one shot from every angle.
Choose the Right Category for your Item
To make your item easy to find, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right category to list your item under. After all, no one is going to look for a car in the Housing category!
Write a Clear Headline
In the headline, I like to include what it is and the price. For example: Fisher Price Jumparoo, $40. Having a good headline is important because it’s the first thing people see about your ad and it’s how buyers search for items they want.
Write a Good Description
In your description, you’ll want to include:
- What you’re selling. Start the ad by explaining what your item is.
- Item’s condition. Briefly explain the condition of the item. Make a note of any damages.
- Technical details. Include as many technical details as you can about the item.
- Price. Don’t forget to state the price again. Be sure to include whether you’re firm in your price or willing to take a best offer.
- Your contact information. At the bottom of your ad, note your preferred method of contact.
Once you have your ad up and running, and you have your buyer, you’ll want to meet in a safe place. If I’m home alone, I like to arrange a public place for item pick-up. I try to plan it with an errand I’m already running to save running around all over town. (This one doesn’t really apply to items you sell though eBay since you’re shipping the items to the mailing address your buyer provided.)
The Best time to use:
Craigslist and Kijiji are great options for selling furniture, toys, vehicles and household items. My husband has had great success selling a couple of vehicles. I have had success with selling some furniture we no longer need. It’s free to list your items, so there really isn’t any reason not to try a handful of items!
eBay is the best option for selling popular brand name items such as Coach, Kate Spade and the like that are in excellent condition. High value collector items or hard to find items are also a great match for eBay. It’s free to list items on eBay but you are required to pay a commission if your item sells.
Facebook Buy & Sell Groups
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Facebook buy & sell groups. After all, these Facebook groups are easy to use and are free to join and list. I’ve had great success selling baby items, household stuff, outerwear and books. Search for a local buy & sell group, then ask to join. I’m fairly certain that these groups are in almost every city these days. You’ll want to be sure to read the rules of each group so you don’t end up with your listings being deleted by the administrators. (They set rules to cut down on some of the clutter that posting many items by so many people can cause.)
I’ve created, what I hope will be useful, a Stuff For Sale printable that you can use to keep track of your items as you sell them. Because I use Facebook groups mostly, that’s how I structured this printable:
Have you ever sold anything online? Will you be giving it a try? What are your tips for selling, or even buying online?