Once you’ve done the hard work of cleaning, decluttering or organizing, it’s time to get the cash: Ready for “Selling Mode”?!
Did you know “the average household has $1,000 to $2,000 of potential cash in stuff that they don’t use?”, according to HGTV Cash In the Attic’s Tim Luke, stated in a recent Consumer Reports article. Who couldn’t use an extra $2000 dollars? WE SURE CAN!!! Each and every one of us may not have exactly $2000 worth of odds and ends taking up space, but you get the point. This perspective provides a fresh, invigorating way to view our unwanted, unused stuff.
And now that you have decluttered and cleaned out your living space and specified what will be done with each item, it is time to institute the disposal plan. You should have several good boxes of stuff to get rid of. Which is the best way to get rid of it all, yet maximize the return on your money?
Where Will You Make the Best Money Selling Your Items Online ?
I’ll get straight to the point. You will get the lowest amount per item when you hold a Yard Sale because of less competition. But if you have a LOAD of stuff, then overall you could get a nice chunk of change, with little time invested, with a Yard Sale. The flip side of that is donating your items right off the bat. It takes the least amount of time and it will increase your tax refund, but only by 1/3rd of the items value. So for the typical household, every $3 of value you donate, you will get $1 back on your taxes (which is essentially what you would probably get in cash at a Yard Sale). The nice thing is that it is a guaranteed deduction. So that makes it a super easy back up plan — donate anything you can’t sell first hand.
Here are several viable options to help you make money online selling your stuff:
Facebook: Facebook is free and super easy so there is really no reason not to try Facebook first.
What to sell on Facebook: larger sized furniture, toys, & household items that you wouldn’t want to bother with shipping. Because this option is FREE, we suggest trying to sell large items here first.
After you have a Facebook account, search for a local selling Group for your area (search terms such as “Your City” then Yard Sale, Online Sale, Garage Sale). You will most likely need to request to “Join” the group (may as well join our Hot Deals Group too, while you are on there) then simply snap a picture and list a price. If you can’t find a group to join, just post your item on your own Facebook wall.
How to Successfully Sell on Facebook:
- Good Pictures – When taking photos, its okay to use your smart phone or a real camera. For the best results, use indirect daylight (not bright sun) and NO FLASH! Place your items in front of a plain, uncluttered background and take several pictures from every angle. You can upload several photos on Facebook to sell your item. People are shopping online, so multiple photos will sell your item faster.
- Great Description – Be as specific as you possibly can with the details of your item. I like to look to see if the item (or a similar item) is available for sale where I originally bought it, so I can use some of their accurate description. Make sure you mention the brand name in the title as well as the condition. If you are stuck for what to write, look up similar items that are currently selling for inspiration.
- Set a Reasonable Price – Do a quick search for your particular item to find out what other people are asking. We’d all like to think our stuff has held its value, but the sad truth is that used stuff isn’t worth all that much. By selling on Facebook, you are hoping to get more than you would at a Yard Sale.
- Leave Bargaining Room – Decide on the lowest price you will accept for your item, then price it 10-20% higher (pay attention to not ask too much)
- “Bundle” Similar Items – Consider selling a “lot” of similar toys or clothing. Its easy to group by size or age. It is a quicker route than trying to sell each item individually. Maybe you have a bunch of old VHS videotapes. Separate them into categories (action, drama & comedy) and sell them for one single group price as a “lot”.
- It’s Okay to Say No – If someone offers you less than you think your item is worth, don’t be afraid to hold out for more money. Facebook is free and you can list your item as many times as you want (within the Facebook Group guidelines). Determine whether it is more important to get rid of an item quickly or to get your full asking price.
If your items don’t sell there, give Craigslist a try:
Sell on Craigslist:
What to sell on Craigslist: larger sized furniture, toys, & household items that you wouldn’t want to bother with shipping. You could try try selling your stuff here first, because it is FREE to list items, so you have nothing to lose.
Craigslist Specific Selling Tips (in addition to the ones listed above for Facebook):
- List Items on Friday Morning – Most of the Craigslist shoppers tend to be looking for items on the weekend. So if you post your items on Monday, and people don’t start looking till Friday, your listing will get buried and will be less likely to be seen. I would suggest posting on Friday mornings in time for the weekend crowd.
- Watch the Listing Guidelines – If you post your item too often, you will be flagged and ALL your listings will be removed. A common guideline is that it can be listed once every 7 days.
- When Meeting for the Sale, Exercise Caution! – Meet in a neutral public location (such as McDonald’s parking lot, a Library or Fire Station) or make sure you will not be alone if someone is coming to see an item at your home. Always better to be safe than have the sale.
If it doesn’t sell, try selling it on eBay:
How to Sell on eBay:
What to sell on eBay: Popular brand name items (think, North Face Backpack or Coach Purse) in very good or excellent condition or high value items that are specialized and hard to find (collectable items or small antiques). It is free to list items on eBay but you will have to pay a commission once your item sells. Unlike CraigsList, which is localized, eBay has a national reach so you will most likely need to ship your items. eBay even has an App in which you can instantly take a photo of the item and list it for sale online.
eBay Specific Selling Tips (in addition to the ones listed above for Facebook):
- Limited Number of Listings – With eBay’s FREE listing account, the first 50 to 100 items listed are FREE. This is another reason to consider selling a “lot” or “bundle” of similar items instead of everything individually.
- Include FREE Shipping – Especially for big ticket items, consider including the shipping fee in order to sell the item quicker. Buyers love when shipping is FREE.
- Answer Questions Quickly – Once your auction is live, be sure to pay attention to any questions that come in (always check your junk folder too!) and answer them clearly and honestly right away. If it is a question about item specifics then it is a good idea to post your answer publicly so that other potential buyers can see the answer as well.
- Be Prepared to Prove Authenticity – If you are selling one of the “Hot Ticket” items, then you will want to review the rules to ensure you can prove authenticity for your product (it varies by category).
- Do Not Ship Until You are Paid – I know you will be excited to get the items out of your home quickly. But if you do not wait until the payment comes in then you may never get paid at all. If someone does not pay timely, there is an option to send an invoice to remind buyers to pay.
- Ship Quickly – Make it a priority to ship out your item as quickly as you can after you receive payment from the buyer. eBay makes the process very simple, you can even pay for shipping and print your label right from your home printer. Then all you have to do is pack the box, tape the pre-paid label on top, and let your mail carrier pick it up or drop it off at your nearest post office! Easy Peasy!
- Leave Feedback – eBay gives importance to feedback. Be sure to leave a positive note on your buyer’s feedback page. Hopefully they will return the favor to help you gain more successful sales in the future!
If it doesn’t sell on there, and it is an item that is 20 years old, give it a try on Etsy:
How to sell on Etsy:
What to sell on Etsy: Items over 20 years old (maybe that vase you inherited from a relative?) or handmade items can be sold on Etsy.
Selling on Etsy is slightly more complicated. This is not a short term solution because you need to set up an online “store”. If you are helping to clean out your grandmother’s basement, then this is definitely the option you would want to pick because the clientele pays more than Facebook, Craigslist or eBay. There are no membership fees but it does cost $0.20 to list each item. They will keep the listing active for 4 months, or until it sells. Then, once you sell the item, they charge a 3.5% fee on the sale price.
Can you suggest another way you have sold items online and earned extra cash?
Maybe your idea will help someone in ways we didn’t mention!
You might also like:
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Online Garage Sale
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Way to Cash
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