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Yesterday I shared the 10 best used things to sell online. Hopefully you took a look around your house and garage and found some things you’d like to try to get rid of—and make some money in the process! Now let’s look at where and how to sell used stuff online. I’ll share what to do to give your stuff the best chance of selling, and I’ll also share some important things to do to protect your safety and make sure you don’t get scammed.
How to Sell Used Stuff Online
Craiglist vs. Facebook Marketplace
Both Craiglist and Facebook Marketpace are options if you want to sell something local and not have to worry about shipping or postage. It’s simpler to post items on these sites then on sites like eBay or Amazon, and there is no cost or transaction fees since you typically handle cash offline. That said, this also means you carry all the risks of these transactions. There is no seller protection offered by either Facebook or Craiglist.
Craigslist has been around for more than 20 years, and it’s still a bustling site where people sell things. The best things to sell on Craiglist are large items like home appliances, cars, power tools, electronics, and furniture. These items are obviously very difficult to ship far away. In addition to cars, we’ve had success selling a dishwasher, an entertainment center, and a twin bed and frame on Craigslist.
Facebook Marketplace has a bit less risk involved as you can check out potential buyers by looking at their profile. Also, if you sell through a buy/sell group on Facebook, many of those groups have policies where you can report someone who breaks the rules of the group. This offers a bit more protection for you than Craiglist. Facebook is good place to sell larger items as well, but you may also have success selling “lots” or “bundles” of things like children’s clothes or toys.
eBay has been around for decades as well, and while it does still function as an auction site, there is also the option to sell the item at a set price without doing an auction. eBay is a good option for selling stuff with high value or that is in high supply. One of the downsides of eBay is that they keep up to 10% of the total cost of the transaction—so if you choose to sell on eBay over a local site, make sure you’re actually going to be making money off the sale.
While it may surprise you, it is not recommended to sell new or slightly used electronics on eBay. Their return policy means that scammers can buy the item, strip it of the worthwhile parts, then return it to you for a refund. Now you’ve earned no money and you can no longer get anything for the item. If you have electronics to sell, take lots of pictures and describe everything in detail. Or even better sell accessories or parts (like keyboards etc.)
Some things that do sell well on eBay are in-demand stuffed animals or plush and complete LEGO sets.
Other Sites for Selling Specific Things
There are literally hundreds of places you could potentially sell used stuff online. Here are just a few of the reputable options for specific items:
- Amazon – books, toys, games, etc.
- Bricklink – LEGO pieces and sets
- Decluttr – books, video games, films, LEGOs
- BuyBackWorld or Gazelle – electronics and phones (I was able to get $50 for old Apple Iphone 6s with a cracked screen; shipping is free and they will actually mail you a box to send it back in!)
- Tradesy and ThredUp – clothing
Pricing Your Items
Look at other listings on the same site to get a good idea of how to price your item. Some sites might have current prices that are higher, but you have to price it based on current prices on the platform you choose.
Consider the condition of the product and that the listed prices of similar items aren’t necessarily the prices they will sell for. One place to check out is the recently completed listings on ebay under that category. Now you can see what price they are really selling for!
Remember the value is in the eye of the buyer, not the seller!
Amazon Tip: Download the Amazon Seller app (or android) and scan the items barcode to see what current sales look like for that item. This makes it incredibly easy to go through items and decide if they are worth listing.
Always meet in a public place during the day, like the parking lot of a busy shopping center or the parking lot of a school or church. For higher-value transactions, meet in a bank or even in a police station parking lot.
If the item is at your home and the buyer must come and get it, make sure another adult is home with you when the buyer comes. Move the item outside of your home, if possible, and do not allow the person to come inside your home. Make sure you have the money before they have access to the item.
There are many ways to accept payments without ever giving any personal information. Both you and the buyer will need to use the same app, so you might want to be flexible if they are more comfortable with a particular platform.
Facebook Marketplace allows you to handle payments within Facebook. Other options are Paypal, Venmo, Cash App, Google Pay Send, or cash (for local transactions). Both Cash App and Google Pay do not charge any fees to send money.
Payments to Not Accept
— Gift cards or other similar trade. You don’t know if the correct value is on the gift card, and they know the gift card numbers and could still use them.
— Checks. Hopefully you knew that already.
When trying to sell used stuff online, some other best practices are to be willing to negotiate, to be honest about your item, and to take good pictures! With pictures, going overboard is never a bad thing.
If you do try to selling online, it probably isn’t going to become a huge portion of your income each month, but if you keep it simple, you might earn a bit of extra spending money.
Other ways to make a bit of money from home: