You May Be Sitting on Money: How and Where to Sell Your Gently Used Stuff
One person's trash is another's treasure — here’s how to get started selling your unneeded items, and the best platforms to list them on.
January 4, 2022
Are you looking for some extra cash around the house? Forget about checking coat pockets and couch cushions for change.
With the ever-increasing popularity of online marketplaces, it’s easier than ever to sell your gently used things from home for cash. When you sell everything from clothes to used electronics online, you’re not only cleaning out your closet but also making some extra spending money.
Just how much? Some eBay sellers claim to make between $2,000 to $3,000 a month selling just about everything on the site. With the proper research and time commitment, you may find products to sell from home as a lucrative side hustle.
Here’s how to get started selling your used items, as well as the best platforms to list them on.
How to sell used goods
Just like any online retailer, there’s an art to making an online sale. No matter your item, here are some general rules of thumb when it comes to creating a listing:
Staging is everything. A picture is worth a thousand words, or at least a few more bucks. When you take photos of your listing, stage it away from clutter and in natural light. Snap pictures from multiple angles, and make sure to capture the fine details in a few close-up shots.
Measure twice. Include sizing of the item, whether it’s a piece of clothing or an old dresser. Providing these details upfront means less back and forth with buyers.
Clear copy. Pretend you have no photos on the listing, and describe the item in as vivid detail as possible. Include what the item is made of, its style, even the year you purchased it.
Be honest. No one likes being duped. Include minor flaws or indicate where there may be wear on an item. If you don’t disclose these issues, you could even violate some online marketplace policies.
Do your research. Before creating a listing, look to see if any sellers on the platform have listed something similar. That could give you an idea of appropriate pricing and how to describe the item best.
The faster you need to sell, the lower the profit. When it comes to finding a customer, price is the most influential factor in deciding to purchase something. Time is money, but you’ll need to drop the price if you want to unload things quickly. That might mean selling stuff to a site that will turn around and sell them for you or pricing items very low on online marketplaces. If you don’t need cash fast, you can take time to research, perfect your listing and find the perfect site or audience for your item. Taking that time could mean a bigger profit.
If you want to sell gently used clothing, try online platforms Poshmark and thredUP.
According to Poshmark’s 2021 trend report, buyers on the platform are searching for these brands in particular:
American Eagle Outfitters
To sell on Poshmark, users generate their listings and deal with buyers directly. When a sale is completed, the seller ships the item to the buyer.
If you’re looking for companies that sell stuff for you, the best route may be thredUP. All you have to do is request a kit from the online resale shop, fill it with your unwanted clothes and thredUP will sell the clothing for you, offering store credit or a cashout.
Homegoods, large items
With an easy-to-use interface and simple chat feature, Facebook Marketplace has replaced Craigslist as the go-to spot to sell furniture, home goods and other large items. Some best-selling items on Facebook Marketplace include large home furnishings or other items that may be too inconvenient to ship.
Facebook Marketplace does have an option to ship items to buyers, but the platform takes a 5% cut per shipment. However, if you list something as a local pickup, it’s free to sell on the site. All you have to do is coordinate meeting the buyer somewhere nearby.
A drawback for some sellers may be the chat feature, which means potential buyers will message you about the item you’re selling. Answering questions and coordinating a pick-up can take time out of your day. But, because there’s no shipping involved, you may end up making more when you do sell the item.
Many electronics sales are from companies that sell your stuff for you, meaning it’s a simple trade-in program. As the seller, all you have to do is answer a few questions about your item, and the service will make you an offer. If you accept, the company will send you a mailer, and you’ll get the payment within a few days or weeks.
ItsWorthMore is a popular site to sell everything from your Apple Watch to an old gaming console. If the site accepts your item, ItsWorthMore offers payout through PayPal, Zelle or a mailed check.
Similarly, BuyBackWorld will offer you cash for your electronics. What’s more, if you want to sell something the site doesn’t currently list, ButBackWorld will provide a custom quote, meaning you may be able to offload some of your more unique electronics here. BuyBackWorld will pay you via check, PayPal, direct deposit, gift card or prepaid debit card.
Collector’s items and catch-alls
If you want to buy something, chances are it’s for sale on eBay. You can buy anything from a car to a collector’s edition DVD on the peer-to-peer e-commerce site. However, just because you can sell anything, that doesn’t mean you should sell everything there.
For amateur sellers unloading unwanted items from their homes, eBay can be a great catch-all. If you’re selling something very specific, like a collection of holiday tree ornaments, eBay might be the perfect place to find a buyer looking specifically for that. It’s a good site to connect with collectors and sell smaller, gently used items such as trading cards, collectible toys, books, DVDs and specialty vintage items.
However, keep in mind that you’ll need to ship the things you sell. It could be a hassle to ship a large or very delicate item across the country.
Books, DVDs and CDs
Still have a tower of old CDs and CD-ROMs stashed in the corner of your home office living room? Unless they’re a rare collector’s item, you might not think they’re worthing anything at all. It might be surprising that outdated tech is one of the things to sell to make money.
If you can’t find or don’t want to take the time to see individual buyers for each disc, consider selling them to Decluttr. Simply enter the barcode of each DVD, CD or game and the site will pay you cash for each one. Additionally, Decluttr promises next-day payment through direct deposit or PayPal for items like used textbooks and Lego sets.
If you think that CD or DVD might be worth a pretty penny, consult database marketplaces like Discogs, where you can see what similar copies sold for.
Getting started is easy
What may look like clutter or junk in your eyes might be a treasure to someone else. If you’re looking for things to sell to make money, all you need to do is take a look in your junk drawer. Everything from old cell phones to gently used athleisure has value online. You just need to find the right buyer. And, most online selling platforms have built-in protections for both buyers and sellers, so make sure to read those terms carefully when getting started.
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