Who couldn’t use a little extra cash now and then? One way to kill two birds with one stone is to clear out your extra stuff and sell it. The most common way to resell old goods is to have a garage or yard sale. You might be able to get rid of some things,
but expect to spend lots of time and energy collecting enough items to make it worthwhile. Then, you’ll need to organize everything, set prices and spread the word before the big day. You’ll spend several long afternoons just overseeing the transactions, and if everything goes well you might earn a few pennies on the dollar. There must be a better way…
A more convenient and profitable way to sell your gently used stuff is to post it on bidding or classified websites such as eBay or Craigslist. Both options provide you with the opportunity to advertise your items without the hassle of ‘garage salers’ who want you to practically give your stuff away. Both options have pros and cons, and the one you choose will depend on your strategy and expectations.
Bidding Portals & Auction Sites
Search for just about anything online and you’re likely to find it for sale on a bidding or auction site, an encouraging sign for those who have an eclectic group of things to sell. Top bidding sites like eBay, Webstore and eBid offer free registration and listings. Take your advertising up a notch and pay for extras that make your products standout – bigger photos, bold font, etc. Many sites offer the option to open a storefront for those who have lots of items or an ongoing source of products to sell.
Of course, fees will eventually involved depending on what you’re selling. In some cases you may be charged a small listing fee for each item. You can also expect 5% to 10% of the final sale price to be recouped by the auction site. Although the terms will vary, the premium price you can earn from an auction site will often make it worth the fees.
In addition to the extra costs, websites that provide their customers with the opportunity to sell stuff using a bidding system will generally take more time to set up than a classified ad. One upside is that items will be viewed by people from across the world and you’ll be exposed to a much larger customer base. You’ll know the minimum you can earn from the sale upfront and when you’ll be paid.
The majority of items sold through eBay will show a detailed description and photo of the item, shipping and handling charges, along with the minimum bid that you’re willing to accept and when the bidding closes. These are all things you need to think about…
Jewelry, high-end clothing, electronics, gently used sports equipment and other higher priced items are definitely worth the effort you’ll put in to placing them on an auction site. A good selling strategy is to price the item at the lowest amount you would like to get and then include a ‘buy it now’ price that would make you happy.
Classified Websites Like Craigs List
Using a site like Craigslist or ClassifiedAds.com is an excellent way to sell items locally that are difficult to mail. Post an item for free and enjoy a bigger profit than selling in a yard sale. The big advantage to this resale strategy is that shipping costs can be deferred, if the buyer is willing to pick up the item. For local transactions that need to be shipped, the cost will be less than a sale made across the country. This is also the best option for selling less than stellar items. Many buyers on these websites are looking for a deep discount and not unopposed to a few dings or scratches.
It’s important to keep in mind that people who shop on classified websites are likely to haggle about prices. It’s better to price your items on the slightly higher end, knowing that someone will probably try to talk you down.
Have a Winning Strategy
Collectables, rare antiques and unique household items are particularly lucrative with consumers who use the Internet to hunt for special or missing pieces to a collection. Autographed and unopened items in their original packaging will bring the highest prices.
No matter what you’re selling, always put your best foot forward when marketing your items online. Provide as much information as possible and include clear photos, along with details about any flaws. It’s better to be upfront and honest to earn the trust of your buyers than to misrepresent your items and lose a customer. Even worse, you could be removed from these online portals if you’re caught making false claims.