Are You Ready for a New Money Challenge?
It’s the beginning of a new month and that means it’s time for another money challenge.
This month’s challenge is to sell your stuff online.
I’m excited to see just how much I can squeeze out of the things we don’t need or want anymore.
What to Sell Online
It’s actually amazing the things you can sell online nowadays. Everything from books, clothing, toys, even vintage tech will sell.
Just take a look around you and pick a few items you may be willing to part with. Then run a quick search on eBay to see if people are buying it and for how much.
Tip: When you search eBay, filter your items by “sold” to get an idea of what people are actually paying.
I recently did this with a Friend’s Complete Series DVD boxed set I forgot I had (except for when I had to clean around it).
A quick eBay search showed the same item selling for around $50. I listed it and bam! Sold it for $50 within a week.
Here are some things you may have lying around the house that you could sell for some quick cash.
- designer or specialty clothing
- baby clothes
- DVDs and video games
- homeschool curriculum
- pricier toys like LEGOs and Thomas the Train sets
- old cell phones
Where to Sell Your Stuff Online
It seems there’s a new app or website popping up almost daily to help you sell your stuff online.
The more popular and established ones are eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist, but depending on what you’re selling you may want to try a more specialized marketplace.
Here are a few different options based on the items you may have:
- Clothes – Poshmark or ThredUp
- Books (especially textbooks) – Amazon or Bookscouter
- Electronics – Decluttr and Gazelle
- Furniture and large items – Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
- Collectibles (and pretty much anything you can think of) – eBay
It’s a good idea to compare valuations and sales history across the various marketplaces if you want to make sure you’re getting the most money back for your items.
How to Sell Your Things Online
I often feel resistance to selling our old stuff because it’s just so much easier to donate and be done with it.
But that doesn’t make me any money and my experience has been that it’s actually not that much more effort to list things for sale online.
Most apps I’ve tried make it a super simple and straightforward process.
The eBay app will walk you through creating a listing and will even let you select a similar one to pre-fill the essentials.
Just add any extra photos, edit the description to note anything specific (like defects or wear and tear), adjust your pricing and shipping options and click list.
Boom! Just like that, you’re done.
Decluttr is a bit different since they’re buying direct, but if you’ve got a load of DVDs and video games to get rid of, this may be your new favorite app.
Once you download the app and create an account you’ll simply scan your item and Decluttr will give you a valuation and add it to your cart.
The thing to note with Decluttr is that you may sacrifice some potential returns for convenience.
When I scanned my old Coupling DVD boxset in eBay and Decluttr the valuations were quite a bit off. On eBay, it’s selling for around $20, but Decluttr is only offering $5.
In cases like this you may want to try your luck with eBay first, and then use Decluttr if it doesn’t sell.
Tips for Selling Your Stuff Online
There are a lot of nuances to selling online and how to make the most of each platform, but here are some general tips to get you started.
Tip #1 – Decide If It’s Worth Selling
Check eBay’s sold listings or scan your item into Decluttr to see what it’s worth. If something is selling for less than $10 on eBay, it may not be worth the hassle (or expense) of shipping and seller fees may eat any profit you thought you were making.
Tip #2 – Take Great Photos
Focus on having great photos of the actual product. Buyers want to see what they’re actually buying, not what it looked like when you bought it.
Tip #3 – Don’t Forget to Factor In Shipping
Most buyers prefer free shipping, but if you’re going to offer it, make sure you’re factoring that cost into your selling price. It can be an ugly surprise to get a deposit for a sale that doesn’t cover your shipping.
Tip #4 – Don’t Forget About Seller Fees
While it’s awesome we can use a platform like eBay to sell our old stuff, they aren’t providing the service for free. Don’t forget to add any seller fees into your price.
Tip #5 – Make Great Listings
Photos are essential to selling your product, but a good description will help elevate your listing as well.
Answering any potential buyer questions in your listing is not only more professional-looking, but it can also save you the hassle of answering them via email later on.
Some questions to think about when you’re drafting your listing:
- What is the product and what does it do?
- How long have you owned it?
- How did you get it?
- Does it work?
- Does it have any scratches or wear and tear?
- How can the buyer pick up the item or how much is shipping?
- Is the price negotiable?
Tip #6 – Give Yourself Some Wiggle Room
When you list an item, price it higher than you’re looking to get. Everyone tries to negotiate so that gives you some wiggle room.
If you have an absolute minimum, you can set that on eBay so you don’t even have to worry about people trying to low-ball you.
Tip #7 – Be Safe
If you’re using Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace and going to be doing in-person exchanges, make sure to keep yourself safe both physically and financially.
Here are some general rules of thumb:
- Never give out your home address.
- Make sure you meet at a public place. Some police and sheriff’s stations have designated exchange spots for Craigslist pickups.
- Always use the buddy system and bring a friend or two along with you.
- Make it a cash-only exchange to avoid getting scammed.
- Don’t use your real phone number. You can get a free Google Voice number that will forward to your actual phone.
Time to Make Some Money Selling Your Stuff!
That’s a lot of info to take in, but now that you’ve got the know-how and the tools to start making money by selling your old household items it’s time to join the challenge and get to work!
Most of the money challenges I’ve done have been about ways to save money so I’m excited to try a challenge that will actually make some money.
And as I learned from my declutter challenge, we tend to accumulate stuff without even realizing it so hopefully, we’ve got plenty of potential stuff to sell.
Leave a comment and let me know if you’re up for this month’s challenge. I’d love to hear about some of the things you end up selling!
Download this free eBay sales tracker to help you keep track of what you’re selling and how much you’ve made.