We all have stuff that we have kept around the house for too long. After each season it’s a good idea to think about selling stuff that shouldn’t make the cut any longer. This way you keep your house a little less clutter and make some extra cash on the side. To help us all out I put together the SavingFreak’s complete guide to selling your stuff, LIKE A BOSS!
The first step is to get stuff that will actually sell so walk through each room and look for items that are in need of not being in your home. Make sure you check closets and other places where unused stuff likes to accumulate. Create a pile and then get started with being able to present these items to an audience. Take photos, make up good descriptions, etc.
Tips for Your Photos
- Use natural light – Indoor lights make for bad pictures on message boards
- Get Rid of Distractions – make sure the photo is just of the item. Get any distracting stuff out of the picture, because people will ask if the distraction is included.
- Show the Defects – Anything that could make someone not want to purchase your item you want to show them. The reason is you can line up a buyer and then they don’t want it. Then you have to start all over again
Once You have your photos, start figuring out where you are going to sell your stuff.
Where and How to Sell Your Stuff
There are two main veins of selling your old stuff. The traditional methods are really good for the little bit lower quality items. The reason is that people are much more likely to negotiate when they are in these familiar ways to buy. If you have an item that is going to garner a higher price, then use the online methods. Nine times out of ten you will get a higher sales price.
When it comes to selling your stuff there are tried and true ways that people have been using for years and years. Yard Sales, Flea Markets, and local publications have been around as long as I can remember and they have helped people eliminate clutter and make a few bucks on an item they haven’t used in a long time or do not like.
Definitely the cheapest of the three since it costs you nothing to set up. The problem with this method is getting some traffic. If you live in a neighborhood you can leverage the houses being close together and put out some signs at the entrances the Monday or Tuesday before the sale (Saturdays will always be your best day).
On top of the signs your best method for drawing traffic is getting a good number of neighbors to have a yard sale all at the same time. This builds a word of mouth free for all since multiple families will be talking with their friends about the community yard sale. This will also bring the die hard yard sale people because it allows them to hit a bunch of houses in a relatively small amount of time. Since this type of event takes more time to plan you can pool your resources and post the yard sale in the local paper as well as do more extensive signs. From a traffic and profit standpoint this is going to be your best bet.
Also called a swap meet in some areas. You purchase a table or set of table and people come to see what others are selling. This is a great way to get some good traffic to your stuff at a very low price. You can rent a table for as little as $10 for the day/weekend at some flea markets and since there are so many sellers you are likely to get some really good foot traffic. Like the yard/garage sale the weather can be a big determining factor in how well this method will work.
If you are selling something that appeals to an older crowd this is probably your best bet. There are tons of local newspapers and tabloid style publications that allow you to post classifieds. Many of these will let you post for free and then you pay a small percentage of the sale price once the item sells. The key is to know that the publication has a wide circulation in your area.
Sell Your Stuff Online
Online has become the best place to sell anything that may have significant value. Whether it is electronics or if you have kids clothes that are in great condition and you can bundle them into a larger purchase, Online is the way to go. Make sure you are putting good descriptions and are being as honest as possible. You don’t want to deal with taking an item back.
Ebay used to be a tricky game if you were trying to sell something but it has gotten easier an less expensive over time. If you are going to sell something on Ebay I would suggest spending some time making purchases first. Understanding how the bidding process and the “buy it now” features work is important to understanding how to make a sale. Also, by making some purchases, you should be able to get a favorable rating from the sellers of the products you buy. This will give you credibility to the Ebay community that you are a trustworthy person. If you have no feedback score it will be hard to sell your item.
To sell anything on Ebay you will need to sing up for an Ebay account so that you can list items and a PayPal account so that you can accept payments (for the most part everyone uses paypal for their Ebay transactions).
Before you list your item/items you will want to search Ebay for similar items so that you can get a good price point for your listing. List your item and hope for the best.
You will be charged a fee for the listing whether it sells or not so be sure that you are selling something that makes it worth the fee.
Craigslist.org has become the flea market of the internet. It doesn’t cost you anything to post your items for sale and the list advertises to a local area. This means you have people who can actually come and look at your item instead of relying solely on your camera skills.
The downside of craigslist.org is that you have to meet the people you are selling to. I have bought many items and sold a few off this site and have had no issues, but you hear stories of people getting robbed or even killed from craigslist contacts so here are the tips I use for selling on CraigsList to help you sell your stuff fast and safely.
- Always include a picture – If it doesn’t have one most people will skip on by.
- Check The prices – check to see what price others are selling similar items. Then adjust your price accordingly.
- Communicate via e-mail first – Don’t give people your phone number until there has been some contact and a real interest established.
- Meet at a neutral and public location – While I have gone to many houses to pick up Craigslist items I try to meet people at a gas station or Wal-Mart parking lot where I know there are cameras. This is probably overkill but I have access to these resources so why not use them.
- Accept cash only – it just isn’t worth the risk of taking a check. If you can accept credit cards with an instant verification that would be an acceptable means. If you are looking to accept credit cards PayPal is you fastest method without a lot of hassles.
Once again, I have had nothing but success on Craigslist so do not feel it is a risk to use this site just be sure to take proper precautions. Some deals I have purchased off the website are: A $2000 lawn mower for $600, a $500 crib, mattress, and changing table set for $175, Childrens clothes, room decor, and toys. We’ve sold old desks, maternity clothes, a basketball goal, and I am sure a few others that I cannot remember. It’s my second favorite way to sell stuff online.
Local “Yard Sale” Groups
These work a lot like Craigslist but aren’t as user friendly. What I like about them is that the people who participate in these groups tend to be less likely to negotiate on the price and the radius of travel to meet people is much smaller than Craigslist. Most of these are on Facebook but you can find them by doing a search on Google as well.
While you should follow the same rules I listed above for Craigslist, the one key difference is how you list these items. With Facebook being the main forum, you want to use only your VERY best picture, then use the comments to describe any flaws in the item. This is because if you post multiple pictures you have to use the album feature. Another method that works is to post one image that has multiple photos merged together. Either one one image is the way to go.
The only thing you need to know is that if you get a message from someone you do not know on Facebook it will go to an “Other” folder. so after you post the item make sure to check that folder for any messages.
Now Get Going!
The final step is to get started. You are never going to sell any of that old stuff in your attic if you don’t get started.
If you have any other tips for selling your stuff online or otherwise, leave them in the comments or put it up on twitter to help us all out.
There are so many ways to sell (or donate) your used items. People are really only limited by their imagination and willingness to put in a little effort. Good stuff.