Packing up for a move can take a great deal of time and energy. We often don't realize how much stuff we have accumulated throughout the years -- not until it comes time to haul it to a new place! That's why many people opt to downsize their belongings for a move. Sort through clothes, collectibles, books, electronics, furniture and other belongings to determine what matters and sell the rest online for extra cash to help with the move.
One of the easiest and most popular methods of selling items is online. There are many websites you can utilize to unload unwanted belongings, and this guide will provide you with the information to determine which one best suits your needs.
1. eBay gives sellers a lot of versatility
eBay is perhaps the most popular online selling platform that enables a person to list their item for auction or at a fixed price. The seller must include a photo and description and set the price or minimum bid. Most eBay users apply the payment method PayPal, which is also owned and operated by eBay. PayPal allows you to transfer money to your personal bank and offers fairly comprehensive fraud protection, making eBay a relatively safe and scam-free outlet.
However, eBay charges a listing fee (or insertion fee) as well as a "final value fee" if the items sells. Final value fees are based on a percent of the amount the item sells for, plus shipping or any other charges applied to the item.
- For auction-style listings, eBay waves the insertion fees for your first 50 auctions in a month
- Insertion fees for fixed-price items are .50 cents
- The percentage eBay will collect as a final value fee will vary depending on the price and category of the item
- Commission percentages vary for books, electronics, auto parts and other items
For example, you will owe eBay ten percent of your sale if you receive between .99 cents and $50 for a clothing item. If the item sells between $50 and $1,000, you will owe eBay $6.50 for the first $50 you earned plus 5 percent of the remainder.
2. Amazon lets you sell used stuff, not just new
Another immensely popular method for selling items online is through the merchandising giant Amazon. When you list an item for sale on Amazon, it will pop up in any search a customer does for that item, new or used. Your item may be more appealing to consumers that were planning on buying a new iPod or book but notice your barely used option for a more affordable price when browsing.
When an item is sold, Amazon will notify you. You will either be responsible for shipping the item yourself or use "Fulfilled by Amazon" to ship it for you. The buyer pays Amazon directly, and then the money is transferred into your personal bank account by the website.
Amazon offers two different plans for selling on their website:
- Unlimited sales for $39.99 a month, or
- .99 cents a sale
Additionally, sellers pay Amazon a commission based on the item's price and product category as well as a Variable Closing Fee, which is calculated based on the category of the item, the shipping method and weight.
3. Craigslist does not charge you any fees
If you don't want to pay any fees or deal with shipping your items, Craigslist is a more locally-driven classified website that is completely free to use (for sales). Since the website is not monitored, most transactions occur face-to-face to avoid scams.
However, Craigslist should be used with caution. You must meet strangers to exchange your item for their payment, so do so in a safe place. Be wary of buyers that want to pay with a check -- immediate payments are preferred for Craigslist sales. On the other hand, Craigslist works well for people looking to purchase locally and feel buying from nameless and faceless merchants is too risky.
- Most buyers on Craigslist will try to haggle. Because you advertise your items to a much smaller audience, you may not receive as desirable a price as you would if you sold to buyers across the county. List your items at a slightly higher price, so you can negotiate down to the price you wanted to begin with.
- Always include pictures on your listings. Because of the volume of postings on Craigslist, many listings get lost in the dust. If you don't include several clear, colorful, quality photos showcasing your merchandise, your listing will throw up a red flag.
- Post your listings in the morning for best results. Experts say most people browse Craigslist while they are at work.
4. Gazelle offers cash for your used items
Gazelle is a company that offers cash in exchange for old, used and even broken electronics (mostly by Apple). Devices such as iPhones, iPods, iPads, MacBooks and other Apple gadgets are bought by the website. To see if your device has any monetary value, visit the website, answer a few quick questions and Gazelle will provide you with a quote.
You will then ship the item to them at their cost and receive your compensation in the form of a check, PayPal or Amazon gift card.
However, Gazelle has received some criticism for changing the amount they originally offered upon receiving the item. In this case, however, they will ship the item back to you at no charge should you decline their updated price.
5. SellBackYourBooks.com/Cash4Books.net gives students an extra hand
Any college student knows that the amount of money spent on textbooks feels like a useless investment. How many of us ever crack that book open again after the semester is over? If you have spent hundreds of dollars on books that are doing nothing but collecting dust in your closet, you have options to get at least a portion of that expense back.
SellBackYourBooks.com and Cash4Books.net are websites that offer you money for used textbooks. Simply visit the websites, enter your book's ISBN and receive an offer. Ship your books to them with a free prepaid shipping label and receive your payment in the form of check or PayPal payment.
The websites require that books are in good physical condition -- no torn pages, dents in the covers, and no writing or highlighting on more than 20 percent.
6. Etsy lets you sell your own creations
If you are looking to sell unique or valuable items, Etsy is the perfect online marketplace. Specializing in the sales of handmade and vintage goods, many artists and craftsmen operate online stores to sell their creations on the site.
However, the site's vendors also sell expensive vintage jewelry, stylish handbags, unique clothing, collectible books and music, original artwork and various other treasures. If you have a box of antique earrings stashed in your attic, an old record collection or a case of vintage posters and prints, Etsy may be the perfect place for you to unload them.
The website requires all goods that aren't handmade (or art supplies) be at least 20 years old. Chances are, once you clean out your house for a move, you will find a truckload of stuff in that age range.
To start selling on Etsy, you must provide a credit card for verification purposes. They charge a .20 cents fee for every item you list, and a 3.5 percent commission on every sale.
Thoroughly prepare if you want to sell online successfully
- Research competitors' prices. To come up with a realistic and accurate price for your item, check out what other sellers are listing similar items for. Remember, many users of these websites are looking for bargains.
- Research the different outlets. While this guide may have provided you with some basic insight into your options for selling online, further research of each site is required to accurately determine which is right for you and your goods. Compare fees for what you will be selling and figure out which method will be the easiest and most effective for your situation.
- Take good pictures. Make sure you include plenty of clear and vibrant photos of the item you are selling, especially clothes, jewelry, accessories, furniture or any item where appearance is imperative to the buyer.
- Be honest. When writing your item description, be truthful if there are any flaws or damage. You don't want to receive negative feedback for being deceitful; it will discourage other buyers from purchasing from you in the future.
You don't only have to sell your stuff online
There are places other than online resellers if you want to get rid of unused belongings
- An easy way to get cash for your items is to host a garage sale. For each item that you plan to sell, create labels with corresponding price tags. A table or brightly-colored surface can be used to display your yard sale items. Make sure that you give yourself time to make your goods for sale as presentable as possible. This may require a bit of cleaning and slight repairs on your part, but remember that the garage sale is an investment and can return a quick profit.
- You also have the option of selling your goods to consignment/thrift stores and pawn shops. Some will provide an upfront rate and others will not give you anything until the item sells.
- Outdoor flea markets are a great source of side income. Most flea markets charge a flat rate per booth or per table, and whatever profit you make is yours to keep. For example, booth space might cost $50 per event, and that's all you'll be charged whether you sell $300 worth of merchandise or $3,000.