We’ve come a long way from the days of selling our excess stuff at a yard sale or even automatically turning to eBay to list our more valuable things. In fact, it’s now easier than ever to turn unwanted clutter into cash in hand. Today, there’s a wide variety of selling sites you can use to try to get the best price for your things. The first thing to do is to do a little research, even if it’s just as simple as looking up the item on Google. See what sites it’s been listed on, and see what it’s sold for (not what it was listed for), so you can decide on a reasonable price for it. Newer sites don’t have the reach of eBay, but they typically have a more focused niche, so by matching up your stuff to the right site, you have a much better chance of maximizing the money you make from selling your things. But no matter what site you choose, there are basic rules you will want to follow. Take clear pictures that really show the item, and set the item against an uncluttered background. Also, write a listing that gives all of the major details about an item. For instance, if you’re selling a sofa, be sure to include its measurements in your listing. It’s also important to use keywords and phrases that potential buyers will be searching for, so always include brand names and things like the color and style name in the listing.
Amazon Marketplace allows sellers to sell just about anything, and since it’s Amazon, there’s a good chance that someone wanting to buy that exact thing is going to lay eyes on it. Popularity comes with a price, though. Amazon has a complicated pricing structure. The minimum a seller can expect to be charged is $0.99 when the item is sold. Additionally, Amazon takes a cut of the total price the buyer pays, which includes shipping. So make sure to account for that when calculating your shipping cost. Some items require an upgraded selling plan and approval from Amazon before you can sell them. These upgraded plans cost about $40 a month but usually eliminate the $0.99 listing fee.
Bonanza is an online marketplace that offers a wide variety of merchandise and declares itself as the place to find “everything but the ordinary.” However, the website really pushes brand names, and due to its organization, it is very easy to browse for brands you like. So if you have some Craftsman tools, Red Wing boots, or Ann Taylor sweaters you’d like to sell, Bonanza could be the place for you. The pricing structure works much like Amazon’s. The fee charged is based on the sale price plus any shipping paid by the customer over $10. So if you sell those Red Wing boots for $40 and charge $14 for shipping, your commission to Bonanza will be based on $44 ($40 sale price + $4 shipping overage). Sellers can also choose to let Bonanza take a higher commission in exchange for advertising their item across the Internet.
Once upon a time, if you wanted to sell a sofa or another bulky item, you had to call up the local newspaper and pay for a listing in the classifieds. That changed forever back in 2000, when Craigslist, which started out as an email blast listing local events in the California Bay Area, went national and became the new classifieds section. Although newer options are now available, Craigslist remains a free way to list items that may be difficult to ship.
eBay is another website that most people have experience using to buy or sell goods. It’s possible to sell just about anything on eBay, from pricey art to your kids’ outgrown soccer cleats. There are two main selling strategies on eBay. You can let the item go in an auction (most sellers set a minimum sale price) or include a Buy it Now price. Most sellers are going to pay about 13% of the total sale price plus shipping. There’s also a base price of $0.30 for each listing. eBay also offers a variety of upgrades for your listing. For example, setting a reserve price costs extra money.
Facebook Marketplace offers a few different options. For example, it’s possible to set items as available to ship or even set shipping as the only pickup option. The Covid-19 pandemic introduced “porch pickup” as a popular option. With porch pickup, the buyer leaves cash in a designated spot or uses a payment app like Venmo to pay for the item. The buyer then picks up the item from the seller’s porch or another location chosen by the seller. The upside to this is that it requires no contact between the two parties. You do need a Facebook account and Facebook Messenger to use Facebook Marketplace. The default is that anything you list on Marketplace is shown to your friends in their feed. However, it is possible to disable this in settings. Buyers will see your profile picture but won’t have access to your profile, including your full name. Baby gear, kid stuff, and home goods typically sell very well on Marketplace.
OfferUp, much like eBay, has a rating system for both buyers and sellers. This system helps eliminate one annoying aspect of local buy/sell apps, which is no-shows: Both buyers and sellers on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist have been ghosted after setting up firm plans for a sale. Also, unlike Craigslist, which just has a website, or Facebook Marketplace, which is part of the larger Facebook ecosystem, OfferUp has a dedicated app that is very easy to use. Buyers can make offers on items and sellers can accept, decline, or make a counteroffer. Since messaging is integrated into the app, there’s no need for buyers and sellers to exchange phone numbers. For items with local pickup, you can choose to accept cash or a payment app. Sellers don’t have to pay OfferUp for items that are picked up. Shipped items are subject to a 10% charge, and buyers pay for the cost of shipping.
Poshmark is part online marketplace and part social networking site. The most successful Poshmark sellers put in the time needed to learn how to use the social media part of the service to promote the items they are selling. The company makes shipping easy for sellers: The buyers pay for shipping, and sellers just have to print out a prepaid label. For any item under $15, sellers are charged $2.95. Expect to pay 20% of the sale price for items that sell for more than $15. Along with posting good pictures and using the brand name of the item in the headline of the listing, it’s also important to include measurements when you’re selling clothing, as sizes typically aren’t consistent across brands.
If you have a great collection of vintage stuff or high-end home items, Ruby Lane might be the perfect fit for selling your goods. Because items typically sell for more on Ruby Lane, sellers can expect to pay more for the listing. All sellers are charged a $25-a-month fee, although if you list 15 items, that money is refunded to you. When an item sells, expect to be charged about 10% of the total sale price as a commission. Ruby Lane is set up for people who have a decent amount of desirable things to list and sell.