Selling Your Possessions Online

E-commerce has never been bigger, and that means you have no shortage of options when looking for places to sell your stuff. There are many reputable platforms for selling locally and abroad, as well as websites specializing in unique goods — you just have to know where to look and how to make the most of your experience.

Know your major options

Likely the two most familiar names in e-commerce are Amazon and eBay. They’re also two of your best bets if you are looking to sell your things. Amazon offers Individual and Professional selling plans, and the one you pick dictates how much you can sell in a month and how much Amazon helps you. For most, an Individual plan will suffice — it allows you to sell a maximum 40 items per month, offers Fulfillment by Amazon and costs 99 cents per item sold in addition to selling fees.

EBay, NerdWallet contributors Stephen Layton and Laura McMullen suggest, is an even simpler option. Most selling categories don’t charge an insertion fee for up to 200 listings, meaning you can list and relist dozens and dozens of items every month without paying. Once an item is sold, you’ll pay a final value fee of 10 percent for most general merchandise; all fees vary based on category. EBay is also advantageous because it allows you to list items in an auction format, allowing you to set a minimum selling price and providing the most potential to maximize your profit.

Sell local, sell specific

If you’d prefer to sell locally, you have a range of fairly reliable options like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. These platforms limit sales to people within your area, and any goods you sell are exchanged in person. As Layton and McMullen point out, this can pose an issue in terms of safety, so you may want to arrange to meet in a public place and/or bring a friend along. It’s also worth noting that these platforms don’t offer the buyer and seller protections you’d get from larger platforms like Amazon or eBay.

Sometimes the best way to get the most out of a sale is to find a website that specializes in a particular product. The eBay umbrella covers several preferred partners with specific focuses. For example, Swappa is a marketplace for used electronics and mobile devices and Kixify focuses on sneakers. Poshmark is one of the leading platforms for selling clothing and, like Amazon and eBay, offers a convenient and flexible fee structure. For any vintage goods you have or for any arts or crafts you produce, Layton and McMullen point to Etsy as a great option.

General tips for selling your goods online

When you’re selling items on a platform like eBay or Poshmark, Bob Vila contributor Steph Coelho recommends starting by taking the best pictures possible. The more pictures you have of your item, the more confident a buyer will be that it’s in the condition listed and will be as advertised when it arrives.

Speaking of the listing, Coelho suggests delving into the details in your item’s description. Don’t leave out any detail, especially anything having to do with quirks or imperfections. Being forthcoming will reduce the likelihood of an unhappy buyer. If you get questions or communications from a potential buyer, be diligent about responding and maintaining transparency.

Better by Today contributor Nicole Spector points out that happy customers are a key to higher sales volume. By taking the extra step to satisfy a buyer with fast shipping, careful packaging and a thank you note, you stand a better chance to earn a favorable review from a buyer. Spector also notes that this will give shoppers the confidence to continue to buy from you and recommends offering discounts to repeat customers.

If you know where to sell your goods and how to sell them, you stand to make a nice chunk of pocket change from your old stuff. Don’t let items you no longer use collect dust — use them to your advantage and supplement your income.

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