Clean out your house and garage and make some money while you're at it! We've got all the best tips on how to sell your stuff online and in-store. Cash in your pocket while decluttering? Yes, please!
Got an old cell phone lying around that you just don't need any more? Wedding dress? Clothes? Books? Electronics? Furniture that doesn't fit in your space? One of the ways we've been able to get all the fun “extras” in our lives is by selling our unwanted stuff, and using that money to buy the wanted stuff!
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You can make a lot of money by selling the stuff that you no longer use or need. My determined husband once made a quick $350 in one weekend to put toward something he wanted for a long time but couldn't afford, so I think it's safe to say that we've become selling masters! Lucky for you, you're about to get a bunch of my favorite tips for how to sell your stuff online and bring home the bacon. Excited? You should be!
WHY YOU SHOULD SELL YOUR STUFF
Many of us simply throw things out to clear space or get rid of things that we don't need anymore. Sometimes we'll even donate them to thrift stores (which isn't a bad thing!). However, you should consider selling your stuff before just getting rid of it. It's a great way to make some extra cash, and it's not as hard as people may think. Seriously, even if it's only $5, fives can certainly add up over time!
Bubba and I have decided to no longer say “We can't afford it.” Rather, our favorite saying has turned into “HOW can we afford it?” We've realized that selling our stuff has helped us to figure out the how. Because of that, we've turned into big “stuff-sellers” and have learned the best tricks of the trade over the years. There's a little bit of a difference between selling online and in-store, so let's break that down!
HOW TO SELL STUFF ONLINE
It's so convenient to sell your stuff online! Use these tips and tricks of the trade and you'll have an easy experience every time.
PREP YOUR ITEMS AHEAD OF TIME
Don't worry, there's not too much to do to get them ready. But if you want to make the most bang for your buck, then don't skip these steps!
- Don't Try to Sell the Junk – Make sure what you're trying to sell is in good condition, or at least has good “bones” and lots of potential. Otherwise, you'll waste your time trying to sell something nobody wants. Think twice if it's excessively stained, broken, or unusable. You wouldn't want to buy straight up junk, would you? However…
- Slightly Battered is Okay – Don't be afraid to sell things that are a little worn! Just be VERY honest in your description when selling the items. You'd be surprised at what people will buy for a good price. On the flip side, there is nothing more frustrating than driving somewhere to check out an item that's stained or busted and they failed to tell me in the ad. Just be upfront about it and you won't waste anyone's time, including yours.
- Wash or Clean the Item – Throw them in the washing machine or give them a good wipe down as best as you can before you sell them. Image makes a huge difference. Be sure to do this before taking pictures!
Okay, your items are as clean as they can get and are ready to find a new home!
POST YOUR ITEMS FOR SALE ONLINE
Now that you've prepped your items for sale, you're ready for step two of how to sell your stuff online:
- Post Lots of Pictures – Post as many pictures as the site will allow, especially with big-ticket items like wedding dresses or cars. Be sure to take detailed pictures of dents, stains, holes, and anything else that's wrong. People will know you are being honest about the condition of your items, and you know that when people contact you they are truly interested! It is best to use your own pictures as you will get fewer responses with manufactured photos. However, feel free to also include the manufactured pictures showing the original sell price if you're selling something that is like new (this shows them the deal they're getting by purchasing from you versus online).
- Post Your Items in Multiple Places – Don't just stick to Craigslist or one Facebook yard sale group. Post in multiple places to reach a broader audience.
- Repost Your Ad – The good sites get really congested, so make sure to keep your ad fresh. Most will make you wait a certain time frame, such as a week, before they'll let you refresh it. This also allows you to lower the price if you haven't gotten any action on it.
- Switch Up the Ad – What you may think is the perfect ad might not resonate with people, so re-word it slightly each time you repost. You'll notice that some get better responses than others. Also, try to post them at different times of the day/days of the week to allow for variety in the audience you're reaching.
- Post Your Ads Over the Weekend – Saturdays and Sundays are big days for people to go hunting for items, so make sure you're posting during the week and especially on the weekends, as well.
Pretty easy so far!
HOW TO DETERMINE THE PRICE WHEN SELLING ONLINE
Okay, here's the big ones!
- Be Flexible on Price – Consider posting your initial price at the high-point of the price you are looking for and put OBO (or best offer). Just don't price it too high or people won't even consider looking at it!
- Price it Competitively – Remember, it's been sitting around collecting dust! Gathering SOMETHING for it is better than NOTHING, so be aggressive and competitive with your pricing so it sells fast and saves you time. Don't aim high thinking people will talk you down to 50% of what you list it for.
- Look at Other Similar Ads to Get a Good Starting Price – Being too high won't sell your stuff (obviously), and being the cheapest means you may not get as much as you can for your items. Pricing varies depending on the time of year and what else is available that's similar to your item, so look at your competition before posting your ad.
- Get Creative – Think outside the box! We sold our car on a local classifieds site once. The guy could only get a loan for a certain amount, which was $500 less than what we wanted for it. My husband learned that he works construction, so we settled on a trade for him to do some remodeling in our house to work off the remaining $500. However, though we were glad to sell the car because it was costing us $500/month, he never fulfilled his end of the bargain and bailed… We never got our construction. So do this cautiously!
It's all pretty straightforward when you think about it.
FIGURE OUT HOW YOU WANT TO MEET FOR THE EXCHANGE
Keep these things in mind when you're meeting up with a buyer:
- Be Specific with Pick Up/Meeting Options – If you aren't willing to travel a little bit to sell your item, then specify that in your description. If it's a big-ticket item, then it might be worth it to drive 30 minutes down the road to sell it. But if you're only going to make a little bit of money, then it's probably not worth it. The more you specify in your description, the less you'll waste time responding to people who want to meet you an hour away or have you ship them the item.
- Be Available – Work with people on when they want to meet you to pick up an item. If they want to pick it up right now, then see if you can make that work or if they could meet later in the day. If they're willing and eager to pay you for your stuff, make it happen so you can get that monay!
- No Holds – If this is an item that needs to find a new home and you really need the money ASAP, then make sure you put “No Holds” in the description. Some people will ask you if you can hold an item for them until they can get paid or for some other reason. Half the time they'll end up not buying it, wasting your time and other people's interest. The only way I suggest to hold something is if they Venmo or PayPal you the money upfront.
See, not so bad at all!
SELLING SAFETY TIPS
Don't have people come to your house to look at an item you are selling. Meet buyers at a gas station, your work, a church parking lot, Target parking lot, or basically anywhere that there will be other people around. Let them know the make and model of your car (without telling them your license plate number) and get theirs so you can be on the lookout.
However, if you're selling something that's too big like a couch or big appliance, then make sure somebody else is at the house with you. Your husband, parents, friend, neighbor, whoever. We've always kept our kids away from someone if they're coming over to look at something, and we usually try to move that item to the garage or driveway so they don't have to come into the house.
WHERE TO SELL YOUR STUFF ONLINE
Alright, now that you know how to sell stuff online, let's go over where to sell it! There are a lot of places, but these are the most popular:
- Facebook Marketplace – This has definitely become the easiest and most convenient way to sell your stuff online. I suggest joining a few of the local Facebook garage sale groups before posting your items. Then when you post your items to Facebook Marketplace, you can choose to have them automatically posted in those groups.
- VarageSale – This is another big one that works basically like Marketplace, but you don't have to have a Facebook account to be able to buy or sell.
- Poshmark – This is a great place to sell all things fashion-related. You post it on Poshmark and people buy it from you. The big difference between this and Marketplace is that you have to ship the item once it's sold. Poshmark receives a small amount of your profit when an item sells.
- ThredUp – This is another fashion-related site! However, ThredUp is more like Plato's Closet where they buy the items from you to then turn around and sell, themselves. You send them whatever you want to sell, they'll keep what they want to buy from you, and then they'll return what they didn't want.
- Mercari – This is like Poshmark, but you can sell pretty much anything that you can ship on Mercari. This one isn't focused solely on fashion. Once a sale is complete, Mercari pays you (while also keeping their flat rate selling fee).
- Reverb – Have music gear that you need to sell online? Reverb is your answer! You're the one selling and shipping and Reverb receives a small percentage when an item sells.
- Ebay – Let us not forget about one of the original sites for selling stuff online and shipping!
- Craigslist – Here's one of the original sites for selling stuff online and meeting in person to make the exchange.
- Local Classified Sites – Many popular news stations have their own classified pages online, which are pretty popular locally. Search online to find yours! KSL.com is great for Utah/Idaho.
There are so many options! Feel free to post your items in a variety of these places to get the most eyes on them. Just remember to remove it from everywhere once it's sold, that way people aren't constantly messaging you about it when you no longer own it.
HOW TO SELL YOUR STUFF IN-STORE
If you're still a fan of selling your stuff in-store, no worries! We've got some tips on that as well. The basics are pretty much the same. In order to make a sale, make sure your items are clean and looking as good as they can. If you're selling clothes, fold them nice and neat so they don't wrinkle. The store won't wash the clothes after you buy them, so they need to look presentable since they're going straight to a hanger. The same goes for stuffed animals, shoes, and basically anything else.
WHERE TO SELL YOUR STUFF IN STORES
These are the big chains that you can find throughout the country. If you don't have any of these near you, try searching for a consignment store in your area. Likely, there will be one close to you that will either buy your items from you or they'll allow you to sell your items in their shop and you'll get paid once they sell.
- Plato's Closet – This is a store that buys gently used clothes, shoes, purses, and jewelry. They will usually only buy what's in season, so keep that in mind. Make sure your items are in great condition!
- Uptown Cheapskate – This store is pretty similar to Plato's Closet. They're big on name-brand items and will want them to be in really good condition!
- Kid to Kid – They buy gently used kids items. Anything from movies, toys, and rocking chairs to clothes, hats and shoes.
- Once Upon a Child – This is another store like Kid to Kid!
- Play It Again Sports – This is perfect for kids and adults, alike! Kids grow like weeds and barely get use out of anything for more than one season, so it's the perfect place to sell those gently used items that you won't need to pass down to anyone else.
- GameStop – Here's your one-stop-shop to selling all your games, electronics, old phones, and more.
- Pawn Shop – These won't give you very much money, but it's quick and easy for when you really need the cash!
- Yard Sale – If the thought of loading up all your stuff and taking it somewhere else to sell sounds like too much, then have a yard sale! Don't have enough stuff to throw your own? Combine with family, friends, or your neighbors. The bigger, the better. I've got some great tips on throwing the perfect yard sale that you don't wanna miss out on.
We've sold at all of these places and have had a great experience at all of them.
WHAT WE'VE HAD SUCCESS SELLING, BOTH ONLINE AND IN-STORE
Ready to see what all we've been able to sell?
- Books (kids, adult, textbooks, cookbooks)
- Wedding dress
- Furniture (couches, bookshelf, TV Stand, etc.)
- Small appliances (hand mixer, blender, etc.)
- Large appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.)
- Baby items (crib, swing, clothes, changing table, stroller, sling, hiking pack, etc.)
- Electronics (old TVs, cell phones, stereos, games, DVDs, gaming units –wii, Nintendo, etc. — computers, camera)
Are you sold yet? Give it a try. Like I said, even if you only get $3 here, $20 there, it really adds up!
So, now that you know how to sell your stuff online and in-store, what are you waiting for? Get to selling so you can put that money towards debt, savings, or buying something that you've been wanting for a while.
What's your favorite way to sell items? Let us know in the comments!
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Looking for more great ideas?
- Use these ways to make money from home right now!
- Need to save some money fast? Try out a spending freeze!
- If you're in a dinner rut, then you definitely need to check out our list of over 100 dinner ideas!
Now, get selling!