Make Quick Cash | Tips for Selling Used Items Online
I’ve heard many times that a person usually does not come into solid financial stability until their thirties—kind of bad news for those of us who have 4 or more years to go until we hit that stride. But if you think about it, the logic is there. Especially with student loans, car payments, apartment/house payments, starting new jobs and having to work our way up—it’s a tough financial time for many of us.
It never hurts to find outlets to make some extra cash!
You can start by going through all of your clothes, electronics, and home decor to see what you can do without. BUT, it’s important to realize that just because you want to sell it, doesn’t mean other people are going to buy it.
Here are some tips to getting your used items to sell quickly online!
1. Find the item value
Look up what the item’s retail value (new) and sale value (used) are, then determine your selling value.
2. Clean and prep items
You need to put the shoe on the other foot here. If you were buying a used item—wouldn’t you want it to be in good condition and clean? Make sure to wash garments if they have been worn and polish/clean decor and tech items. Being sanitary is key!
3. Take good photos
This is the most important of selling items online. It’s the first thing people will see when they put eyes on your post. Make sure your photos are well lit and do your item justice. Always post more than one photo of the item (if possible) and take them from several different angles. Most sites/platforms have hundreds, and even thousands, of other people trying to sell items—make yours stand out while people are scrolling through!
4. Be descriptive
The more descriptive, the better. If people have to keep asking you questions and waiting for a response they may just move on to another item from someone else.
Use the following guide to describe specific items:
- Clothing/Accessories: Brand, size, material, washing instructions, and condition
- Technology: Brand, year purchased, amount of memory (especially for phones, ipods, etc), condition, capabilities, what is/is not included that may be needed (charging cords, software, etc.), and any problems or updates with the item
- Home Decor: Where purchased from, dimensions/weight, condition, suggestions on where to put it or how to use it
- Children’s Toys: Brand, condition, materials it’s made out of (some children may have sensitives to certain fabrics or other materials), and age group it’s recommended for
- Furniture: Brand, material, condition, dimensions/weight
- Kitchen Items: Material, size, washing instructions, condition
- Appliances: Brand, year purchased/manufactured, condition, dimensions/weight, any problems with the item
5. Respond in a timely fashion
If people ask you a question about the item, try to respond within 24 hours. The more time you let people think about the sale, the more likely they are to say no, or find someone else in the meantime.
6. Find the selling platform that works for you
There are so many places you can sell items: Ebay, Poshmark, Amazon, OfferUp, Craigslist, Facebook—the list goes on. It’s important to try out different platforms and see what works best for you and what you are selling. I had a lot more luck selling my gently used/new clothing on Facebook in local buy/sell/trade groups than on Poshmark. But I know others who do very well with Poshmark and Ebay—to each their own.
- Be safe. Always meet someone in a neutral place—like a coffee shop or the mall. Never invite people you don’t know to your home or meet them alone at theirs. Try to meet during daylight if possible.
- Be honest. If something is wrong with your item (a slight rip in the clothing, chip in a vase, or scratch on phone—tell them about it!) Once the customer purchases, or looks at, your item and sees you weren’t honest, it will lower your credibility as a seller and you will probably not make the sale. Furthermore, you will most likely need to refund their money.
- Get your worth. If it’s something you think you will use again and you can only get a few bucks for it—it may not be worth getting rid of. My rule of thumb is if I haven’t worn it in a year, it can be sold. Or if it’s a decor item that isn’t my style anymore or an electronic device I have already updated, it’s okay to sell.
- Make clear payment expectations. There are several payments options but my favorites are Venmo or just cold hard cash when it comes to in-person transactions. Make sure your buyer knows your expectations for payment upon meeting with you.
Do you have any tips for selling used items online? Please share in the comments!
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