It’s a lot easier to donate a box of old stuff you’ve cleaned out to charity rather than try to sell it. Plus, it’s a generous and helpful thing to do for your community.
But in some cases, you may have something that might be valuable or your own family could benefit from having the extra money from selling it.
So to make the hassle of selling your stuff worthwhile, you need to find the right place to sell that will give you the most money. This sounds obvious and fairly simple, but can be very time consuming if you don’t know where and how to look.
Here are a few shortcuts and tips to help you find the best and most reliable buyer more quickly and get the highest return for parting with your old stuff.
Cover all your bases
Make sure you’ve looked everywhere before settling on a price. The directory on this site is a quick and easy way to make sure you find all the places available for a particular category of items you’re selling. A google search with the words “sell used camping equipment” or whatever you’re selling can also help.
Comparison websites are a great way to help you speed through this step. They allow you to enter your item and view a list of quotes from several buying sites to help you quickly determine the highest price you can sell. Here are some reliable sites:
- Bonavendi (books, CDs, DVDs, and video games)
- Bookfinder and Boookscouter (textbooks and other books)
- Sellcell and Flipsy (cell phones and tablets)
Sometimes the price online won’t be as good as trying to sell locally because shipping costs are a factor. I sold a dozen DVDs at our local movie store for a total of about $5 more than any online offers for the bundle. It would have been $8 more if we accepted store credit instead of cash.
Sell in bulk
It’s most efficient to sell smaller items like books, DVDs, collectibles, and clothes in bulk. Wait until you have a good amount of these items before searching for a place to sell to make it worth your while, unless you have something rare or valuable.
A lot of sites allow you to enter multiple barcodes, ISBNs, or UPNs at once. Look for a button near to where you enter the number that says something like “sell in bulk” and click on it to enter multiple numbers.
Here’s a tip for moving through this step quickly: Open a word processing program or notepad on your desktop. Type the numbers from your items, placing a return between each. You can copy and paste the numbers on multiple sites without having to retype them each time.
Some book or DVD-buying sites require a minimum quote of $5 or $10 before you can sell so it makes sense to wait until you have a bunch because they usually aren’t worth much individually.
I’ve come across some innovative companies while compiling the directory for Minimal Me. Some are fairly new and others have been around for a decade or more. Most of the sites look legitimate, but there have been a few that look questionable.
With a bit of research, my suspicions are usually confirmed. I don’t include these sites on the directory and wouldn’t recommend sending your stuff to sites that look untrustworthy.
If you find a site that looks suspicious, a quick Google search of the site name with the words “legitimate” or “scam” will give you more information as to whether it’s a trustworthy company. It can reveal bad reviews from customers, Better Business Bureau ratings, or incidents where people haven’t received payment after sending items.
In my experience, legitimate-looking sites have some of the following things in common:
- professionally designed website
- social media pages with a good following
- email address and phone number or contact form
- pre-paid postage for submitting your items
These aren’t absolute indicators of authenticity and lack of these things won’t discredit a site. They’re just some good guidelines. The URL Void Blog has a post with tips for checking suspicious sites that apply to buying sites as well: How to Identify Fake Shopping Websites.
Selling stuff online has evolved a great deal since the early days when eBay and Amazon cornered the market. There are a growing number of sites that will pay you instantly for a wide range of used stuff. Plus, they make the process extremely easy!
No longer do you have to wait on a buyer to bid on your listing or deal with collecting payment and estimating shipping costs. Some sites take care of everything for you and will buy your item so they can resell it on their site.
Of course, you always have the option to list your items classified-style, which might earn you more money in the long run. In addition to the original giants, there are now many niche selling sites that help you reach a highly targeted market when listing classified-style.
If you’re ready to declutter your belongings and would like to earn some extra cash, I hope these tips help you get the best outcome. Do you have any strategies for successful selling? If so, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
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