3 tips for selling used stuff online

sell-used-stuff-online

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:

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.

Investigate

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.

This post was shared at the following link parties:

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Disney-inspired declutter

disney-declutter

I love getting rid of stuff, but not everyone in my house shares this sentiment.

The only thing I love more than cleaning out is making money off the stuff we don’t need. It thrills me!

So this year I’m setting a lofty goal that will motivate my family to declutter and move us one step closer to the minimal lifestyle I dream of. All the money we make from selling our stuff will go toward a Disney World vacation. This goal has lit a fire under us!

Having motivation like this is tipping the scales when it comes to letting go of stuff. I realize it’s not likely we’ll make enough to pay for the entire trip. With plenty of selling experience in the past, I know that used stuff rarely brings the amount I hope it will.

But it’s worth the effort because it’s bonus money that can be used for a fun experience that we’ll all enjoy. An added bonus is that the old stuff stays out of the landfill because we took the time to find someone who wants it.

I’ll share what we’ve sold so far and where to help you determine what might be worth your time and effort as well when it comes to selling your stuff. Here’s a breakdown of our progress:

Consignment event = $243.08 profit

This is a great alternative to having a yard sale if you have kid’s clothes and toys to sell. The profit is much better than a yard sale, even minus the consignment fee. I used to take these things to consignment stores, but a disadvantage was the amount of time I had to wait for my items to sell.

Consignment events are fast-paced and your payout is quick. The best part is that you don’t have to work the sale unless you want to in exchange for some perks, such as a discounted fee and shopping privileges.

There is still plenty of prep work though so it helps to be prepared for that. Clothes have to be clean and secured to hangers with safety pins. I pick up free hangers from the dry cleaners so my supply cost doesn’t cut into my profit too much. Items must be entered into an online database where you can set the price and print a label to attach.

I sold a total 70 items, including video games, a doll house, mostly clothes, and that picnic basket I’ve been hesitant to get rid of. After years of yard sales, this is more money than I would have made and I didn’t have to sit out in the heat and haggle over a few dollars all day.

Kiiboo = $203.67 profit

After researching several sites that buy used electronics, I chose Kiiboo and made way more money than expected. I sent in six used devices, some of which were broken that I had considered recycling because I didn’t know what else to do with them.

The process was easy. Just click through a form on the site, selecting the category and condition of your device. Kiiboo is committed to reducing landfill waste, as well as supporting charities that make a positive difference, so 1% of the sale or more if desired will go to a charity you choose from their list.

They will send you a free shipping kit, or you can choose to use your own box. Either way, shipping is covered. Once your item sells through their patent pending method of reverse sales, you will receive an email, then a check in the mail shortly after that. They are great about keeping you informed at every step. There is a 19% consignment fee when your item sells.

My most surprising sale was a broken Kindle for which I received $10.42. I also sold some headphones without the foam ear covers for a profit of $14.43. An old iPhone that wasn’t in perfect working condition made a profit of $62.55. My success on this site has inspired me to go back through the house and look for more electronics to sell.

Plato’s Closet = $21.70 profit

This isn’t a large amount to report, but the return on what I bought was a nice surprise. I was expecting to receive about half this amount for the few shorts and couple of tops they traded. Not everything I bought was accepted, but over half was.

Unlike consignment stores, Plato’s Closet will inspect your items while you wait and if accepted, you leave the store with cash or you can shop for new-to-you items while there. The store only buys gently used brand-name clothes for teen or tween girls and boys. This includes shoes, jewelry, and accessories.

Plato’s Closet has over 400 locations nationwide. My recent interest in zero waste has made me consider the benefits of shopping second-hand, but I’ve been reluctant to try. The great selection, appealing display, and overall cleanliness of this store was better than most retail stores, so I look forward to shopping there as well.

Total = $468.75 profit

We still have a long way to go to reach our goal, but this is a good start. It’s time to declutter some more and research where I can sell the most profitably. I look forward to sharing the new places I find with you.

I’ve lived minimally for a while now so I can tell you for certain that there is freedom in getting rid of stuff you don’t need. Plus, if you can trade the stuff for an experience your whole family will enjoy, that’s just icing on the cake!

Have you found a great place to sell your used stuff? What about hard-to-sell items like collectibles or larger things? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

This post was shared at the following link parties:

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