How to Sell Stuff Online
Purging stuff around the house to get rid of stuff you no longer have a need for provides two great benefits. First off, it allows you to de-clutter, which is satisfying for the psyche as it detaches you from being owned by your possessions. Additionally, it’s a means to gaining some value in stuff that you no longer find value in – and then using that money in a productive way.
I’ve used a number of different outlets to get rid of old goods, and each has their own unique benefits that comes in handy for different situations. We’ve probably at least a few of these channels at one time, but some of these channels are definitely better than others for certain products. Here are the different channels that I’ve found to be the most useful for different products and situations. I’ve sold thousands of dollars of stuff online. And you can too.
Selling on EBay
EBay is great for rare stuff that there is a niche market for – typically branded items or sought after rarities. I’ve sold a number of beat up old branded cell phones on EBay, for instance, all for a surprisingly high amount. The amount of time it takes to create a listing makes EBay a poor choice for items that are going for a low price (I typically don’t sell anything on EBay that I know I can’t get $10 or more for). If you are thinking of putting something on EBay, check to see if there are any existing listings, and if those listings have a number of bids on them. If the answer to both questions is yes, EBay might be a good channel for your item.
Selling on Amazon
I sell all of my generic CDs, DVDs, and books on Amazon. Amazon has a huge group of buyers for these formats of goods, specifically. I prefer Amazon vs. EBay for these items because you can find out exactly what other sellers are asking for, and work from there. The listing process is a lot less timely on Amazon than it is on EBay.
Amazon is also a great outlet for rare items that are found in Amazon’s list of SKU’s due to the huge user search volume it gets for these formats. If a product is not found on Amazon, you’re going to have a hard time selling it. I’ve found that the trick to selling stuff on Amazon is to outbid your competitor by one cent for your products condition category about once a day or so. You may be outbid for the lowest price now and then, so updating frequently is effective. Since there is so much traffic on Amazon, the lowest price generally sells fairly quickly.
Selling on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
Craigslist and (increasingly) Facebook Marketplace are the places to go for huge ticket items, or big things at a local level online. I’ve sold a car on Craigslist and almost sold a home. Think realty, vehicles, bikes, exercise equipment, appliances, services that you provide, and tickets. Craigslist is not the place for small things because there can be a big time involvement. Do you really want to spend 15 minutes via email, phone, and face time in order to sell a $5 book? I’ve actually become a bit of a Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist power user.
Selling in Garage Sales
Garage sales are for two things: stuff that isn’t worth shipping or would be hard to ship, and stuff that nobody is going to be searching for on EBay, Amazon, and Craigslist. I made over $300 on stuff I had sitting around my house that I thought had no value at the one garage sale I’ve done. You know the saying, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. It’s absolutely true.
Donating to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other 501(c)(3)
Technically, it’s not selling, but it may make a lot of sense to donate versus sell. If you itemize your taxes (and even if you don’t), definitely give stuff away that you cannot sell elsewhere. If you itemize, realize that you can deduct the assigned value of what you’re giving away.
If you’re in the 15% tax bracket, it might actually make sense for you to donate a sweater that you value at $20 (a $3 tax deduction) versus selling it for $2 at a garage sale. When you do donate, make sure to document a complete list of what you’re giving away and get a receipt from the charity that you’re donating to.
Of course, you should donate out of the goodness of your heart, regardless of the potential financial benefit.
Selling Online Discussion:
- What is your best “I sold it online” story?
- Are there any websites or other channels out there that you frequently sell or trade stuff on?
- Have you had any bad experiences with the aforementioned channels?
I generally have gone with EBay, but starting to find a lot more value in selling stuff on Amazon and Craigslist. Also, I really like some of the CD, book, and DVD trading sites out there. If you want something, you’re generally going to come out further ahead by using one of these methods versus selling and then buying.
When I was younger I was obsessed with Sailor Moon a Japanese Animation TV show. I collected all sorts of things that I personally see no more value in. However a lot of people still do. Fortunately I keep my stuff in very good or mint condition and it is selling for more today than when I had originally purchased it.
I posted my Canon GL1 video camera on Craigslist a few days ago on the Pittsburgh section and last night a guy drove all the way from DC (4 hour drive) because he needed it so badly! I think Craigslist is extra-powerful because people can access the info on multiple cities.
I paid off the last of my student loans by selling CD’s on Amazon. I also got to know the postal employees really well since I was in there every day shipping out 20 padded envelopes.
I recently sold stuff on craigslist, I think it’s a great place to get rid of things quick you don’t need.
I Don’t recommended ebay always they close account for no reason, especially when hit a huge number of feedback , so I recommended AMAZON & craigslist.
I’ve had great luck selling CD’s on SecondSpin.com. They tell you immediately what price they will pay, then you print out their labels for your box and send them in. You can receive either cash or store credit (great way to buy CD’s also.).
For items that don’t quite go in the “donation” pile, Freecycle is awesome. You can also make requests to see if anyone is looking to freely give of something you’re seeking. Freecycle is localized by city like Craigslist, but has a more pleasant user base than the vultures that pounce on freebies on Craigslist.
I generally lean toward Ebay or Craigslist. For clothing I usually just donate to Goodwill. I have never sold anything via Amazon, but I don’t really have CD’s, movies, etc. that sell well there. I have done quite well selling my old textbooks on Half.com.
Great article. Thank you. I usually find it is a matter of how much time you want to dedicate to selling your stuff that determine where you want to sell. I agree what you said about craigslist being better for higher priced stuff because of the hassle and calls and door knocking involved. I have sold my dvds to mx123.com with success. They buy directly from you online. I would make more with amazon + ebay but they make it more convenient to sell everything at once.
I just found a great new way to sell stuff online via Twitter. By adding #ihave or #iwant in your tweet you can post directly in http://micro.ilist.com, it seems to work pretty great. Plus they apparently will match you with someone who wants the same thing you have or vise versa.
I had good luck selling used textbooks on half.com.
amazon has INSANE commision fees and ebay charges for every little detail they can. what goes for $50 one day may go for $20 exaxtly one day later. ugh
I agree with mali about amazon and ebay,i have had good results selling on craigslist.
I’ve been looking at various options for selling a postcard collection I have. I’m really interested in some of the alternative auction sites like ebid and bonanzle as they don’t charge the vast fees but I’d really like to hear some genuine opinions as to whether people really are finding buyers and achieving good prices outside of the big players like ebay.
Selling stuff on classifieds is a great way to make some extra cash. If you are not sure what it is worth, try http://www.ValueJockey.com. It is a free site where you can ask others what they think your stuff is worth. You can also help others by giving your opinion about there items.
I sell my stuff on Boogiboard.com. It’s a site that is local for me in Ontario. I’m digging stuff I don’t need out of my basement that I will post on Boogiboard hopefully turn into extra cash for Christmas.
E-commerce sites are one of the very useful tool that we can use nowadays for big or small business. I personally think Amazon is the top leading e-commerce now.
I also use BoogiBoard and Kijiji. Both services drive a lot of traffic to my website http://www.the-dojo.ca Kijiji is good because of the sheer number of people who use it, while BoogiBoard is good because it’s much more localized and the features that kijiji charges for I get for free on BoogiBoard (like being able to include a URL in my listing).
Both are great for me, if I had to choose between them I’d probably go for BoogiBoard first, just because of the added free features. I can track through my analytics exactly how much traffic I’m getting from them. The only issue with them is that they’re smaller, but it doesn’t really effect my goals, and maybe one day they’ll be a big service too.
You know another great site that is growing is http://www.coppermountainvillagemarket.com it is an awesome online consigment shop. It may be an online consignment store but it seriously has a ton of cool stuff cheap! If they have a rep in your area they even come pick up and list your stiff free and you can log in and cashout at any time. Pretty cool service really! I bought a new pair of Abercrombie and Fitch jeans on there yesterday for 8$. PS… I am not a spammer!
Great article, I recently posted on with similar advice. http://discretionarydollar.com/2010/01/cash-for-clutter/
I just tried the selldvdsonline site that somebody mentioned above, and it was pretty disappointing. I keyed in the UPC codes of 6 DVD’s. It wouldn’t take four of them (“not buying now”), and it would only give me 56 or 57 cents for the other two. And there was something there about the seller paying shipping? I’ve already sold two of those same DVD’s on eBay.. just packing them up to go this morning. One of the “no sale” DVD’s I just sold for $4 on Ebay.
It’s easier and faster than eBay, but you’d have to have about 20 DVD’s that they are wiling to buy to get yourself 10 bucks.
I haven’t yet checked out selling on Amazon, however… A good project for today!
I would like to sell 2 parker pens hold the photos princess Diana and Prince Charles of Uk. Tell me how??
i have been using thecollegetextbooks.net to sell my textbooks
I sold my used books to MyBookCart.com. They provided a free pre-paid shipping label to mail my books to them, and they paid fast. http://www.mybookcart.com
I am trying to sell new formal, cocktail,evening, clubbing dresses and also new and preowned brand name clothing. Ebay is okay but I am new so they will only allow me to sell up to $500 a month right now. I need other sites that would work well for people who could view the pics of the items and order. Craigs list may work but I’d probably get a call for every single dress to have some one come over and try it on. That’s ALOT of people over at my place and makes me feel uneasy. Is there any other way to handle this for craigs list? Like having them order it? Also if you have suggestions for websites for my specific situation, I’d be glad to hear about them. Thanks. P.s. I have about 50 new cocktail dresses and 50 or so articles of clothing that need to go. All i nice shape, Brand names.
Unfortunately only Ebay works on me, because I got LOADS of the same stuff but not only some used ones.
And it’s illegal for us to sell things on the street X(
I don’t like Amazon or any other place that has to have your bank account number! I will NOT sell on any website that requires that! I have had credit card fraud from websites that were supposed to be secure. Must not of been so, I don’t care how safe they say they are, I know it can happen and you have no liability protection for bank accounts, just have the whole thing wiped out. I have told Amazon about this, but they don’t care. If you have it happen to you, I won’t feel sorry for you, because if a lot of people would write and tell them and NOT do business with them, maybe they will change there ways. There are a lot of different ways they can pay without doing it that way!
I tried selling on Ebay, but none of the stuff sold. I am currently trying to sell on Craigslist. But the problem with craigslist is that most of the people on there are trying to sell not buy.I have tried to sell numerous things on there, but no one buys. I’m sorry, but I’m just saying that it’s hard to sell because no one is looking.
sure it’s a good place to sell stuff and earn money but Amazon suck.
I’ve been a marketplace seller on Amazon for 4 years, some dumb incident happened and they closed my account. So I will keep bad mouthing them!
I have 4.9/5 ALL the time!
no problem with my account or customers.
just recently I was trying to sell a ps3 with faulty drive, not my problem an idiot online cannot read!
Amazon listens to their idiotic customers instead of their sellers:/
You are so right about Amazon, read my commrnt on them
Thank you so much for the startup tip Hanna. I’m always looking for new ways to improve my skills in online trading, and this post had lots of good ideas. I just signed up myself and I’m waiting for an invitation from Statricks:)
I sold on Anazon for about 2 years and had a very good reputation from my clients, the Amazon started treating me bad. I was also making money for them. I had one that said she didn’t want the book sent to her as it was a paperback and the description plainls said that it was a paperback not a hardback so I refunded her money when she returned the money to me. Then about a month later Amazon took the money out of my account again to reinburse her. I do not think that I should have to refund twice and when I told them about it, they suspended my account. Now they say that a customer did not receive a book that dhe ordered on May 16, I took it to the post office and know that it was mailed. She waited 2 months to say that she had not received it on Julu2. You don’t wait 2 months to say you haven’t eceived something and it has not been sent back to me and it it is now May 7. Amazon wants me to refund this money and I don’t have the book back. I will never buy or sell on Amazon again and will tell anyone that they will cheat you.
i would like to sell some stuff on craigslistand i am not sure how
My question is I have a lot of porcelain dolls I need to sell
and unopened VHS series, where could I sell them for a good
profit. I also have books and nick nacks and other stuff.
the dolls are all in the original box and have the certificates
any and all info will help thanks
If you are looking for a great way to get spammed then i recommend craigslist! Not only will you waste time on uploading pictures and describing your item, but your email inbox will have so much spam that it will make you think you became very popular! #1 Choice for the spam lovers
No matter where where you choose to sell stick around long enough and your going to get a bad experience, stick with ebay I’d say because the exposure is worth the pain.
Very interesting article, thanks for the information! Let me add one more tip of advise: Bonavendi. It’s a very handy, easy to use price comparison website. You should get most of your stuff sold at the best price there .