Tips for Selling your Stuff Online

By Kylie Gilbert

Nowadays, it seems like you can buy almost anything imaginable online.  Browsing through eBay, one can find items ranging from practical to just plain out there.  More and more people are catching onto the idea of selling their stuff online and turning their ‘trash’ into another man’s treasure.  Afterall, Princess Beatrice turned her fashion mistake at the royal wedding into the well-published sale of her hat for $130,000.

Despite the appeal of selling your stuff online, there are some important steps to follow to make sure that your sale is carried out successfully and that you and the buyer are both happy with the ultimate transaction.

After you decide how much you want to sell your item for (you can use Lockboxer to find new and used prices), there are many different options that you can choose from to actually sell your item.

Avenues for Success

1. Sites like Amazon, Half.com, or Lockboxer (where you can sell to eBay)

Amazon and Half.com are great for stuff like books, movies, music, and games.  You can sell your items at a fixed price, and you list your items here in exchange for a percentage of whatever the item sells for.  This is definitely worth if it you’re trying to get rid of something quickly because these sites are extremely popular and frequented often. You can also sell directly to eBay through a fixed price auction by using Lockboxer.

2. Set up a Storefront

Along these lines, you can also set up your own storefront for a monthly fee through places like Amazon, eBay, and Yahoo Shopping, which will also bring your item traffic.  Shopify is another option that allows you to set up an online store to organize and sell your stuff and accept credit card payments.  You can choose which plan you want depending on your usage.

3. Classifieds sites

This is another option, which may be best if your item is hard to ship and you need the buyer to actually come pick it up. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Google Base are all popular options, and you can use as many sites as you want to post your classified ad at the same time.

4. Auction sites

Auction sites are another popular route, with eBay being the most widely used. The difference in this situation is that you are contractually bound to sell the item to the winning bidder (which means you should only list on one auction site at a time). This is also where pricing your item right comes into play.

Final Steps

1. Creating your description

Whichever option you choose, make that sure the description you include is descriptive and accurate.  If someone thinks they’re getting your Pokémon cards in ‘mint’ condition they won’t be happy to find them in acceptable condition at best.  Get right to the point.  No matter what, make sure you include pictures so the buyer knows what they are getting.  Most buyers will be much more likely to purchase an item with a picture, even if they can buy it slightly cheaper without one.  No one wants to make a gamble when it comes to buying other people’s used stuff.

2. Carrying out the Transaction

As far as actually carrying out the transaction, cash should be your first choice of payment if you are meeting the seller in person.  Most sites use PayPal now, which is a reliable way of allowing users to pay with a credit card.  Verifying payment is a smart thing to do before sending out the item, as is shipping the item with insurance and a tracking number so that you have covered all of your bases.

What does all of this mean? Choose the option that best fits what you’re selling, and how often you want to sell things.  Setting up a storefront might be useful for some, but too much work for others.

The bottom line is, you have a whole boatload of options to choose from for getting rid of all that junk that’s just taking up valuable space right now.  And once the money rolls in, you’ll have even more options for how you want to spend it.

Here are some great sites to check out that helped inform this blog:

http://www.ofzenandcomputing.com/zanswers/726

http://www.ehow.com/how_136987_sell-stuff-online.html

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/6_ways_to_sell_your_stuff_online.php

http://www.shopify.com/

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