If you have items you no longer need, you can make a bit of extra cash by selling them online. Or make someone’s day by giving them away.
Whether it’s furniture, clothes or your old wifi box, it’s surprising just how quick and easy it is to list and rehome your stuff.
While you watch your bank account grow, you can also feel great about helping the environment. Giving your items a second life is much better than sending them to landfill or even recycling them.
Before you start, these handy hints will help you get your unwanted items out the door in a flash.
Find the right platform
There’s plenty of free platforms to sell your stuff but it’s hard to look past Facebook, where users are spoilt for choice. You can list items on Facebook Marketplace, which provides a simple form to fill out and connects you with buyers in your area. It’s free to list but you have the option to boost your ad for a small fee. You can also hide your listings from your friends. This is a great option to sneakily resell unwanted gifts.
Facebook has many buy swap and sell groups. It also has buy nothing groups where you can offer your things to the local community. After you join the group, it’s as simple as creating a Facebook post and responding to comments. Or you can just share your Facebook Marketplace listing to these groups to expand your reach.
If you’re not on Facebook, online marketplaces like Gumtree, eBay, Etsy and DePop may be your best bet. For clothes and accessories, you can also try Poshmark. If you’re time poor, SwapUp and The Closet do all the hard work for you by listing your clothes on their site. You just send it to them in the mail and they take a percentage on each purchase. Freecycle is great for giving things away. You’ll need to register for an account before creating a listing on all these platforms.
Price it right
Do a little research before you list your item. See what price other similar items are going for nearby. Price it just under the average and be willing to negotiate to sell it quickly.
If you just want it out of your sight as soon as possible, offer it free. You’ll be surprised what people will take.
Post more than one photo
If a picture’s worth 1,000 words, 5 good pictures will make your listing pop. So, get out your phone, put on the flash, and take photos of your item from different angles. Bend down so your item is at eye level and takes up most of the frame. Make sure there’s no clutter in the background. If it’s clothing or jewellery, a photo of you wearing it will help potential buyers visualise it on themselves. Take close-ups of any damage to the item so your buyers know exactly what they’re getting.
Tell a story
Everyone loves a good origin story. Sharing some history about your item may spark interest and reassure shoppers. When did you buy it? Which brand is it? How has it been used? Why are you now parting with it?
Items you’re giving up reluctantly are much more desirable. Like that big designer lounge that doesn’t fit into your new apartment. Or the treadmill you don’t use because you now go for walks with your new puppy.
People will want to know what size your item is, especially furniture. Don’t forget to give width, height and depth dimensions. Putting these in your listing will save you time answering questions later.
Be honest about its condition
If your item has seen better days, it’s best to declare that up front. Detail any stains, cracks, holes or broken bits so there are no nasty surprises for your customer. Some people seek out fixer-uppers to flex their repair skills and grab a bargain. Likewise, if it’s new, or never been used, you may be able to ask for a higher price.
Check your listing multiple times a day and answer any enquiries straight away. Get ready to haggle. Most people will ask you to drop your price. If that isn’t your style, list the price as non-negotiable in your ad.
Most platforms have a rating system where buyers can rate sellers, which can help or hurt your future transactions. A kind word goes a long way.
Update the listing status
Once you’ve sold your item and it’s out the door, remember to delete your listing or mark it as sold. If you’re waiting for someone to pick it up, update your post to say, ‘sold pending pick up’. If you’ve posted in a Facebook group, you may notice people will start replying with NIL, meaning next in line, if your first offer doesn’t work out.
Most platforms have a messaging system you can use. There’s no need to communicate by text or WhatsApp and share your personal phone number.
Don’t give away your bank details. Cash is the most secure payment method if you meet in person. Online marketplaces, like eBay, often have online payment systems for a small fee.
If your item is being picked up from your home, have a friend or family member with you, just to be safe.