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How to sell your old things online

In need of a clear out? Fancy earning a bit of money? Selling your old stuff online is a great way to declutter and make some extra cash. And it’s something all of us can do.

In fact, eBay estimates that the average home contains £4,000 of unwanted items. Plus, recycling your old things (rather than throwing them out) is also much better for the environment. It’s a win-win-win.

So, let’s get started. Here’s how to sell your old things online.

Picking your platform 

There are numerous different platforms to sell your old things online on. One of the big ones is eBay. There’s not that much that can’t be listed on this platform, with around 25 million monthly visitors in the UK. To get started, you’ll need to set up a profile and you can list up to 1,000 items per month for free. The catch? eBay takes 10% of the final sale.

Another popular platform is Gumtree, which was actually bought by eBay in 2005. It’s an online classified ads website but is great for local buyers looking to avoid postage costs by selling things locally. It’s easy to use and you won’t be charged a fee for listing your items. You can, however, pay to boost your ads to the top of the listings pages to reach more buyers.

Other platforms include Preloved with no fees and free classified ads; Shpock, a mobile app that’s free and simple to use; and Freecycle, which is a free recycling site aimed at reducing waste. And let’s not forget Facebook Marketplace—this site is great for listing your items to a wide reach of local buyers. 

Snap happy

Bad photographs never make a good sale. That’s why it’s important to make sure you take the time to get some decent shots of your items. A fancy camera isn’t necessary—your phone camera will suffice. But make sure that the lighting’s good and you snap with a steady hand.

It’s also a good idea to take and include as many photos as possible. Try to capture every angle and if there’s a scratch on the item, take a photograph of it to be transparent and develop trust with your buyer. And while filters may be tempting, it’s best to leave images untouched so that buyers can get a better feel for the item. 

Honesty is the best policy

It might be tempting to say that your waterproof jacket has been worn once when in reality you’ve lost count of how many times you’ve got caught in the rain in it. But it’s a no-no. Being truthful in your ad is crucial. The last thing you want is bad feedback or a rejected sale.

If there’s a scratch or stain on the product, be honest. Usually, buyers appreciate this and they might feel like they’re getting a bargain as a result. Speaking of which, make sure that the listing price factors in any damages or faults (if any). You’ll be able to charge more for things that are mint. 

Signed, sealed, delivered?

Delivery costs can often be overlooked, but they’re one of the most important factors of the sale. Before you list your item, think about what the postage price will be and if you can even be bothered with posting and packaging in the first place. If you can’t, a local listings site like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace might be your best option.

But if you’re using eBay or similar and you’re happy to package and post the item, get a price estimate before you start. And if you’re happy to post your item internationally, research the costs of doing so. The last thing you want is to be out of pocket because you underestimated the delivery costs.

It’s all in the detail 

When listing your item, it’s important to include as much detail as possible. We’ve already mentioned how crucial it is for you to be transparent about any scratches, stains and damages. But there are other important things to consider too.

If you’re selling an item that comes in a variety of sizes (planters, for example), include the weight and dimensions in your description. If you’re selling a Size 12 dress that’s not true to size, explain this in your description. You really don’t want an unhappy buyer or for your item to be returned. It’s a huge waste of money, not to mention everybody’s time!

Now that you know how to sell your old things online, we wish you the best of luck with your sales!


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