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Today you can plan to sell just about everything online, from clothes to furniture. Choose the best place to list an item online with these 5 key questions.
Decluttering your place feels great, and it’s even better if you can get money for all of the things that you’re getting rid of. From huge items of furniture to tech equipment and used clothing, there are websites that will help you sell your stuff so that you can buy more stuff for the space that you just cleared. Here are the 5 questions to ask in order to find the best place for online sales, both for buyers and sellers.
The primary thing to do is to determine the right type of site to sell your stuff. Some sites like eBay, OfferUp, and Craigslist are basically an open marketplace where you can sell whatever you’d like after you create an account. On a social media site like Facebook, you sell anything legal, but you’ll need to choose the right group for your stuff, otherwise, it won’t go.
That said, if you’re selling on Craigslist, you'll do best with large items, like furniture, which cost too much to ship. While you can sell almost anything through Amazon, in practice, it’s best for expensive items like electronics and comparison items. When you sell these big-ticket items on Amazon, your lower used price comes up next to the price for new items, so that shoppers will see it and be tempted to check out your offer. If you’re selling electronics, smartphones, and other tech items and you don’t want to go through Amazon, Swappa is another good option.
If you’re selling clothes, especially vintage and luxury clothing, you’ll probably sell them faster and for a better price if you use a site that focuses on selling used clothing, like Poshmark, ThredUP, Tradesy, or The RealReal. The RealReal also helps you sell watches and luxury accessories, fine art, and designer furniture items while Tradesy has a special interest in all types of wedding items, including decorations and stationery, as well as groomsman clothing, wedding dresses, and bridesmaid dresses.
Pay attention to the condition of the items that you’re selling. If you’re selling on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace, you’ll just be asked a lot of questions about their condition, but sites like The RealReal, Swappa, and ThredUP valuate your goods before they accept them for sale.
The hidden sting in the joy of going on websites to sell stuff online can be the hassle of getting it to the customer. It’s one thing if you’re selling something small enough to travel through the mail, but with larger or more valuable packages, it can get a little complicated. That’s where sites like ThredUP, The RealReal, and Tradesy become worth the cost of their commission. Each of those sites sends a prepaid shipping bag or shipping label so that you can send off all your items in one shot. You won’t have them in the way while you wait for a buyer and the site takes care of all of the shipping issues. The RealReal will even send a messenger to pick up your goods, as long as you have more than 10 items and live in an eligible city, and for furniture, it will pay for freight shipping from your home to one of its warehouses.
With DIY sales sites like Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook, you’ll have responsibility for arranging the shipping or handover details. OfferUp neatly sidesteps the entire issue by focusing on arranging sales between people who live in the same neighborhood, so that you can just hand your stuff over in person. Amazon gives sellers the option of handling shipping yourself or handing it over to the Fulfilled By Amazon service.
In order to successfully sell your stuff, you need to create a listing and share it online, along with a photograph and all of the relevant details. eBay leaves it to the seller to prepare all of the information needed, with Craigslist, Amazon, and Facebook all following the same model. You can also choose to trade in items with Amazon in exchange for online store credit, in which case they will send you an offer based on your description and photos, and you won't need to go to any further. On Swappa, you'll make the entire listing, but the site's staff will approve it before it goes live. This way, they can check that your item is saleable and you can be more confident that it will sell.
If you have a lot of things to sell, photographing, uploading, and describing all of your items can take ages. ThredUP and The RealReal let you send all of your items to the site for sorting, authenticating, and pricing. This does mean that you don’t get to set the price, will probably have to pay more in commission, and it usually takes longer to have your description up on the site than if you did it yourself, but it also saves you a lot of time and lets you start selling faster.
One of the biggest questions for anyone who wants to sell products online is ‘how much is their commission?' It's a good question because the size of the cut taken by the site varies tremendously. Craigslist, as a totally DIY site, doesn’t charge you anything. Swappa is also seller-friendly, charging a sale fee to the buyer instead of the seller.
You’ll need to pay 10% of the final price to eBay, although there may be other fees depending on your payment methods. Amazon charges $1 per sale for non-professional sellers, plus a few other fees depending on what you sold and how much you get for it. You’ll pay 15% on the first $100 of the sale price and 8% beyond that.
At the other end of the scale, ThredUP can keep up to 95% of your sales price. It does depend on the final value fee – the higher the price, the lower the commission, with a minimum of 20%. The RealReal charges a minimum of 30% commission, 45% on items up to $120, 55% for prices below $1,500, and a flat transaction fee of $60 for anything that sells for over $10,000.
One final consideration is the way in which you get paid. With sites like Craigslist and Facebook, you can more or less choose your method, although electronic bank transfer or PayPal are the safest and most recommended. Poshmark gives you a choice of electronic bank transfer or check, and Amazon will send an electronic bank transfer, or an Amazon gift card if you choose to trade in your items instead of selling them. ThredUP also gives you a choice between Paypal, a prepaid Visa card, or store credit.
With so many options, you can basically sell everything you own online today. Just pick your preferred payment option, the most appropriate website for your items, and decide how much of the work you’re willing to do, and you can also start making money out of your old possessions.