If you don't have the time or the resources to host a garage sale, then selling your things online might just be the way to go. Everything from clothes to appliances to kids' toys and more can all be sold with just the click of a mouse—it's that easy.
Decide What to Sell
To start, you'll need to sort through your things and gather everything you don't want to move. Try to get rid of as much as you can. Place it into categories, such as clothing, baby gear, books, glass, and pottery.
Steps to Get Your Stuff Sold
There are a lot of online auction sites that are pretty similar in their approach. Of course, the most famous site is still eBay.com and one that has been around long enough for you to trust how it works and that it does work.
- The first step is to decide on a starting bid. Try to think about the minimum price you would accept and set that as the opening price.
- Next, decide on how much the price can increase, or what is called the bidding increments. For smaller items, the increments are quite small, such as $.25 or $1.00.
- Decide on a timeline—how long the item should be up for bid. For tips, check out similar items for sale to get an idea of price, increments and bidding time lengths.
- You'll also be asked if you want to set a "reserve price." This means that the item cannot be sold below this preset price. If no bids come in above the reserve price, the item will not be sold.
- Decide how the item will be shipped. Most people will use a flat-rate shipping fee. Do some research to find out how much it will cost to ship the item to the furthest destination within the U.S. and Canada (if you're considering another country).
- Decide if you'll allow a "buy now" option. This means that someone can simply purchase the item immediately at a price that you've determined without the item going to auction.
How to Describe Your Stuff to Catch Attention
Use these tips to create descriptive keywords that will convey what it is that you're selling:
- Include any brand names or easily recognizable artists/designers.
- For a title, describe exactly what the item is. Avoid descriptive words in your title as that's not what buyers will use to search items.
- When describing the item, including the material, when it was purchased or made, who made it and what kind of condition it is in. Be honest. You don't want to have the item returned for false advertising.
- Is the item still under warranty? Is the item used, new or gently-used?
- Include any background information that makes the item interesting, such as its history, what it has meant to you and what it is you like about it. How has the item served you and your family?
- Add any special features that make it stand out from other similar items, including why someone might want to buy it.
- Include photos from various angles, including close-ups and any flaws or damage. If it helps, show clothing modeled or if selling something useful, take a picture of it being used.
What Happens When Someone Buys Your Item?
Most online auction sites will insist on buyers and sellers having a Paypal account. This will secure the transaction and allow you to be paid safely, easily and quickly. No need to wait for a check to clear before shipping the items. To open an account on Paypal is easy and free, and if in future you want to purchase online, it's a great idea to have an account available anyway.
Find out if the auction service has a fee or takes a percentage of the sale. Do this before you sign up to ensure you're not surprised when your sale goes through. Also, check out your rights and responsibilities with the website to ensure you know how you're covered against a fraudulent buyer.
So, sort through your stuff, gather those items and get selling. Remember to donate stuff you can't sell. Maybe you can make enough to pay for part of your movie or dinner out or the cost of the rental van or moving truck. It's that easy!