How to Sell Your Stuff | Best Online Marketplaces | Roost
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How to sell your stuff (fast)

Make money selling your stuff using an online marketplace

Selling old stuff is a great way to create a financial cushion or pick up a bit of extra cash when you need it.  Just post your items on an online marketplace to  connect you with local and nationwide buyers instantly. Here are our best tips to sell your stuff online quickly, safely, and for the best price.

How do I place an online ad for selling my stuff?

It is not difficult to place an online ad, but you may save time if you gather some information in advance. Before logging in and placing your ad,

  • Gather information about the item such as how much you paid for it, going selling price, size and dimensions, and product descriptions.
  • Write an effective product description.
  • Clean and repair the item to be sold.
  • Take pictures of the item using good lighting. Capture images of the flaws or wear-and-tear as well.
  • Figure out how you want to be paid.
  • Create a “fake” email account to manage your sales and communications if needed.

Top online marketplaces: best sites to sell your stuff

The first question you may be asking yourself is what online marketplace should I list my items for sale? While you may be familiar with the old standards such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and your local classifieds, there are many more options. Some of those options are more suitable for selling specific types of items. 

Where can I sell my clothes?

Used clothing is a huge market, especially for sought-after name brands. You can easily sell new and used clothing online using an online clothes marketplace. It may not result in instant money, but eventually, your items will sell and make money. If you have items that don’t fit or perhaps you only wore once, you may as well clean out your closet and earn some side money.

Mercari
Fees: 10% + 2.9% plus $0.30 for processing
Pros: Shipping insurance, payment processingCons: Fees nearly 13%
Poshmark
Fees: $2.95 – 20%
Pros: Community focus, payment processingCons: High commission fees
ThredUp
Fees: 30%+
Pros: They sell for youCons: High commissions

Best sites for selling books and textbooks

Textbooks are super expensive and may be able to help you make a bit of cash. If you have textbooks, it is best to sell them quickly before they are outdated. To find the best prices to sell your textbook, see BookScouter. You can also easily sell other types of books online as well. If you are not the type to reread a book, you may as well sell them. 

Amazon
Fees: 15% + $1.80 closing fee
Pros: Huge marketplace, payment processingCons: High referral rate
eBay
Fees: 12%
Pros: Payment processing, large marketplaceCons: Rules and restrictions
BookByte
Fees: $0
Pros: Quick payments, buys textbooks specificallyCons:  May pay less than selling outright

Where to sell furniture and household items

Often household items are expensive to transport or simply not worth it to ship unless it is an antique or collectible item. So, it makes sense to sell to buyers within a reasonable driving distance.  Many sites can connect you with local buyers who can pick up your large items such as appliances, couches, or beds.

Facebook Marketplace
Fees: $0
Pros: Large audience, free to list, multiple groups and speciality groupsCons: People can see your Facebook profile but you can hide it from your friends
Craigslist
Fees: Most posts are free
Pros: Free to post, identity protectedCons: No payment processing
Bookoo
Fees: $0 for basic post
Pros: Connects with local buyersCons: Images cost additional
OfferUp (Letgo)
Fees: $0 for basic post, cost to advertise 12.9%, from $1.99 to 12.9% for shipped items
Pros: Free to post, local buyersCons: High cost for shipped items

Places to sell music gear

Music gear is often expensive. If you have music equipment or instruments you have not played in a while, it may be time to let some of it go. Selling in a music-specific marketplace helps you find targeted buyers.

Reverb
Fees: 7.7% + $0.25
Pros: Low fees, shipping protection, payment processingCons: Shipping costs, time to sell
Guitar Center
Fees: $0
Pros: Instant cashCons: Pays 50% of retail, no online store sales
Sweetwater
Fees: $0
Pros: No feesCons: No shipping support, no payment processing

Where to sell sports equipment

When trying to sell sports gear, it helps if you can connect to the right kind of buyers looking for specific equipment. Sport and recreational equipment are often expensive. So buyers are always looking for good deals online. Using these sites, you can sell things like a kayak you never use, your second set of golf clubs, or a bike you no longer ride.

SidelineSwap
Fees: 9-12%
Pros: Free to post, pricing guideCons: High fees
Play It Again Sports
Fees: $0
Pros: Instant paymentCons: In-store only
GearTrade
Fees: 13%
Pros: Payment processing, customer service support, seller protectionCons: No support to local sales

How to sell a car online

If you need a large chunk of cash quickly, you may consider selling your primary car or your second car. Nowadays, selling your car fast is easy. Some services will even come and pick up your car. If you own the title of your vehicle, you can sell it quickly. If you do not own the title, it is still possible, but a little more complicated.

CarMax
Fees: $0
Pros: Quick in-person salesCons: You may not get asking price
Carvana
Fees: $0
Pros: two-minute offersCons: Shipping fees may apply
Kelley Blue Book
Fees: $0
Pros: Instant online offersCons: You may not get asking price

6 Pro tips for getting the best price

While many who shop online are looking for bargains, many are also looking for a fair price. If you overprice your items, you may not be able to sell your item quickly. If you underprice it, people might not take you seriously or think that your item for sale is damaged or “needs work.”

  1. Price it right. Research your category and what similar items are selling for and price it competitively.
  2. Write a great description. The information you provide can help limit email inquiries.
  3. Include dimensions. People want to know if the item will fit in their space.
  4. Add good photos. Add numerous photos, including images of flaws.
  5. Time your ad right. Try to get your post to display when people are shopping, such as during weekends or on common paydays.
  6. Post in multiple marketplaces.  Different online marketplaces have different communities, groups, and viewers.  Don’t be afraid to post in multiple to extend your reach to the most potential buyers. 
  7. Be honest. Don’t mislead people about the condition or quality of your items. Communicate flaws, age, and original price.

Selling your stuff online: Price negotiation

Unlike shopping in a regular store, people tend to negotiate the selling price for used items. You may have people counter-offer with a good rate that you accept to speed up the sale, or you may have potential buyers that want a lot of back and forth communication to the point that they become, well, frankly annoying and not worth your time.

Here are some things to consider when negotiating pricing:

Supply and demand

Is the item you are selling something people really want? If you see similar items that have been listed for weeks, you may just want to take what you can get or consider a different marketplace.

Wait and see

If you have a hot item that someone offers a low price on, consider telling them you’d be willing to accept the lower offer if you don’t receive a better offer by a certain date.

Hold firm

If your item is in demand and fairly priced, hold firm. It will likely sell soon. Or, consider holding to the original price but throw something in, like a few extra sets of strings with the sale of a guitar to sweeten the deal.

Immediate need

If you are in desperate need of cash to pay rent or pay for an emergency expense, you may have to take what you can get as long as it is not a huge loss.

Deposit for hold

If you have multiple bids for an item or a potential buyer you are not sure is serious, consider asking them to put a deposit down on the intended item if they want you to hold it for them. If they are not serious, this will cause them to back off. If they are serious they’ll pay you a partial amount, and/or re-adjust their schedule to pick up the item from you sooner.  

How to get paid for selling your stuff

Getting paid is the end goal. There are many ways to get paid depending on the service you use and whether you are selling to someone local or not. Payment options include:

  • Apps like Venmo, Zelle or PayPal
  • Cash
  • Built-in payment processing such as Amazon
  • Credit such as prepaid cards, gift cards or store credit
  • Checks, just kidding, don’t take personal checks
  • Trade
  • Direct deposit 
  • Bank check for the exact amount

How to safely sell your stuff to strangers

If you are smart, you can safely sell anything online. Use your best judgment and instincts to help protect yourself. If you get a weird offer that seems too good to be true, it is likely a scam. You can choose to ignore scammers, or you can call them out, but never give them your personal information. 

You may not want people coming to your house to pick up items. In this case, meet them in a super public location with a lot of lighting and perhaps even cameras. Some cities even offer safe trade zones in police station parking lots or other public spaces. If you are nervous, you can also bring a friend with you. If you are selling a large item that needs to be carried out of your home, have a friend or family member with you during the scheduled pickup time.

If you intend to sell a large volume of items, it may make sense for you to create an email address and phone number specifically for connecting to your seller profile. If you use a “fake” email and phone number, you do have to share your personal contact information with strangers.

How to sell your stuff FAQs

1. How do I sign up to sell using an online marketplace?

To sign up, you just need basic login information. Most sites are free for a simple ad. 

2. Which is the best local or online sales?

Local is most convenient but both are great, depending on the item to be sold. If you can ship the item easily, then a large online market works well.  If not, stick to local. 

3. Should I post items for sale on more than one website? 

Yes, in fact, you’ll get the best return on your time when posting multiple ads. But, be prepared — you’ll need to be organized to keep track of responses and pick ups.  If you are not timely, you may get a bad review. 

4. How do I handle multiple offers on items I’m trying to sell?

Generally, you want to accept the best offer who’s willing to pick up that day.  The probability of sale decreases the longer you wait.  Things happen. People change their mind.  Strike while the iron is hot!

5. How can I get paid the fastest when selling online?

Make sure your item is priced right and be ready to accept cash or through an online app. Have it set up and ready to go. 

If you still need more money after selling your stuff, consider getting a side job.

A quick note! Our goal is to gather and share info that’s up-to-date and helps you make great decisions as a renter. That said, the information you get directly from a provider could be a little different. Make sure to review their terms and conditions directly; and, if you see anything here that needs to be updated, please let us know! Advertising disclosure
Last Updated: January 9th, 2021