There are many popular online marketplaces these days: eBay, Amazon and Craig’s List are the top three. When you first pick up an item to sell, look for these characteristics.
1) Is it new or used?
2) Is it damaged, is it collectible?
3) Have you ever seen it before? Do you have to research the item?
4) Is it big and heavy? Do I have packing material for it? Boxes, bubble wrap?
5) Does it have “hassle” written all over it? Does this item make you want to turn and run?
We have to determine the right venue for all the stuff we sell. Here is a list of places and tips using all the letters of the alphabet.
A – Amazon.com. If the item has a bar code and or it’s new in package, sell it on Amazon. Perfect for books, CDs, toys and games. When sourcing new items, send into FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) or sell merchant fulfilled on Amazon. Do a quick search on Amazon for your item, if you see it, there is usually a button that you can click that says “sell yours”. Of course, Amazon does take fees out, but before you get paid, so the money you receive is profit to you. Great for selling unwanted gifts too! Not for selling clothing or jewelry since you have to be approved in those categories.
B – eBay.com. A great marketplace for selling collectibles and items that are not new and perhaps have box damage. Photos and a good description are very important to a listing along with a proper title (no punctuation needed). It’s a global marketplace and if you are willing to ship internationally, you will have the potential of millions of eyes looking at the items you sell. The eBay experience is based on a feedback system that rates the speed and cost of shipment, quality of description and your communication with the buyer. Ebay fees add up quickly, but it has many free listing promotions. New sellers soon realize the amount of work can gobble up your free time, so be prepared for a learning curve. eBay puts limits on the amounts of items and dollar sales you can have, until you are a proven commodity. I’ve been on eBay since 1998 and have seen many, many changes over the years. Most of them are for the better, yet change is hard for some sellers. eBay sets the rules and you have to play by them. Fees are paid monthly, after you’ve already received your PayPal payments from the buyers.
C – Craigslist.org. Free to use. Ads stay up for a week. You can add up to 8 photos to your listings. Users can be rather flaky, but many people are nice. Never post your phone number, instead ask the interested party for their number. I like to arrange pick-up of items at the local grocery store parking lot. There are plenty of people around and you won’t have strangers coming to your home. I suggest double listing an item on eBay and Craig’s List. If you get a bid on eBay, delete the ad on Craig’s list and visa versa. Delete eBay once sold on CL. Craig’s list is perfect for large, heavy objects like dining chairs and treadmills and things you don not want to ship. There are many categories to choose from when listing items or events. Based in worldwide regions for local connections and markets.
D – Donate it. Goodwill, Salvation Army and other local charity groups are worthy of items you no longer wish to keep or tired of trying to sell. Some groups will pick up. Other places have drop off spots. A must for all sellers. Some offer donation slips for tax returns.
E – Etsy.com. Etsy is an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items. When you make a sale you are charged a transaction fee of 3.5%. This fee does not include shipping or sales tax. There is a 20¢ fee for listing and the listing lasts for four months. Most people find it very fair. All the fees are added to your Etsy bill. Perfect for jewelry makers and arts and crafts. There is a nice community feel on the site.
F – Facebook.com is becoming a popular site to sell on. I haven’t check it out yet, but it’s on my to do list. Building a Fan Page for your current eBay or Amazon store is easy and you can invite friends to join for FREE. It can be part of your business promotion. Invite your friends to buy from you!
G – Garage Sales. Items do best at a garage sale when priced to move. You are not going to make a million dollars, but it does help clean out the garage and as long as you follow the rule of not allowing it back into your garage and take leftovers straight to the Goodwill drop off box, you will have succeeded. Sometimes you can make a couple hundred dollars in a day or two. Plus, its a nice way to see your neighbors. Suggested time frame, 1-3 sales per year. Please check local ordinances for rules in your area. Try having a multi-home sale to attract more foot traffic.
H – Hire someone to sell it for you. eBay used to have a program called eBay Trading Assistants, where you could look up a person who will sell your items on consignment. Or perhaps you need help with your online selling. Hire a local teenager who types and can take quick photos. Make them your shipping manager if that task is not one of your favorites.
I – Ideas. Write down some ideas of places you would like to sell. What do you have skills for? Time for? It takes a little brainstorming to find the right fit for your personality too. Too much risk selling at auction, try fixed prices. Don’t like selling? Try bartering. There are many ways to skin a cat as they say.
J – Junk. Just get rid of the junk. Try a dump run or call 1-800-Got-Junk. There is always going to be a small percentage of stuff you are trying to sell that is junk! Enough said.
K – Krap. Sorry for the crude word, but it is interchangeable with the above work “junk”. Unload, remove, lose it, retire it, cut bait and move on. We all have too much to sell, not enough time. Get pickier on what to sell and where. The saying goes, something is only as valuable as what someone will pay. Somethings don’t even fit that category.
L – Listia.com. Listia is a free online marketplace for trading goods between individuals, by using a virtual currency instead of real money. Founded in 2009.
M – Marketing. That is a important buzz worth when selling anything. Let everyone know that you sell items. They might become your buyers or even clients you sell for. Marketing is easy with social network sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can even market with pictures of cute puppies and kitties!
N – NextWorth.com. Sell electronics for CASH. Get a quote, ship it Free and get paid. Easy to use. Everyone has old phones laying around.
O – Oodle.com. This is a US marketplace where you can sell phones, pets, vehicles, tickets and also offer a job or find a free place. It is also a dating site, where all the buyers and sellers have their own personalities.
P – Pinterest.com. Fast growing, very visual. Lots of like minded people looking at beautiful images. Check it out. I have little experience with the site.
Q – Quirky.com. Got a product idea in mind? Submit your invention to Quirky for community members to vote and comment on. The best will be voted on by the Quirky staff – and if your product is chosen, Quirky will turn your idea into reality after several stages of product development. See your product launched and enjoy lifetime royalties as the original inventor!
R – Recycle it. This is commonly done with a FREE sign on the item out in front of your house. I’ve done it with office chairs. They are too bulky to ship, not valuable enough to resell, but it could be used by someone else. This is getting very popular. I have also been on the receiving side of a very nice Weber BBQ. I saw one in the neighborhood, took it home, put a few new parts in it and it was good as new. Love it!
S – Sell.com – It’s free for 30 days, then you have to pay for listing items. I have not tried the site yet, but they are in the game! Free to sign up. Founded in 1999 and based in Dallas, TX. it looks a bit like a combo of Craig’s List and eBay.
T – Throw it away. This is the last resort. Somethings can actually still go into the garbage. Think landfill before this step however. Just do it!
U – Unclutter. This tip isn’t for selling necessarily, but it gets the process going. Many parents and grandparents are downsizing and have lots of collectibles and heirlooms that they may want to sell. A computer savvy person can save the day if they list a few items for sale for them. Everyone has so much stuff.
V – Video as in YouTube videos. Okay the “U” was taken, but YouTube is one of the TOP viewed sites online. There are many opportunities for selling your items using video. It is more important that ever to get into the game! Add video to your listings. It can increase the $ value!
W – Website. You can set up a website with your inventory and add a shopping cart. There are many free website building sites online these days and you can use PayPal to collect the money. Arrange for pick-up or ship to customers around the world. The hard part will be getting visitors to your site who turn into buyers. Amazon and eBay have that part down pat. Your own website is great for niche selling. Did I mention I sell Barbra Streisand memorabilia on my site: www.ilovebarbracatalog.com?
X – I got nuttin’. Someone send me an example of a site that begins with “X”! I need help here people!
Y – Yard sale. See garage sale. I don’t have a garage, but I do have a front yard/parking area. I lay out a few blue tarps, put up some tables. Make signs and advertise on Craig’s List or in the neighborhood. Saturdays are usually better than Sundays. Some people have the energy to do two days over a weekend. It’s up to you.
Z – Whew, time to catch some zzzzz’s I’m tired of selling!