Selling your belongings is a great way to earn an extra buck and you might be surprised on how much you can really make. And one of the best ways to sell your stuff, is online. It takes the least amount of effort and buyers from all across the world will be able to see your items.
We’ve analyzed the top 5 platforms to help sell your stuff online, but first, you have to know how to create a successful listing and present your items in the best way possible.
How to sell your belongings online
When selling your stuff online you can pretty much create a listing for just about any of your belongings, however, that doesn’t mean someone is going to buy them.
You need to make sure your listing looks as professional as possible. Standing out from the crowd is your biggest objective when selling online to get the buyers attention.
Follow these easy steps to create an awesome listing that will pop.
Your product description acts like a salesperson on the showroom floor. It must capture the buyer’s trust by explaining the product in detail, while also sparking interest in the item.
When writing your description, you need to make sure it is comprehensive and accurate. Falsifying promises about your product may help you get it sold right away, but you can be sure your customer will be quite angry and most likely return your product. (Don’t lie about your product, it’s not cool.) This will also cause you to get a tarnished reputation on sites like Amazon and Ebay and no one will buy from you.
Beyond a comprehensive and accurate description, you also want to list the benefits of your product and not just the features it has. This will motivate buyers as they will start to see the value in your product.
Finally, when writing your description, be sure to use bullet points and short paragraphs. No one wants to read a book. They want to scan through the description and see the benefits and features right away. Be concise, to the point, and use bullet points to make it easy for your customers to read.
Humans are visual creatures – 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Along with that, we are able to process pictures almost 60,000 times faster than text. Knowing this information, it is imperative your listing has high-quality images to capture the customers’ attention. Use these tips when taking photos for you product listing:
- Use high-resolution photos – You may not have access to an expensive camera, however, your phone camera can do the trick. Follow Macworld’s advice on how to take awesome product photos with your iPhone.
- Include multiple photos – Be sure to capture every angle of your product and include photos of your product in action. This will help build trust and confidence for your buyers when they are deciding to buy your product.
- Edit your photos – Editing your photos will make your product pop compared to regular photos. By adjusting the exposure, reducing shadows, and changing the contrast, you can make your product stand out amongst competitors.
During this stage of the process, be sure to take your time and select the best photos. Having awesome photos will help sell your products faster by grabbing buyers’ attention and building trust in the products you are selling.
Winning Product Title
When creating your product listing, don’t overlook the title. Along with the initial photo, the title will be the first thing customers see and read. In your title you should include:
- Brand name
- Product model/color and/or variant
- Size and/or quantity
Don’t make this step harder than it needs to be. Create a nice, simple title with the elements above and you should be good to go. I recommend capitalizing the first letter in every word, except for small common words, such as the, and, a, etc. – This will help your listing stand out, but not make it look like click bait when using all capital letters.
Top 5 Websites to Sell Your Stuff Online
After you have created an awesome listing that will stand out from the crowd, you can now choose one or multiple platforms to sell your products online.
We’ve done our research to find the top 5 websites to sell your stuff online and depending on what you are selling, you’ll want to choose the appropriate website. By aligning your products with the right audience, the better your chance to make extra cash.
Starting with Amazon is a good choice. According to an NPR study, nearly 50% of Americans start their online shopping on Amazon.
In order to start selling on Amazon, you have to create a seller account on Amazon.com/sell. You can either sign up for an Individual Seller Plan or a Professional Seller Plan.
- Individual seller accounts – This is a free plan, but you are only allowed to sell up to 40 items per month. For most people this plan is sufficient. Even though this is a free plan, Amazon does deduct a 99 cent fee per sale when your product is sold
- Professional seller accounts – If you choose this account, you will have to pay $39.99 per month. Professional sellers have no selling limit and are exempt from the 99 cent fee.
If you are just selling a few things, an individual seller account will do the trick. However, both accounts are subject to an additional 3% to 45% fee based on the sale price and depending on what category your item is in.
Amazon also has a service called Fulfillment by Amazon where they will handle everything from customer service to packing, shipping, and storing your items for sale. Of course this costs money and fees can range from $2.41 to $137.32 depending on how big and heavy your items are.
Amazon is a great place to start selling your stuff online. The traffic to this site won’t be matched by any other, creating a much larger pool of buyers. However, fees can be expensive and there are certain limitations on what you can sell on Amazon – see limitations here.
eBay is truly one of the founders for selling items online. They started in 1995 and have earned the reputation as a one-stop shop for buyers and sellers.
For years people have been making money on eBay by selling their personal belongings and through retail arbitrage.
Successful eBay sellers state these are the best tips when selling your stuff:
- Use really good photos and a lot of them
- Write awesome product descriptions
- Time your listing right
- Avoid reserve prices
- Find your niche and own it
You can create an eBay account for free and if you plan on selling over 50 items a month, it might be wise to start an eBay stores account. This is your own branded store within eBay allowing you to scale your business up even faster.
If you don’t want to jump up to your own personal store right away, eBay offers five tiers of accounts – starter, basic, premium, anchor, and enterprise – with fees ranging from $4.95 to $3,000.
Just like Amazon, eBay also charges fees once your items sell. These fees include a ‘final value fee’ ranging from 2% to 12% of the sale price and a PayPal fee of 3.4% if PayPal is used.
eBay is a great place to sell just about anything at any cost. Warren Buffet even has an eBay listing allowing you to have lunch with him for $2.6 million!
If the items you plan on selling are handmade/artistic goods, Etsy is a great platform to sell on. While you can sell other things on Etsy, you will have the most success if you cater to its craft-loving and thirty user base.
To find even more success on Etsy, create a strong brand and backstory to really connect with customers on a deeper level. If people are interested in your story, they will have a higher tendency to look at your items among others.
Signing up for an Etsy shop is extremely easy and it only takes five minutes. However, to stand out, you’ll want to take some time to customize your shop page. If designing an online shop isn’t your thing, Etsy offers a customization tool called Patter, which costs $15 a month.
Again, like Amazon and eBay, every time you sell a product on Etsy, your sales are subject to fees:
- Listing fee: You will be charged a 20 cent fee for every listing you have. If a transaction contains multiple of the same item, you will be charged 20 cents for each item sold
- Transaction fee: Etsy charges 5% of the sale price per item sold, plus additional costs for shipping or gift wrapping
- Subscription fee: Etsy does have a basic membership, which is free. Or you can sign up for an Etsy plus account, to receive additional benefits, which costs $10 per month.
Overall, Etsy has created a niche outside of Amazon and eBay to sell creative handmade/artistic goods. Let your creativity shine and show the world what you have to offer with Etsy.
While it might seem intimidating to sell your stuff on Craigslist, it is still one of the best ways to sell items online. Currently, Craigslist receives over one billion monthly online visitors.
Craigslist has been around since 1996 and was founded by Craig Newmark as an email list of interesting events in the San Francisco area. Since then, Craigslist has dominated the web with 80 million new classified ads per month.
In terms of what you list on Craigslist, it is extremely versatile. You can list anything from a used car to a dog to a $30 million house.
If you decide to list a job, retail and service listings, there is a small fee. But if you are just listing items/products that is completely free.
Craigslist is a little different from other online shopping sites because it recommends people to list locally and meet face to face to avoid scams. When meeting people face to face, be sure to trust your gut and meet in a public place. (Not your house!)
To create a listing, all you have to do is post to classifieds in your area’s local Craigslist. You don’t even have to create an account. When going through the posting, the site will ask you a couple of questions (price, condition, description, etc), you will have to upload photos, and leave your contact information if you don’t want to email through anonymous emails.
All you have to do now is prepare to negotiate and haggle to get your items sold.
5. Facebook Marketplace
Bringing up the rear of the top five websites to sell your stuff online is Facebook Marketplace. Facebook launched their marketplace in 2016, as an on-site feature, allowing buyers and sellers to look through each others profiles when shopping the marketplace.
Anyone is allowed to browse the marketplace, but to offer on a product or create a listing, you will need to sign in or create a Facebook profile.
Listings are free to create, however, you must comply with Facebook’s commerce policies and any local laws. Facebook also bans any listings of animals, weapons/ammunition, and irrelevant content like news and memes.
A cool feature of Facebook Marketplace is you are able to sell directly to a specific audience as the marketplace aggregates relevant buying and selling groups.
As far as payment goes, it is up to you on how you want to get paid from your seller. Facebook does have a direct-payment system built into Messenger, but you can use any payment method available.
Selling your stuff online is a great way to earn extra money and some people even make a living from it. While there are endless places to sell things online, these are the top five platforms we recommend. They are tried and true and offer many benefits depending on what you are looking to sell.
Before you start selling on these platforms, be sure to do your research and price your stuff correctly – don’t leave money on the table. Also create professional looking advertisements with the tips above to help your items stand out from the crowd.
Recommend other websites to sell your stuff online? Comment below with your favorite platforms!