One of the ways we were able to pay of $20,000 of debt as college students was by selling stuff. A lot of it. Since then, we have continued to sell things we don’t want, need or care about as a way to maintain a more minimal household and not collect junk. Whatever your motive is, selling things online can be a great skill!
Clean out your house and decide if it is worth selling: This is the very first and longest step but it is so important. So many of the people who don’t have much luck with selling things is because of this step. Less is more. It is easier to start off selling a few things and making really good entries than it would be to just throw up your entire wardrobe and say “Clothes.” We end up giving away A LOT. Is there someone you could give it to who would honestly enjoy it? (Don’t just give them your junk– make sure they would actually like it.) Is there a way you could repurpose or regift this item? Is it in good condition? Out dated? Would someone actually want it? Start there and then with what is left, decide if you want to sell it. Make sure each item is in good condition and decide what platform would be best to sell it on. In our area, Facebook Marketplace is really popular so that is where I have had the best luck but there are many others- Poshmark (high end clothes), Drop off places like Plato’s Closet or Uptown Cheapskate, Craigslist, and more. You also don’t have to sell just clothes– get creative. We have sold strollers, old video games, a record player, books, clothes, random home decor, tools, furniture, picture frames, dishes, kitchen appliances, etc.
Decide how much you want to sell it for: Search online to find out how much things would cost new. For example, I recently sold a set of plastic baby hangers. I looked up at Target, Amazon, Walmart etc. to see if I could get an idea of how much it would cost new. For a set of 20 it was a bout $2-$3. I was selling 60 hangers (no idea why I thought I needed so many) so I decided to sell them as a set for $5. If you don’t get any messages in the first 24 hours, you may want to think about reducing the price)
Take High Quality Pictures: Once you decide it is worth it to sell that item and you have an idea of about how much you want to sell it for, you take pictures. This may sound crazy but the presentation really does matter. Lighting ,style, organization, clean background (no garbage cans if you are outside or toys all over the ground in your house) etc. Trust me, presentation matters. For example, I bought two leather benches off Facebook Marketplace for $20 for the set. The benches were dusty and the picture was dark and taken in the back of a pickup truck. I ended up only needing one of the benches so I sold the other one on Facebook Marketplace the next day. I cleaned it and styled it and then took a picture in natural lighting. I listed it for $40 (still an amazing deal for a leather bench!) and it sold within two hours! Pictures matter!
Create Your Listing: Next, I upload the picture and add a description and title. For the title try to make it really clear what they are getting and use the brand name if you know it. For example, instead of saying “Double Stroller” you can say “City Select Double Stroller” or instead of saying “Plant” say “Snake Plant” This will help people be able to find your listing when they are searching for something specific. For the description, also try to be detailed and personable! When we sold our stroller I would say something like this “We have loved this jogging stroller! We originally paid over $100. It has been perfect for our little one but our family is growing and we are needing something a little different. Great condition. Only had it for about a year. Car Seat adapter included–graco, britax etc. carseats all work with it. etc.” Just be honest and share the details a buyer would want to know.
Change listings as needed and take messages: If you aren’t getting responses within a couple of days and definitely after a week then I would say you should either change the price/picture or decide not to sell it. Occasionally things will sell later if you want to keep it up and try, but new listings get first priority so often people won’t see your listing after you have had it up there for months and months. (Plus, you have a bunch of clutter sitting in your house forever and who wants that?) When you are getting responses, you will probably get a lot of “Is this still available?” or other questions like that. People are very flakey so I do not hold any item for them unless they Venmo me to hold it. If not, it is FCFS (First Come First Serve)
Sell it! Once you get someone who for sure wants to buy it or at least see it, you can then either do porch pickup (if it is a smaller item) or you can have them come in to look at it (for things like a rug or furniture). If they come to your house, try to have it already laid out nicely for them to see and have your house clean! Again, it makes a difference! Then give yourself a high five and add that money to your next money goal or His/Her Fund.
During a few conversations with friends this week, I realized there is a bit more strategy to it then simply take- a- picture- and-throw-it-on-the-internet. So here is my 6 step process to how I sell things on the internet. (Today we will be discussing Facebook Marketplace specifically but really the same thing applies for selling other things too)
I hope this helps! What types of things have you had luck selling? What is your process for selling things?
Interested in learning more about our approach to finances?
Attend our FREE Budgeting Class where we outline our Financial Growth System and how you can customize it to your situation.