COME BACK to the exorbitant cost of living by becoming an online seller.
Whether you’re whipping up oversized clothes or a comfy couch, you can convert unwanted gear into money.
Listing items for sale through online platforms is quite simple. . . but Sun Money’s Mel Hunter spoke to successful sellers for insights that will help you earn as much as possible.
CHOOSE THE BEST PLATFORM
There’s no shortage of places to sell, from eBay to trending app Depop. Local Facebook groups and Gumtree also reach bargain-hungry shoppers.
Dan Wilson, author of Make Serious Money On eBay UK, Amazon And Beyond, estimates there are over 100 places to list items for sale online.
There are specialist sites, such as Bricklink – a Lego-only marketplace – alongside more general sites, such as Preloved, Shpock and Nextdoor.
To be seen by most sellers, eBay still comes out on top, but the site will take 12.8% of your sale.
Facebook’s Marketplace is handy for whipping up items that need to be picked up, like kids’ bikes or large pieces of furniture.
Depop and Vinted mainly focus on fashion and accessories. Depop takes ten percent for each item sold while Vinted has no selling fees.
BE PICTURE PERFECT
MAKING your sales pitch perfect is essential.
Posting photos of crumpled clothes or furniture in a dark, cluttered room is a big disappointment.
Author Dan says, “Well-lit, well-composed, useful images land sales.”
Maximize your sales pitch by using shots taken against a clean, plain white background.
David Brackin, founder of Stuff U Sell, says, “Clothes shown on mannequins or mannequins look more tempting than those on a hanger on the back of a door.
DON’T WASTE WORDS
YOU won’t close a sale if people can’t find your item.
Start by putting the brand, style, and color at the start of your ad.
Seasoned saleswoman Anna Cargan, who runs a second-hand children’s clothing site buildabundle.co.uksays, “Don’t ruin your title with words that people are unlikely to use themselves.
“No one will be looking for a ‘beautiful and pretty dress for three year old’ – but they might be looking for a ‘summer party dress for three year old’.”
But Anna, mum-of-three, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, warns you have to be honest.
She adds, “eBay usually sides with the buyer when things go wrong.”
David, from Stuff U Sell, who has sold over half a million items on eBay for others, adds: “eBay also offers categorization, using specifics such as size, style and size. ‘state.
“The more you fill in, the more likely you are to be found.”
GET THE RIGHT PRICE
YOU need to set a price low enough to generate interest while bringing you the most profit possible.
Anna says, “Find the market price for similar items. Use the “advanced search” option and check the “completed items” box to see recently sold listings from other sellers.
Sunday night is a good time to list items or, if you’re using an auction, to set the final bid deadline.
This is when more and more people are competing online for the best buys.
On eBay, the seller can invite the best offers on his items, targeting buyers who have already expressed an interest.
“This can cause an interested observer to part with their money,” says David.
DON’T PAY TO POST
MAKE items “collectible” only if you can. If this is not the case, take into account the courier costs in the sale price.
But beware: inflating shipping costs could discourage buyers.
Anna says, “Weigh items on a bathroom or kitchen scale before listing, to make sure they meet the weight limits of the postage service you use.
“People are unlikely to pay postage to buy just one kid’s t-shirt.
A bundle of five t-shirts and five shorts is more likely to sell.
David Brackin says: “Royal Mail is expensive compared to some couriers.
ALWAYS message your buyer through the site rather than sharing other contact details, and never hand over anything without first receiving payment.
Scams, including when a buyer claims not to have received an item, are not uncommon.
So keep postage receipts, tracking information and photos of the item for at least three months.
Dan doesn’t like selling technology, such as phones, on eBay due to problems caused by fraudulent buyers.
If you’re talking in person, ask to meet in a public place.
If they come to your house, put things back on the doorstep and ask someone else to come too.
Use official payment systems. If you deal in person, always ask for money.
“FREE ITEMS GO FAST”
PROFESSIONAL decluttering Janine McDonald sells items online for herself and for customers of her business Clear The Clutter Now.
Decluttering PROFESSIONALJanine McDonald sells items online for herself and for clients of her business Clear The Clutter Now.
Janine, 51, from Manchester, uses Facebook’s sales and trading groups and says: ‘There are no fees and people pick up straight away.
“If the weather is good, people want garden furniture now, not in a week. The downside is that it’s hard to look for things.”
She uses Facebook Marketplace to sell things related to certain times of the year, like Halloween.
“I set a minimum price that I would accept, so I’m not aggrieved,” she adds.
“On eBay, I use the auction option rather than buy now because you tend to get a better price, especially if you time the auction to end on a Sunday night.”
To sell quality togs, she turns to Vinted. “Last Christmas a customer won £1,000 selling designer clothes,” she says.
But take photos that will help items sell, like the soles of barely-worn shoes, she suggests. Include photos of any defects, to avoid complaints.
She adds, “See how much similar items have sold for and don’t settle for less.”