Advantages of Online Selling

It used to be that when you wanted to clean out the garage or attic, you either gave everything to charity or had a yard sale. These days, if you're going to clean up or reduce clutter, either for your own satisfaction or because you want to sell your house, online selling is a great option. With a yard sale, you must set a date, set up tables and haul everything out, advertise and keep your fingers crossed it doesn't rain, and people show up. At the end of an exhausting day, you still have stuff leftover. While online selling takes planning and thought, you will make more money and maybe even establish a new income stream if you can put in the time.

Planning to Sell

Check out some of the sites to see what types of items people buy second-hand. Top sellers include video games, Pyrex and glassware, brand-name fashion items, books (especially textbooks), and records. Some collectibles are also great sellers, so if you are ready to trim or dispose of your collection, look at similar pieces online. While you are cleaning up, set aside anything you think someone might buy. Make sure items are clean and in good condition. Give the rest to charity.

Pricing your Items

Do some research to know what's already available and how much people are asking for their items. If you find dozens of a certain book or record already available and prices aren’t high, don’t bother with that one. Otherwise, price your offering competitively but keep shipping in mind. You can add the shipping cost to the sale or include it in the listed price. People like buying with shipping included, but make sure you get an accurate shipping price before listing your product.

Ecommerce and Online Marketplaces

There is no shortage of online selling sites, and since they compete with one another, they all try to make selling and buying as easy as possible. The easier it is to do business on the site, the more merchandise and customer traffic they will have. Most sites are easy and fast to launch, and transactions are simple. Some websites specialize in a category like fashion or homemade crafts, and some work better for selling second-hand goods on a short-term basis.

What Do Marketplaces Charge

To sell online, you may pay for the service in several ways. The three most common are commission, membership or subscription, and listing fees.

  • Commission- They keep a percentage of each sale. If you don’t sell, you won’t pay.

  • Listing Fees- Sites charge a set amount for each item you list. The amount is generally small, and some sites, like eBay, give you a set number of free listings each month.

  • Membership- You pay them a fee for belonging. Usually, this is either charged annually or monthly. If you only have a few items to sell or won't be actively selling consistently, you might choose a different website.

Whether you choose eBay, Shopify or Etsy, make sure you understand the costs involved. Some people who start off selling a few record albums online realize they enjoy it. They realize they can make money by selling what they have or finding treasures at yard sales and thrift stores. If you decide you want to eventually downsize once the kids are on their own, online selling will bring in extra money over the next few years and make the transition to a smaller place easier.

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