By Beryl Frishtick
Do you have a lot of junk hanging around your bedroom? Old books, clothes, trinkets, or gifts that you received years ago and haven’t used? Kill two birds with one stone by selling it! This lets you clear out unwanted items from your room, and you can earn money at the same time. Done and done! Remember, make sure to ask your parents before selling anything in case they want to keep it.
Before You Sell - First of all, you have to organize, organize, organize! Go through the things you want to sell and make different categories. For instance, you might have clothes from when you were much younger that don’t fit you anymore—these go in a “children’s clothes” pile. Or books and toys from just a year or two ago that you don’t use anymore—these go in the “teenage entertainment” pile. Label each item with as much information as possible, for instance: “girl’s dark blue skinny jeans” or “The Catcher in the Rye good condition.” The more specific you are with your categories and labeling the easier it will be later on when you actually sell your items.
There are many places to sell stuff online. We’re going to focus on three major websites, Ebay, Amazon, and Craigslist. You’re probably at least slightly familiar with these sites already. Here’s how to use them to your best advantage to sell your old stuff:
Ebay - Ebay is an online auction site. Instead of picking a list price for your items, potential buyers will outbid each other to acquire items they want. (This is the main difference between Ebay and sites like Amazon, which let you pick a final price for your items.) First, set up an Ebay account by filling in your personal information. Remember, if you are under eighteen, talk to your parents first and see if they would rather you sign up with their information. Click the “Sell” link on the top right corner of the homepage, and Ebay will prompt you with how to list your item in a very specific way, so that it is easier for potential buyers to find the item they are looking for. Then you will pick a general category (for instance, “women’s clothing”) and add more details about the item. You can add up to twelve photos of the item for free; try to make these photos as appealing as possible so people are drawn to them and want to buy what you’re selling. Ebay will prompt you through the rest of the selling process, asking you to choose how low you want to start the Ebay auction, when you want to start it, and for how many days you want it to continue. Choose which shipping method you will use to send the items to your buyers, and you’re ready to start selling!
Amazon - Selling your stuff on Amazon is slightly easier than on Ebay, but there’s a chance you might not get as much money. This site is particularly good for books and toys, although you can also sell clothing on it. On the Amazon homepage you will be prompted to enter the information for what type of item you want to sell. Amazon will try to match your item to something that is already available, so as to better inform potential buyers. This will let you be as detailed as possible about your item. Selling on Amazon is similar to selling on Ebay, but generally a little easier because there are fewer steps and no auction involved. You pick what price you want to sell your stuff at and how you will ship it, and voilà—it’s on the market!
Craigslist - Craigslist functions like the “Classifieds” section of your local newspaper, letting individuals list goods and services they want to sell in their local area. Like on Amazon and Ebay, you can find virtually anything on Craigslist. To list an item on the site, select your country and state, then click the “post to classifieds” button on the top left corner of the site. Find a category that fits the item you want to sell (clothing, toys, etc). Remember, make sure your title and description contain a lot of helpful information for potential buyers. Post pictures of the stuff you want to sell, so buyers can see exactly what it is they are buying—many people won’t look at something if there aren’t pictures! Make sure to mark your item’s price down enough from what the original price of the item would be. Buyers peruse sites like Craigslist to get stuff for cheap, not for 85% or 90% of the original value. After a week, if no one is interested in your stuff, it’s probably a good idea to lower the price by a few dollars, or about 10%.
Craigslist emphasizes doing business locally, which means while it’s definitely possible to ship items and receive payment online, many sellers on the site ask buyers to pick up the items at their homes, and therefore receive payment in person. Remember, if you set up a meeting with a buyer you met on Craigslist (or on any online site), ALWAYS MAKE SURE A PARENT OR GUARDIAN IS WITH YOU. If you ship the item instead of meeting in person, make sure you are paid via PayPal, which is the safest way to accept online payment. It’s fast and easy to set up an account. Only ship the item AFTER the payment has been confirmed via PayPal. Make sure to watch out for Craigslist scams, and never accept personal checks, cashier’s checks, or money orders, because they are commonly used in such scams.
SELLING IN PERSON
If you want to get rid of extra stuff but don’t want to bother doing it online, why not try a yard sale or consignment store? These are two relatively easy options that don’t necessitate listing your stuff online. Here’s how it works:
Yard Sale - Get your family to hold a yard sale! Also called a garage sale, this can be a really fun event when you clean out your house (or garage) of unwanted junk. Just think of all the stuff you’ll find! You can make this a fun neighborhood event by putting up flyers and getting friends to participate with you. In addition to your old clothes, you can sell furniture, books, junk found around the house, and toys from when you were younger. You decide the price (lower is better) and how to best display the items—most people go with big folding tables in their front yard. By the end of the day, if all goes well you will have gotten rid of all your unwanted stuff and made some cash in the process.
Consignment Stores - Looking to get rid of your old clothes? Why not try a consignment store? These are like thrift stores, but all the clothes have been consigned by individuals just like you, who don’t want or need them anymore. The store employees will accept your clothes that they think will sell at their store, then either pay you upfront or mark your clothes individually and pay you as your clothes sell. Obviously the store takes a cut of the profit, since they’re doing the work of actually selling the clothes, so don’t except to get 100% of the value of your clothes. Depending on how many clothes you consign, you could end up with a nice wad of cash in your pocket!
GOOD LUCK, AND HAPPY SELLING!