Complete Guide to Selling Your Unwanted Stuff and Making Money
Weekends are the perfect time to declutter and clear out all your unwanted stuff and make way for a fresh start. And if you can make a bit of extra cash on the side then even better.
If you are new to selling your stuff, it can be a bit daunting. With so many options, both online and offline, it can be hard to know where to start. So we’ve put together this guide to selling your unwanted stuff and making money.
Read more about:
- KidSpot Marketplace
- Mazuma Mobile
- Garage sale
- Trash & Treasure/Car Boot sales
- Consignment stores
- General Fees
By far the biggest and well-known online market place in the world, eBay.com has been used by millions of people to buy and sell goods worldwide.
Although initially started as a second hand auction market, eBay has now repositioned itself to sell mostly new and designer goods from retail stores and wholesalers. However, it can still be a good place to sell your unwanted second hand goods.
Due to the sheer volume of goods on eBay, you are unlikely to get high prices for second hand clothing, books or CDs. You will have more success listing your rare and specialty items, or popular products. Memorabilia such as signed sporting goods, collectors items and electronics can command a decent price.
You can either list your items in an auction format, with a starting price, which means when the auction ends the item will go to the highest bidder. Or you can list it with a Buy-It-Now price, which means the buyer pays only what you are asking for.
It’s free to list up to 40 items per month and you can include up to 10 photos for free. eBay charge 9.9% on the final sale price, and you also may be charged PayPal fees if the buyer checks out with PayPal.
To get the highest sale price, be sure to include as much detail as you can in your description. Take plenty of pictures in good light and if the item is damaged or marked in some way, make sure you specify this. Buyers can leave negative feedback if an item is not as described and that can affect your eBay rating.
Founded in Australia, Gumtree is an online classifieds designed to buy and sell your unwanted stuff in your local area. It’s free to list and there is no commission on sold items. Because of this it’s a very effective way to sell all sorts of items.
Gumtree is especially good for selling unwanted household goods. If you’ve just replaced your couch, or are downsizing and want to declutter, then this is perfect. Because the site is focused on local transactions, there is no option to add on postage and you do not have the protection that you get with sites like eBay.
The usual guidelines for listing items online apply – include plenty of photos and a good description to avoid wasting your time answering the same questions over and over. If you are selling something big or heavy, it’s also a good idea to list any access issues for the buyer upon collection – ie are there lots of stairs, and whether you be able to assist in loading the item.
Because the final transaction will take place face-to-face, it’s important to ensure that you take sensible precautions with your personal information. When listing where the item is located, just note the general area where collection will be – only give out your address once you have spoken with the buyer. You can choose whether to list your mobile number in the listing too and you don’t have to include it. However, you will get more enquiries if you list a contact number along with your email, so it’s something to weigh up.
Similar to Gumtree, the Kidspot Marketplace is designed for parents to sell and buy second hand kids clothing, accessories and toys. If you are clearing out the kids’ closets, this is the perfect spot to list all their outgrown clothing and last year’s toys.
Sellers can list their items for free and you can choose to allow only local pickup or if you will post your items. Because this marketplace is only for kid’s items, you will find plenty of targeted buyers looking for a bargain.
Did you know that you can sell your stuff on Facebook? There are a number of Facebook groups set up to sell, buy, swap and giveaway unwanted items. Each group is set up and maintained by individuals and the quality of each group varies. There are general groups for selling all sorts of things, and niche groups to sell only a certain type of item - such as kid’s clothes, camping gear etc.
Just do a search in Facebook for your local group – so if you are in Canberra, search for “Buy Sell Swap Canberra”. These Facebook groups work like online classifieds, so they are geared towards selling to people in your local area. The same precautions apply as with any face-to-face transaction – only give out your details when you are comfortable and meet in a public or neutral place if possible.
Selling on general classifieds can be great if you are doing a general clear out and getting rid of a few things. But what about if you are trying to get a good price on expensive items like your mobile phone.
If you’ve upgraded your mobile and are looking to get rid of the old one, a hassle free way to sell it is to go direct to a mobile phone reseller. Sites such as Mazumamobile.com will buy your old mobile phone and resell it overseas in developing countries. All you do is select the phone you are a selling and the condition it’s in, then they’ll send you a postage bag, you just pop in the phone and you’ll get cash straight into your back account as soon as they receive it.
They accept a variety of phones, not just new models, and you can get paid even if the phone isn’t working. As a guide, you can get around $130 for a working Apple iPhone 4.
The rise of online marketplaces hasn’t meant the death of offline options to sell your stuff. In fact, as people become more aware of the impact of buying new items and look for cost conscious ways to furnish their homes, the more popular traditional second hand markets have become.
Every week in cities and towns around Australia, people clear out their houses and garages and place the whole lot in the front garden or driveway to sell to passersby. Garage sales are still a popular way to sell unwanted things because they are easy to organise, free to run and can net you a decent amount of cash.
To ensure you get a good number of buyers, you should list your garage sale details on Gumtree and in your local online groups such as Freecycle Café. Be sure to price everything reasonably to sell and be prepared to haggle.
You might also want to ask your neighbours if they want to clear out some of their stuff and hold a street garage sale as you can attract lots more potential buyers this way.
If you don’t have the space to hold a garage sale, another option is to rent a stall at the local Trash & Treasure market or Car Boot sale. These are run by Rotary Clubs, community groups or churches and there are plenty of these types of markets held every weekend across Australia. Usually you just load your car and arrive early in the morning to snag a stall, then set up and wait for the buyers to start pouring in.
However popular markets will usually require you to book a stall. Melbourne’s Camberwell Markets are so popular you have to book a stall two months in advance, but it can be worth it as thousands of people visit the market each weekend.
Just like at garage sales, just about anything goes here, although you should check the market’s regulations to make sure that certain items are not prohibited. Price to sell and be prepared for some haggling. With the right attitude, this can be a fun and easy way to sell all your unwanted things and walk away with some cash.
If you have a collection of high quality clothing and shoes, then a consignment store might be the best place to sell the stuff you’ve grown tired of.
Consignment stores will display and sell all of your unwanted designer and high-fashion clothing, shoes and accessories. Mostly geared towards women’s clothing, there are a few boutiques that accept men’s designer clothing too.
Make an appointment with your local consignment store to bring in your items. Staff there will assess your clothes and will give you a receipt for anything they accept. If the item sells, you receive a commission – anywhere from 40% to 60% is standard. If your item doesn’t sell in a reasonable period, you have the option to collect it or donate it to a local charity.
Including any packaging, dust jackets, or boxes with your items can make them easier to sell. Also make sure that clothing is cleaned before dropping it off to ensure that it can be displayed sooner.
If you have a good collection of fashionable clothing, this can be a lucrative way to sell your stuff. You may even be able to negotiate a larger commission if your items prove very popular. And you can then spend your commission buying new-to-you designer wear to restock your wardrobe.
|eBay.com||Free to list, 9.9% commission on items sold||Rare and collectible items or popular electronics|
|Gumtree.com||Free to list and sell||Household goods and electronics|
|KidSpot Market||Free to list and 0% commission||Baby and kid’s clothing, accessories and furniture|
|Facebook – search for your local group||Free to list and sell||Household goods and electronics. Also good for high-end toys and bikes|
|Mazuma Mobile||Free||Your unwanted mobile phone or tablet|
|Your garage, driveway or front yard||Free, although you may want to pay to list in the local paper||Everything and anything. You’ll be amazed at what people will buy|
|Your local Car Boot or Trash & Treasure market||Stall fees will vary, from $10 up to $60 or more for popular markets||Second hand clothing, books and CDs, household items and bric-a-brac|
|Consignment stores||Free to drop off, you receive 40% to 60% of the sale price||High quality, designer and brand name clothing, shoes and accessories|