You’re ready to get out of debt. Or just have a little more in savings. You’ve heard people talk about selling your stuff to make a quick buck. You know you have plenty of things lying around the house that you could sell. But where do you even start?
Figure Out What to Sell
Start by setting a minimum value threshold.
It sounds fancy, but it just means that you need to decide what’s worth your time and energy, and what’s not. For instance, you might have dozens of items worth $5 each, but the time and energy you’d have to spend to sell them would far outweigh the benefits of gaining $5.
For some people, a minimum value threshold of $10 might be worth it. Others might set a threshold of $25 or even higher. Decide what’s worth it to you. (It might be helpful to estimate how much time you’ll be investing into listing, selling, and shipping or dropping off each item. You can then see what your “hourly wage” would be, and decide whether you’d work for that wage.)
Gather gently used items that you would want to purchase.
Throw or give away anything that’s broken, stained, or too worn. Check out my Decluttering? How to Decide What Stays and What Goes blog post. Sort remaining items into categories (furniture, bed/bath, clothing, shoes, etc.). This will help determine the best place to sell your items.
Find the Best Places to Sell Your Stuff
Once you’ve gathered your items, determine where you want to sell your stuff! These are some marketplaces that I’ve found to be reliable when selling items.
thredUP (clothes, shoes)
ThredUp is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell gently used clothing and shoes. It’s best for cleaning out your closet when you want to get rid of a lot all at once. You simply pack up your used clothing and ship it off to thredUP. ThredUP sorts through your clothing and accepts some of the items to sell. (The rest are returned to you or recycled.) If your items sell, you receive a percentage of the selling price of the item.
ThredUP is super simple to use and you don’t have to do the work of listing and shipping individual items. However, it may take a few months to get a payout, and you’ll probably make less money selling on thredUP versus selling elsewhere.
Poshmark (clothes, shoes, bags, home items, makeup)
Poshmark is a website and app where users buy and sell new and used clothing, shoes, bags, pieces for your home, and even makeup. You do have to have the app to list items, so a smartphone or tablet is required for this one.
It’s easy to list items on Poshmark by taking photos with your cell phone. If one of your listed items sells, Poshmark will send you a prepaid label to print and use to ship your item. Poshmark is also known for the social aspect of the app, including its online “Poshmark Parties.”
Listing on Poshmark is free. The app takes $2.95 for sold items under $15, and 20% of items over $15.
Mercari (clothes, shoes, bags, home items, games, toys, etc.)
Mercari is a selling app for almost anything you can find in your home. Have old puzzles or board games lying around? You can sell them alongside jewelry, books, and more on Mercari. Simply snap photos with your smartphone and use Mercari’s easy process to list your items. The app suggests brands and categories to help your items get better visibility.
Like Poshmark, Mercari sends you a shipping label to print when your items sell. They even have a partnership with UPS so that you can ship items without a printer. Mercari makes the selling process easy for customers and sellers.
Mercari charges a minimum 10% fee on sold items.
Decluttr.com (tech items)
If you find yourself with a lot of outdated technology, Decluttr might be the best platform for you to sell on. From game consoles to old phones, Decluttr makes it easy to sell and make money. To sell, you first get a free instant valuation on their site (or through their app). Next, you pack your box and attach a label then ship the box for free. Once your item is looked over at the warehouse, you will receive your payment for the item - or donate the money to a charity of your choice!
Facebook Marketplace (everything but the kitchen sink)
Facebook Marketplace is great for larger or fragile items you don’t want to ship, like furniture and electronics. To list on Facebook, simply visit the Marketplace tab in your personal account and upload photos of your item. Customers can search based on location to find items for local pickup.
You do have to have a Facebook account to sell on Marketplace, and there’s not a guarantee that someone who promises to purchase an item will follow through. Additionally, exercise caution when selling on Marketplace. If possible, meet in a public place to transfer items, instead of having customers pick up items at your home.
Marketplace doesn’t charge any fees for local-pickup items. You might have to haggle with your buyers, but you get to keep any money you earn from your items!
Related: My 10 Minute Decluttering Trick
Decluttering? How to Decide What Stays and What Goes
How to Stay Motivated and Finally Get that Decluttering Done
Make Your Listings Stand Out
Once you’ve decided where to sell your items, it’s time to list them! Use these tips to make sure your listings shine in search results.
Take Awesome Photos
Take photos without distracting features in the background. Use an area with a lot of natural light, if possible. Be sure to show any stains, rips, or flaws in photos so there are no surprises for your customers. If the item is new or brand-name, include photos of the tags.
Use a Searchworthy Title
Items listed by their brand name are more likely to show up in search results. If you can find the item name from the original description, include that in your title as well. (For instance, “Brooks Revel 4 Running Shoes” is a more effective title than “Running Shoes.”)
Write Captivating Descriptions
Drab descriptions won’t sell your items. Instead, try to envision what a customer might be looking for in an item. Selling a dress you wore to a summer wedding? Try writing about the experience a potential customer could have in the same dress: “You’ll shine in this brightly colored dress that’s perfect for a summer wedding. Dance the night away with its A-line style, great for twirling around the dance floor!” Now, doesn’t that make you want to purchase more than the description “A-line dress” does?
Selling your stuff doesn’t have to be stressful and time-consuming. With these tips, you’ll be decluttering your home and making money off your stuff in no time.
Need a little extra motivation for this side hustle? Check out my 2021 Money Challenges Set - it has a side hustle income chart you can use to your advantage!