Tired of tripping up over that bike you haven’t used in five years? Or that guitar that’s gathering dust? Then start turning it into cold hard cash.
According to Gumtree, us Brits are hoarding a huge £2,589’s worth of unwanted items in our homes. That’s your next summer holiday. Or a bathroom makeover. Or that secondhand car you’ve had your eye on. Or, well, you get the gist…
What’s junk to you might be a much-wanted, or even needed, item to another, so, if you want to start selling your stuff off to a new home, here’s a run-down of some of the best online places to do it.
eBay’s probably one of the best known secondhand stores out there, so there’s probably a reason for its reputation, right? Yes and no. While eBay has a lot of pros, like:
- it’s huge consumer base,
- the option to list things in auction-style format or ‘But it now’, and
- the ability to list 20 items a month free of charge (it costs 35p per item thereafter).
It does have a couple of important cons too. For starters, eBay takes a 10% cut from anything you sell - which, needless to say, can make a real difference to your profit margins. And secondly, on top of eBay’s cut, PayPal takes a further 3.4% plus 20p.
Both these deductions result in lots of people choosing cheaper alternatives - after all, you want to make the most money you can, right?
Whether it’s Christmas, Father’s Day, your birthday or the end of a teaching year, we’ve all received gift vouchers that are no use to us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a bit of money off them.
It accepts things like store cards and experience days in exchange for 3% of the asking price.
From Christmas decorations to cars, furniture to clothes, pets to transport, Gumtree sells a bit of everything. It’s pretty much all secondhand (unless you’ve got something you’ve never taken out of the package) and the best bit is, it’s totally free.
There are a couple of things to be aware of with this one though:
1. You’ll have to meet the buyer when they come to pick the item(s) up, so only agree to a meet-up if it seems legit.
2. Never give out your bank details.
3. If you’re buying, make sure you set the location to something you’re willing to travel to. The last thing you want is to commit to picking up a hairdryer that’s a three-hour drive away!
Facebook Marketplace only launched a few years ago but it’s taken the secondhand-selling world by storm. Like Gumtree, it’s location-based (unless you’re willing to travel across the country), 100% free to list as many items as you like, and you have to meet the buyer/seller to exchange the goods.
As a seller Marketplace is pretty good; if you’re putting something decent up it’ll probably get snapped up in no time. If you’re a buyer though, be prepared for a bit of disappointment - it’s a competitive, first come first served place!
A lot of people try and haggle on Facebook Marketplace, so, to allow a bit of bargaining room, it might be worth putting your item(s) up at a higher price than you’re expecting to receive.
Like eBay, Amazon comes with a price tag. But it also boasts the same audience-boosting benefits.
If you’re looking to sell a little (less than 35 items a month) you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription fee, but you do have to pay 75p plus 15% of the final price for each item you sell. If you’d be selling 35+ items a month you have to take out a monthly subscription which costs £25 (excl. VAT).
This one’s arguably the easiest of them all. Simply download the Depop app, take a picture of whatever it is you’re selling, set your price, and invite buyers to make you an offer. That’s all there is to it.
There is one snag though…Depop takes 10% of all your sales.
So, which is best?
If you don’t want to be robbed of your earnings, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are your most cost-effective options, because you get to keep every penny of what you make.
However, if you want a broader UK-wide or even international reach, or if you’re selling for business purposes, the likes of eBay and Amazon are likely your better bets.
The answer really depends on what you’re selling, how often you plan on selling, and who your target market is. If you’re not sure which is best for you, why not do a bit of trial and error and see which site makes you the most money?
And remember, although some of them charge you a fee, if you’re able to sell your items at a higher price this might outweigh any losses and still make it the most profitable platform.
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