April 12, 2023

How to Sell Absolutely Anything Online

There are many reasons you might be thinking about selling your unwanted stuff online. You might be cleaning the clutter out of your home and find some collectibles that you think could be valuable. Or, maybe you’ve upgraded an appliance or gadget, but your old one still works perfectly. Why not pass it on to someone else who can use it, while earning a few bucks at the same time? 

Making some profit from your gently used stuff certainly sounds appealing, but how do you go about it? What marketplaces should you list it on? What should your asking price be? These tricky questions, coupled with the time investment usually required to monitor listings, answer questions, negotiate with buyers, and arrange meetups or shipping, lead many people to believe that reselling isn’t worth the hassle. 

While it can be time-consuming and a bit stressful (depending on how you go about it), selling your unwanted stuff online is a great way to get rid of your gently used stuff, knowing you’re passing it on to someone else who will actually use it, and make a little cash at the same time. 

We’ve created this guide to help you do just that: sell absolutely anything online. We’ll discuss: 

Read on to learn how you can start selling absolutely anything online with minimal hassle. 

Why Sell Your Unwanted Stuff Online?

You could store your unwanted stuff in your house, attic, garage, or a rented storage unit, but then it’s just taking up space and not being used. Chances are there’s someone out there who really needs or wants your unwanted stuff, whether it’s a vinyl record, stand mixer, baseball card, a set of collectible items you accumulated over the years, gently worn clothing, your old video game console, or just about anything else you can think of. It always feels good to know that the stuff you no longer want is meeting a need or bringing joy, and you’ll reduce the clutter in your home at the same time.  

You can also make a profit selling your unwanted stuff online. For instance, if you’re upgrading an item, selling your old version can help offset the cost of the upgrade. It can also provide much-needed pocket change or help you pay off a bill or a credit card. You could make up to hundreds of dollars in profit, or even more, for a high-value item or sought-after collectible. 

What Can You Sell Online? 

You can sell just about anything online these days, aside from the obvious exceptions: 

  • Firearms or weapons (unless you’re listing these on a special-purpose marketplace) 
  • Adult or explicit items 
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Prescription medications
  • Pets
  • Unusable items 
  • Illegal items 

So what can you sell online? Some of the most common categories include: 

Is Your Item Worth Selling?

Before you list your items on an online marketplace or start working with a selling partner like Sella, you should first determine if your item is worth selling — not everything is. It’s not always black and white, either. 

For example, if you’re selling an appliance or electronic gadget that doesn’t work but can be fixed, you might be able to sell it, but you’ll need to explain what’s wrong with it and clarify in your listing description that the item is currently in non-working condition and requiring repairs. These types of items can and do sell, but it will probably take more time because you’re looking for a specific type of buyer: someone with the know-how and desire to fix it. 

So how do you decide if an item is worth selling? There are a few considerations.  

  1. Are similar items listed on online marketplaces? If the same or similar items are listed (and being sold), yours probably will, too. 
  2. How many similar items are listed on online marketplaces? If there are hundreds of similar items listed on online marketplaces that aren’t selling, it could indicate that there’s currently not enough demand for that type of item. 
  3. Is your item unique? If the question above applies but there’s something unique about your item that will make it stand out, it’s probably worth selling. 
  4. What is the value of the item? It may not make sense to sell an item worth only a dollar or two, especially if the shipping costs will exceed the cost of the item. (We’ll discuss more about how to set your asking price later in this guide.) 
  5. Can you make a profit? If the selling prices of similar items are so low that you wouldn’t be able to cover listing fees, shipping materials, or other expenses, it doesn’t make sense to sell it. 
  6. Is there demand for your item? Look at resources like Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner to find out if people are searching for keywords relevant to your item. You’ll also want to scan the sold items on marketplaces like eBay to determine if similar items are selling fast, or if the listings are months old. 
  7. Is it seasonal? Some items are in higher demand during certain times of the year. For example, there’s typically more demand for holiday decor in the fall and winter months. In this case, you might consider waiting until a prime selling season to list your item. 

How much can you charge when you sell unwanted stuff online? 

There are several factors that can impact how much you can sell your unwanted stuff for online. The same considerations that can help you determine if your item is worth selling can also help you decide how much you can sell it for

  • Supply and demand: Supply (similar items listed for sale/available in the market) and demand (how many buyers are looking for such an item) can heavily influence what buyers are willing to pay. 
  • Seasonal items: If you’re trying to sell a seasonal item during off-peak season, buyers may not be willing to pay as much as they would in peak season. Likewise, if you’re selling a sought-after item right when most buyers are looking for that type of item, buyers may be willing to pay a higher price. 
  • Condition: The condition of an item plays a major role in how much you can sell it for. If you’re selling a gadget that is in need of a minor repair, you can expect to sell it for less than a fully functional one. If your vintage items and collectibles are in good condition compared to similar items, they may sell for substantially higher prices.

Learn how much you can sell popular items for by visiting these articles: 

How to Set the Best Asking Price

Your asking price should be comparable to what similar items are selling for on marketplaces like eBay, taking into consideration current supply and demand, seasonality, and the item’s condition. 

Look at the sold items on eBay and Facebook Marketplace to find out what similar items are selling for. You’ll also want to consider your listing and sales fees, potential packaging and shipping costs, and your time investment, when setting your asking price. If you’re listing your item on eBay, an eBay fees calculator is a handy tool. 

In general, you don’t want to have the highest-priced item in the product category, but you do want to cover your costs and also leave a little room for negotiation.

For a vintage item, collectible, or high-value item, you might want to consider having it appraised, especially if there are very few similar items listed on online marketplaces, or none listed at all. You can then highlight the appraisal value in your listing description and include the appraisal report. You can find an appraiser in your area, or use an online resource for getting a valuation of your vintage or collectible items: Value My Stuff, for instance, offers expert appraisals in 24 to 48 hours, starting at $28 per appraisal. If you have a number of collectibles to sell, WorthPoint is an online service that charges a monthly fee for access to their antique and collectible valuations data. 

In addition to your asking price, you should also have a walk-away price in mind. Your walk-away price is the absolute minimum you’re willing to sell the item for. That amount may be the minimum required to cover your fees, or a price that still leaves you with some profit. 

Where are the Best Places to Sell Your Unwanted Stuff Online? 

There are dozens of online marketplaces you can use to sell your unwanted stuff online. Some are general, such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace, where you can list just about anything. Some specialize in certain types of items but still allow other things to be sold on the platform, and still others are strictly limited to a specific type of item. Note that some online marketplaces change their fees often, so selling fees, listing fees, shipping fees, and payment processing fees are subject to change. Here’s a look at the best places to sell your unwanted stuff online: 

  • Facebook Marketplace: Facebook Marketplace is a general-purpose marketplace. It’s a great place to sell most types of items, and it’s particularly useful if you’re selling something that can’t be shipped, because it’s easy to reach local buyers. Facebook Marketplace’s selling fee is 5% of the total amount paid by your buyer (including shipping costs). For sales that are $8.00 or less, a flat fee of $0.40 applies. Facebook automatically deducts their fee from your payout. 
  • eBay: Another general marketplace where you can sell just about anything, eBay is one of the original online marketplaces. You can use an eBay fees calculator to calculate your fees and determine your profit easily. There are 138 million active eBay users worldwide (most based in the U.S.), and the platform made $9.7 billion in revenue in 2022. It’s a great marketplace for reaching a massive audience of potential buyers. 
  • Craigslist: With listings pages for specific areas, Craigslist is a great place to sell items locally; for example, furniture or vehicles that can’t be shipped. As of March 2022, 250 million internet users visit Craigslist monthly. In most cases, there are no fees for selling on Craigslist unless you’re selling a vehicle, real estate, or service, or are advertising an apartment rental or job opportunity. Get an up-to-date list of what categories Craigslist charges fees for here
  • Mercari: As of 2022, Mercari had 20 million monthly active users, and 350,000 items are listed on the platform every day. It’s a popular marketplace for selling gently used brand-name clothing, but you can sell almost anything on Mercari if it can ship. Check out the brands you can list on Mercari here. There are no listing fees; Mercari takes a percentage of the sale when your item sells. Fees vary depending on the type of item, but in general, Mercari takes about 10% of the selling price and charges a payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.50 on the total amount received from the buyer. 
  • Poshmark: Poshmark is best known as a marketplace for new or gently used fashion, although you can also sell housewares, electronics, and beauty and wellness products on the platform. Poshmark has 80 million registered users and more than 200 million items for sale across the U.S., Canada, and Australia. 
  • OfferUp: The OfferUp app is available exclusively in the United States and has been downloaded 90 million times. One of the newer online marketplaces (founded in 2011), it’s still one of the largest in the U.S. OfferUp has more than 20 million active monthly users as of 2021We . You can sell just about anything on OfferUp, and there are no listing fees. A service fee of either $1.99 or 12.9% of the item’s price applies to every item you sell and ship in the U.S.

There are many other online marketplaces, but these are among the most established, trustworthy, and actively used, meaning you have a better chance of reaching the right buyer. 

Learn more about the best places to sell popular items online by visiting these articles: 

Best Practices for Selling Absolutely Anything Online

Follow these best practices to sell absolutely anything online for a profit. 

  • Set the right asking price: Use the tips discussed earlier in this guide to set the right asking price for your item. Too high and you’ll turn potential buyers away; too low and buyers may think your item is of lesser quality or value than similar items. 
  • Take professional photos: While you don’t need a professional photo studio to photograph your item, you do want to take high-quality photos that showcase all the important details, such as defects or imperfections, as well as unique or special features that add to the item’s value. Choosing an area with good lighting, having a pleasing backdrop, and getting the angles right will go a long way in taking photos that showcase your item in the best light. You can even take great photos using your smartphone
  • Write a catchy listing title: Your listing title should be descriptive, include relevant keywords, and grab attention. Don’t make it too long — do use the space available as needed, but try to keep your title within the limits of what the platform will easily display. If buyers have to click through to your listing page to read the full title, many buyers will scroll past. 
  • Write a crafty listing description: You want to convey all the necessary information in a clear and concise way in your listing description. Avoid using walls of text (never-ending paragraphs); instead, make your description easy to read and scan by using bullet points, short sentences, and headings that separate sections discussing different aspects of your item (such as shipping, professional valuations, etc.). Make sure you include relevant keywords to ensure your listing comes up in the right searches. 
  • List on the right marketplaces: List your item on marketplaces that have a large audience and are regularly used to sell items similar to yours.
  • Actively monitor your listings: Don’t list it and forget it; selling your unwanted stuff online requires actively monitoring your listings to answer potential buyers’ questions, negotiate the selling price, and arrange shipping or a meetup. Keep an eye on how much attention your listing is getting (how many people have looked at it, how many questions you’re receiving, etc.) to determine if it’s time to lower your asking price.

Sell Anything Online with Ease with Sella

If you want to avoid the hassle and leverage the expertise of an experienced reseller, partnering with a selling partner like Sella makes selling your unwanted stuff online simple. Plus, you keep 90% of the profit from the sale. 

Our experts handle all the details and hard work, like prepping your item for sale, taking high-quality photos, creating compelling listings, monitoring your listings, and even negotiating with buyers and arranging meetups or shipping. Learn more about how Sella makes selling your stuff easy and get started selling your stuff now.