How to Sell Things Online: Your Guide to Downsizing for a Move
When you’re preparing to move to a new home it’s smart to start packing for your move day sooner rather than later. It’s at the top of the list with planning a budget for your move and creating an inventory list for your home.
If you’ve taken an inventory and have decided you want to downsize before you move, you may be able to sell items that are still in good condition.
Selling things online is a convenient option, and there is a wide variety of online marketplaces, auction sites, and apps available based on what you’re looking to sell. Each site’s benefits and drawbacks will vary based on the goals you have for selling. If you’re looking to sell quickly, for example, a highly trafficked site with higher fees might be more convenient. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, taking time to look into smaller sites may be your best bet.
With so many to consider, let’s go over some pros and cons of some popular options.
Selling through online auction sites
Selling online is convenient and allows you to reach a wider potential customer base, but keep in mind that you’ll likely be required to purchase a selling plan for whichever site you use and possibly pay a fee on each sale. A big plus, however, is that you don’t have to meet your buyer in person, which can be a potential safety issue.
Amazon has become one of the largest online marketplaces since it was founded back in 1994, and you can sell pretty much anything on their site. However, certain categories may require you to get Amazon approval or upgrade your selling plan.
In a standard Amazon selling plan, you’ll pay $0.99 to Amazon for each item you sell, including a referral fee which is a percentage of the item’s final selling price (usually 8-20%). Media items also require a closing fee of $1.80 — this includes books, movies, CDs, etc.
The Amazon professional plan is a flat fee of $39.99 a month in lieu of the $0.99 per item fee. This plan is ideal if you plan to sell more than 40 items in a month, but if you’re only looking to sell a few things, the standard plan is your best bet.
Yes, eBay is definitely still around and still one of the most visited online auction sites. The selling plan structure is a little more simple, with eBay taking 10% of the final sale on most items. If you post more than 50 items for sale in a month, eBay may start charging an additional $0.30 an item.
eBid is similar to eBay, but it is based out of the UK. eBid takes 3% of the final selling price of your item, that doesn’t include shipping costs. Similar to Amazon and eBay, you can upgrade your seller account for a monthly or weekly cost and eliminate the percentage they take out of your sale.
Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade goods or vintage items. You pay $0.20 to list an item, and then pay a 5% fee on the final sale price. You’re also required to use Etsy payments, which charges 3% plus an additional $0.25 to process. Etsy is also a fairly specific marketplace for homemade items, so for general household items you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Bonanza has a similar setup to Amazon and eBay, but they also offer to advertise your post on the web for a higher percentage fee of your final selling price. However, their pricing structure is a little more complicated.
Bonanza charges a 3.5% fee based on the final sale price of your listed item, and they also charge on any shipping costs over $10. For example, if you sold an item for $50 and it shipped for $12, they would charge you 3.5% on a total of $52 (roughly $1.82). If you sell something for $500 or more, you pay 3.5% on the first $500 and then an additional 1.5% on any amount over $500.
Selling through online apps and marketplaces
If maximizing your profit is a priority, local online marketplaces are a great option because they don’t take a cut of your sales. However, you are responsible for handling all the arrangements including meeting up with your buyer. Also, if a buyer flakes, you’re out of luck.
Everyone has heard of Craigslist, and the site has continued to prove its handiness over the past 25 years. Posting items for sale is free, and it’s as simple as selecting “post to classifieds” and answering a few questions.
Facebook marketplace is relatively new, and some view it as a simpler version of Craigslist. You can find everything from apartment listings, to cars for sale, and even house plants. To sell an item, you simply select “sell” on the marketplace page, select the category it falls under, add photos and a description, and you’re all set.
Nextdoor is an online community for your neighborhood to share news and updates. It’s also a free platform for buying and selling items such as clothing, electronics, furniture, and more. This is a better option for those who don’t want to meet up with strangers to handle transactions because you can find out more about who you are dealing with.
LetGo is a new, unique app that has been referred to as “the startup world’s newest unicorn.” It’s a free app that allows you to upload both videos and photos of items for sale. It then uses technology to tag your items and post them based on your location. You can even chat with potential buyers through the app.
Selling locally is cheaper and more convenient if you’re not interested in jumping through hoops to sell your stuff. On 5miles, your listings are only available to those within five miles of you. The site even offers safe location suggestions for meeting up with your customer.
OfferUp is an app that combines features of Craigslist and eBay with a local focus. It’s also incredibly user-friendly — you can chat with potential buyers, negotiate prices, and everyone who uses the app has a profile and reviews. Lastly, it doesn’t charge a fee to sellers or shoppers.
Check off the next item on your move list
Now that you’ve managed to sell what you no longer need, what’s next? Make your moving experience even easier!
Book your move with a full-service moving company and check two items off your move list — moving day services and stress-free moving. AAA Movers has been delivering excellent service to Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond for over 50 years. Give our certified professional movers a call today or get your free online moving quote.