Selling clothes and other gently used items online sounds like an easy way to make money from home, right? Well, selling your stuff online is actually not as easy as it appears, according to organizing expert Peter Walsh. It can be time-consuming, and items are rarely worth as much as you think they are, he says. If you do want to sell online, here's everything you need to know ahead of time — including how to photograph your items — so you have the best chance at making money.
Tips For Selling Your Unwanted Stuff Online
Before you begin, you should check out similar items online to determine the approximate value of your item. Remember, the potential sale should be worth the time it will take to photograph, post and monitor the item, then package and mail it out once it sells, Peter says.
If you decide it is worth selling the item online, you have several options. A lot of people like to use social media marketplaces to sell items locally, but Peter prefers using a site or app that avoids face to face interaction with the buyer (especially in the time of Covid). If you do decide to meet your buyer in person, he advises going to a safe and neutral location.
For selling unwanted stuff online without in-person interaction, here are two sites that the decluttering pro recommends:
Best Sites & Apps For Selling Stuff Online
Best Site For Selling Media + Tech Items Online: decluttr.com
"If you have DVDs, CDs or textbooks, you simply type in the barcode and they will send you a valuation. If you have a smartphone, type in the make and model and they will send you a valuation. Even LEGOs — weigh them, and they will send you a valuation," Peter says. "People still buy those items."
If you accept the valuation, decluttr will send you a prepaid shipping label. "You pack it up, you send it to them, they will send you a check," Peter explains.
Best Site/App For Selling Clothes + Accessories Online: Poshmark.com
You take photos of your item, create your own listing and post. Once your item sells, Poshmark sends you a prepaid, addressed shipping label to print out. Package up the item and put it in the mail, and Poshmark sends you a check. "Clutter straight out the door," Peter says.
Tips For Photographing Items You're Selling Online
A good tip for selling on Poshmark or any site where you take photos of the item is to ensure your photo shows everything potential buyers need to know about the item, Peter says. For the main photo, he suggests putting the item against a clean background to make sure it's the focus of the photo. For a second photo, you can also add in another item to reference the size of your item. "You want to give the buyer all of the information they may need so they feel confident that they know what they are purchasing."
"You need to be meticulously honest, because the truth is, if people get something and there's a mark or a scrape on it, they'll simply send it back to you," the pro says.
When In Doubt, Donate Items + Get The Tax Deduction Instead
When it comes down to it, while "found" money is great, if items are seriously cluttering up your home it might be better (and less time-consuming) to just donate them.
"Remember the three Ds," Peter says. "Write on the box the date by which you're going to sell it (a deadline). If by that date you haven't done it, donate it and get the tax deduction."