How to get the most out of your unloved goods. It's time to say bye.

By Natasha Culzac
4

Make some extra cash by flogging your unused goods online. Not sure where to start? Read our beginner's guide.

If your funds have depleted to depths not frequented by even deep sea creatures, then perhaps you can claw some money together by selling your unwanted clothes, furniture, games and books.

If the prospect of sifting through your wardrobe and slogging out descriptions for each item fills you with dread, just think of the dollar.

We’ve pulled together a short guide for anyone thinking of selling their wares online, including which websites may work best for you and how you can maximise your sales.

What can I sell?

Look around the room you’re in now. Then open a cupboard or look under the bed and see all the unused stuff you haven’t handled in years. What would you be happy to see the back of?

Here’s some ideas on what might earn you some money:

Clothing. Whether it’s for children or adults, clothes are always a good bet particularly if they’re specialised - perhaps a uniform or for someone with a particular need such as extra-long jeans. Unworn clothing with the tags still attached will fetch more money, as do items from upmarket brands. Don’t expect a Primark top to go for megabucks.

Toys. For the young and the old. Expect any toys/figurines still in their packaging to go for more.

Baby goods. Not planning on having a second child? Your first now past toddler age? Offload any unused baby goods to expecting parents looking for a bargain.

House furniture. Bedside cabinets, book shelves, dressing tables, the lot! Anything vintage-looking or of decent quality should sell well. However, be prepared to list it on more than one website because eBay is great for things that can be posted, but larger items should also be advertised in your local press or on local Facebook groups so that buyers can collect.

Books. Again, well maintained specialist books or those from a small print run will sell better than popular bestsellers that can be found in charity shops and boot sales the land over.

Electronics. Anything from old mobile phones to hair straighteners and radio clocks. You’ll be surprised how much an old Nokia 3210 is going for these days!

Entertainment. DVDs and CDs will only go for a few quid each, if that. Be realistic. Vinyl, especially if it’s rare, will go for more.

Jewellery. Think gemstone, diamond, gold or antique. If you have a beautifully unique piece of jewellery that you don’t mind saying goodbye to, it could fetch a pretty penny. eBay has a good jewellery-selling guide here.

Wedding stuff. Do you honestly still need your wedding dress? Could another couple use the table decorations you spent hours painstakingly creating?

eBay has a list of the things you’re prohibited from selling, such as prescription drugs or weapons.

What websites should I use?

For much of what you want to sell eBay is obviously the biggest website with the widest reach. It’s fairly easy to use and the cost to list your items is small, if not sometimes free. It’s generally accepted that doing the following will massively help your sales:

Offering free P&P (this is only be feasible if your item is costly - it obviously won’t work for a DVD as it’d negate any tiny income you got).

Great photos and a gallery. Take good quality photos in nice lighting with a neutral background. Nobody wants to see your cluttered living room in the background. Try to also take a few photos showing different angles of the item.

No reserve. The only time a reserve price is worthwhile is if you have a pricey item and you’re worried about low interest or it going for bottom dollar.

Low starting price. Let the market push the price up. Starting at 0.99p is usually a good place for second-hand wares.

Use as many keywords as possible in your description. You can also use terms like “leather-effect” for example if it’s a PVC skirt. If you’re selling a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses, try adding in the words ‘vintage’ and ‘retro’ into your listing title. Double-check for spelling errors and give an honest description of the item you’re selling - it will make buyers trust the listing more.

Accept PayPal. Buyers want the safety net that PayPal provides. Without it, you’ll struggle.

Respond to buyers’ questions promptly. Keep on top of your emails and make sure you alert buyers with the automated ‘your item has been despatched’ email when you’ve posted it. This will reflect well in the feedback you get from them.

Schedule your listing to end between 6-9pm on a Sunday night - that is generally considered to be the best time for your listing to close. People are at home browsing online and are more inclined to get into a bidding war at that time than, obviously, at 4am on a Wednesday morning. If you’re going to do a ‘Buy It Now’ listing, then have it start on the weekend when people are most likely to be shopping online.

But remember, you are not confined to eBay!

 

Here are some other websites where you can sell unwanted goods:

Clothing

Buy and sell second-hand clothes for the UK market on websites such as Vinted or, for high-end items, BuyMyWardrobe.

 

Everything else

Don’t forget to double-check for any Facebook groups in your area. For example, the ‘For Sale in Battle, Hastings & St Leonards’ group has over 25,000 members and you can list for free!

Gumtree is great for city dwellers in the UK wanting to get rid of large items like TVs and sofas to local people without paying listing fees. Preloved has a similar set up.

Amazon lets the public sell on its marketplace, which can mean an amazingly large potential audience.

Top Takeaway

Need some extra sterling? It’s easy to make a bit of cash out of your unwanted goods. You’ll have to keep on top of your enquiries and sales, making sure you can get to the post office promptly to keep your buyers (and your rating) happy!

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