With spring in full swing, it's natural to start thinking about cleaning up and cleaning out after a long winter. We might automatically think yard sale, garage sale, tag sale or whatever it is called in your neck of the woods. But at the same time, we groan over the amount of work that is involved in putting together a clean, well-organized, sale.
Instead, let's take a look at an alternative. Yup, you guessed it, we're talking about selling your unwanted, unused, or no longer needed items, online. There are a few ways you can go about doing that. There's eBay, of course, and Craigslist but something else that's been popping up around the country is the local online yard sale sites. Many communities now have an online yard sale groups. A yard sale group is a cross between a yard sale and Craigslist. Many of the groups are closed groups, meaning you have to be approved by the group administrator to join. Just Google “online yard sales” along with the name of your city or community and you're bound to come up with at least one site to check out. Many communities are now hosting online yard sales on Facebook.
Get ready to sell
Getting ready for an online sale is similar to the real thing with one big difference, no dragging everything outside. Although you can scour the whole house for things to sell and gather them all together at one time, the beauty of an online sale is that you can do just a little at a time. For example, go through your kitchen to put a group of kitchen items together to sell. Or maybe you want to start with toys, games, kids' clothes and the like. Getting like items together gives you the option of selling them individually or as a complete group.
Next up is taking pictures of your stuff. Use a simple light colored background to make dark colored items show up clearly and a plain dark colored background for light items. A large piece of material or sheet works nicely. You want to make each item look as appealing as possible.
If you have similar items that you are selling separately, you may want to number them for better tracking. You can place an index card with a number on it next to the item when you take your pictures. This will cut down on the probability of selling the wrong item to the wrong customer.
Set your prices
When it comes to pricing, do your homework. Check eBay and Craigslist to see what others are selling the same or similar items for. You can't necessarily go by what someone else is ASKING for their stuff, you need to see what things have SOLD for.
Once you've taken your photos and decided on prices, start listing. Begin with a good title. This is key to attracting buyers. Then add as many details as you can about each item. Size, condition, the age if applicable, and naturally the prices are important details to buyers. When it comes to listing your items, be honest about condition. If something needs a little repair, disclose that information in your listing. This will not only help you build a good reputation but it also increases your chances of repeat buyers. It's not uncommon, especially in yard sale groups, to have the same person buy from you more than once.
A word of advice
Online sellers need to beware of giving out personal information aside from your email address or phone number. If you're open to receiving texts, then let your buyers know that they can also text you. Make arrangements to meet your buyer in a public location that you are comfortable with when dealing with a stranger. Women especially should have someone else with them at the exchange or when a buyer needs to come to your house to pick up a large item. Ask your buyers to pay you the exact amount of cash so you don't need to make change.
Whether you want to sell just a few things or a lot, try the online yard sale. You may be surprised at how much more you can make by selling online as opposed to onsite. So how much can you make? That depends on how much you want to get rid of. I know sellers who have made as much as $1000 in a month. You could become one of them.