Purging your home of that coat you haven’t worn in years, those books you’ll never read, or the food processor that’s still in the box can be a cathartic experience. But it can also translate to a bag of junk and a new item on your to-do list that reads, “sell stuff.”
Selling your unwanted items can be time-consuming and not always worth it, depending on the articles.
However, if you sell them on the right platform at the right time, you can make money, says Byron Binkley, founder of Saddle, a service that will sell your used items for you on marketplaces like Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook. “If people can take the time and really work through the friction needed to sell stuff, they should do it sooner rather than later,” he says.
This is where you can get the most money for your clothes, household items, small appliances, and tech equipment.
Laptops and other technologies
Selling tech items in early spring is smart, Binkley says.
“Now is a great time to unload gadgets and electronics that may have been replaced in the last six months over the holiday season,” he says. “They depreciate quickly. That value vanishes into the ether.”
Even if the gadget you want to sell is a bit older, you can probably still sell it for a decent price, he adds. “Overall, the value [of old tech gear] goes beyond what people think,” Binkley says. “People think a four-year-old laptop or iPhone isn’t worth it. [to sell], but he is. They should definitely sell them.”
Listing them yourself will bring in the most money, agrees Kristin McGrath, shopping expert for RetailMeNot.
Keep in mind that there are still fees. Fees on eBay vary by category and final price: For laptops, you need ten% plus 30 cents per order. Mercari also has a fee, usually around 10%, depending on the item and payment method.
If you don’t want to take the time to do this, you can use take-back programs. “Amazon, Apple, Samsung and Best Buy all have take-back programs aimed at recycling and saving money on your next tech purchase,” she says.
Before selling a tech item, remember to wipe your data, she adds. “For any technology item you plan to sell, you should erase from the hard drive any data or personal information that may still be on the device, as well as disconnect from any location sharing and social media applications,” she says.
Plates or cutlery you purchased Target or Macy’s probably aren’t worth much, but you can try getting a few bucks for them on Facebook Marketplace, Binkley says.
“Those items you would see at a yard sale — an old toaster or a set of Ikea plates,” he says. “You might want to do a yard sale or something or if you wanted to post them on the Facebook market.”
Some of the things could end up in goodwill though. “If you have something you paid $30 for at Target, it’s probably not worth that much,” he says.
If it’s something that’s a bit more expensive or rare, like hand-painted porcelain, you can try selling it on eBay.
If you have high-end clothes or accessories, you might be tempted to sell them on Poshmark or The RealReal. But these sites take deep cuts from the profits of higher priced items.
Let’s say you sell a vintage Chanel bag for $1,500. posh mark takes a 20% discount on any item over $80, which means you would lose $300 selling on their platform. The real real takes 30% off handbags between $995 and $4,994, which means you would lose $450.
However, many luxury items have mass appeal and you don’t need these platforms to find buyers who will be willing to pay for them. That’s why it’s best to use a general e-commerce marketplace, Binkley says.
“If you look at the higher-value designer items, those often sell just as well on sites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace” as they do on sites like Poshmark and The RealReal, he says.
Facebook Marketplace has a commission of 5% of the sale price, with a minimum of 40 cents. (It’s waiving that fee for small businesses until June 30, 2022.) For clothing, eBay takes 9-15% of the order, plus 30 cents.
If you sell mall brand name clothing, a local consignment store or Plato’s closet makes more sense.
“For regular clothes, like an Ann Taylor blouse, or if someone is trying to clean out their closet and has 20 items, usually a local consignment store is a good option,” he says. “They’re going to take a huge chunk of the profits, but that’s what it is. For the mix of convenience and making money off your stuff instead of giving it to Goodwill, it might make sense to do that. .”
Plato’s closet will sell items for 60%-70% of the original retail price and give sellers a third of that price. Consignment-sale online ThredUp takes between 20% and 97%, depending on the selling price of the item.
Affordable small appliances sell well, says Binkley. But depending on the price of the items, you don’t want to incur shipping costs.
“There’s always a $20-$50 microwave market, but you’ll almost never list one on a site like eBay, because the cost to package it up and ship it somewhere is twice the cost of the article,” he said. “This category of items must be sold locally.”
List it on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist and specify that you need a buyer to pick it up. The same goes for a lawn mower, a kid’s bike, and other small items that have good resale value but are expensive to ship.
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