Selling your stuff online is a great way to turn your unused items into cash, but how do you maximize your sales? First, you need to determine which platform you’re going to use. Since eBay and Kijiji are two of the largest online marketplaces, we’re going to focus on them.
Each site has their pros and cons, but regardless of which one you choose, you’ll want to know how to make a successful sale. Here are the tips you should follow for each platform.
Selling on eBay
The most appealing aspect of eBay is the fact that it’s a global marketplace. When you’re looking for a specific item to purchase, there’s a very good chance that it’ll be available on eBay. And seeing as how the platform has 169 million active buyers, you have a fairly high chance of encountering someone interested in your items, if you use it to your best advantage.
Here’s what you need to know about selling on eBay:
Don’t stress about fees—Generally speaking, listing items on eBay are free (at least for the first 50 listings in a month). However, you do need to pay a fee if your items are sold. As for taxes, you report the income if you sold the item for more than what you paid for it. Charging GST/HST would only apply if you’re registered, which only becomes mandatory when you make $30,000 in profit in a year.
Getting your items listed—eBay walks you through the listing process so you shouldn’t have any issues putting your stuff up for sale. Some of the most popular categories on eBay include fashion, home & garden, electronics, auto parts & accessories, and collectibles, so you might be sitting on a gold mine at home. Although the auction option is still popular, more than 80% of items on eBay are sold at a fixed price so research how much your stuff is worth by looking up similar items on eBay and other second-hand retail sites, then list it.
Shipping your items— When listing your shipping prices, don’t forget to factor in the cost of materials. That being said, offering free shipping or flat fee shipping may attract more buyers. It’s a good idea to ship your items as soon as you can to ensure you meet your expected delivery date. You’ll also want to make sure to pack your item carefully so it arrives in good condition.
Get paid— The casual seller may not be set up to take credit card payments, but it’s easy to setup a PayPal account to receive funds. Note that PayPal does charge a fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 USD of the amount you receive. Despite these fees, PayPal is the quickest way for you to get paid.
Selling on Kijiji
Kijiji is essentially one giant classifieds site with more than 100 local sites across Canada. Since transactions usually occur in person, you don’t need to worry about shipping costs which means you can sell larger items such as furniture and leisure items.
As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure so it’s no surprise that the 2017 Kijiji Second-Hand Economy Index reported that active sellers on average made more than $1,000 last year. Before putting all your stuff for sale online, consider the following so your experience is enjoyable.
Make your pictures perfect—Okay, getting the perfect picture may be tough, but you want to make sure you’re using quality photos. Buyers want to see exactly what they’re buying so take multiple pictures from various angles in the best environment possible. You’ll also want to do some prep work before taking the photos such as dusting and lighting your goods for sale. This advice applies to eBay as well.
Be as accurate as possible—If you can make your description as detailed as possible, you’ll likely attract more buyers. People will want to know things such as the exact dimensions, the weight, if there’s any damage, etc. By having this information available, buyers won’t need to email you for more details and you also boost your credibility by being upfront.
The price is right—If priced correctly, you can sell anything. Start by looking up similar listings to see what you can get for your goods. It’s always worth padding your selling price a little since many people will try to haggle you down. That being said, if you want to make a quick sale, you can price your item low in hopes of getting an offer fast.
Consider your safety—It’s always a good idea to meet in a public space since it creates a sense of safety for both buyers and sellers. If the buyer only wants to meet at night, you can simply say no and move on to the next offer. In the event that you need to have the seller come to your home, have someone at home with you so you’re never alone.
The final word
Where you sell your stuff online really comes down to convenience and maximizing your return. If you’re selling larger items, then it makes sense to use Kijiji. However, if you’re selling a collectible, eBay is a great resource since you’ll have access to more buyers. The second hand economy is thriving and with these tips, you’ll hopefully be able to cash in.
Barry Choi is a personal finance and budget travel expert at Moneywehave.com
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