How to sell online – making quick cash through online selling

There are a million reasons why you might want to start selling your unwanted stuff online. Whether you need some quick cash or you simply want to do something ethical with your old things – so you can feel better about buying new things – we have some great tips and tricks to help you sell online without too much hassle.

Can you make cash when you sell online?

Well, yes! The amount of money you can make selling your unwanted personal possessions, does, of course, depend on what you have to sell. If you’ve been sitting on a pretty recent iPhone, several designer handbags and your grandma’s gold jewellery, you could make hundreds or even thousands of pounds selling online.

However, if, like most of us, it’s more a case of wanting to declutter and sell on some clothing, some older tech or even books and DVDs or vinyl records, you could still make enough to subsidise your income or treat yourself to some nights out. 

Can you start selling online instead of borrowing?

Many of our customers here at Moneyboat, look to our quick loans to bridge the gap to payday when an unexpected bill turns up or their car breaks down. While payday loans will help you to meet these costs, selling unwanted goods online will also help to boost your bank balance over the short-term.  

Borrowing money always has a cost involved. Short-term lenders have to charge a maximum of 0.8% per day in interest, but these costs can mount up quickly. If you have items at home that you think others may want to buy, selling online has never been easier or quicker. You could have money in your account within a day or two if you get listing right away!

What products can you sell online?

When it comes to selling your unwanted belongings online, quality always sells best. Second to quality, come rarity and popularity. Here’s our list of the kinds of items you might want to think about selling online: 

Selling clothes online

Unworn items of clothing you purchased recently from a reputable retailer should sell, but those you bought from a higher-end clothing store will be even easier to sell online. Clothing from designer brands and high-end high street retailers are always popular and the better condition your clothing is in, the better. If you’ve bought a super popular dress that’s sold out from this season, it could even sell for even more than you paid for it!

Selling books online

Books have always sold well online because people are comfortable parting with their cash without seeing books in person. I mean, a book’s a book, right? 

Any book may sell, but books from popular series, are always in demand and books by well-known authors are of course more likely to sell online than obscure titles. Books from the best-sellers lists, such those published by Waterstones, Amazon UK and the Sunday Times, should be quick and easy to pass on and may even fetch close to the price you paid new. 

Selling electricals and tech

Selling your old smartphone and smaller electrical devices when you’re done with them is a no-brainer and you may be surprised how much they could fetch. It’s also an ethical choice as it makes sure your phone, tablet, smartphone or console gets reconditioned and back into the hands of someone who needs them, rather than simply thrown into landfill. 

Selling jewellery online

Fine jewellery, such as gold, silver and gemstones, as well as some designer costume jewellery, retains its value very well, so selling these items can help you generate some serious cash. With the knowledge that there is a finite amount of gold on the Earth, it’s easy to see why this is the case. Gold is never really ‘new’ and never tarnishes. This is why many people actually prefer wearing vintage or antique jewellery, which is a much more sustainable choice than mining yet more gold and gems.

Selling toys, household items and general bric-a-brac online

These items can sell well, but condition is everything. Don’t try to sell worn-out items that are dirty, discoloured, broken or missing elements. Instead, focus on useful, or decorative items that are in tip-top condition, or better still, have never been used. But for larger items, remember to charge the right amount to cover the costs of postage and packing.

What’s the best online selling platform?

If you wanted to sell online, there used to be just a handful of choices, but now there are sites and apps galore to help you find the right market for your items. Here are some of our top choices:

Sell on eBay

It’s an oldie, but a goodie. eBay is still one of the best ways to sell online. Fees are relatively fair and you only pay when you actually sell your item, which means you can get your belongings listed with no upfront costs at all. 

eBay has an intuitive, easy-to-use listing interface with tons of options to make sure your item is correctly described and listed in the right section. You can choose when to start your auction, how long the auction will last, what price you want to start at and even set a minimum price if you like. 

Alternatively, you can bypass the auction approach and opt for a ‘buy it now’ sale, where you name your price and sell in a more traditional way. However, we would recommend allowing buyers to make you an offer, which can attract more customers to your items and still bring in the cash.

The eBay app makes listing even easier and there are additional tools, such as photo editors, to help make your listings ‘pop’.

Sell through product-specific apps

These are apps that you can sign up to sell with. They often specialise in specific goods and could be a better choice if you are selling higher-end or designer pieces. But watch out for charges, fees and commissions, which can easily absorb around 20% of your sale price. Some examples are Hardly Ever Worn It, Shpock and Vinted.

Sell to businesses that buy

When you’re looking to sell a large number of similar items, or if you’re looking to offload items with as little hassle as possible, selling to a business set up specifically to buy items might be the easiest option. For example, selling your smartphone to a company like mazuma or SellMyMobile, is super easy and could mean money in your bank account as soon as they’ve received your phone. Music Magpie also buys phones, as well as other consumer goods and electricals. Again, you’ll get an instant price and money in your bank as soon as you can get the item to them. 

Selling locally

Facebook Marketplace, Amazon Marketplace and Gumtree are still go-to options for anyone looking to sell online, but to people in their local area who will come and collect the items. This is often the best way to sell larger items like pieces of furniture or bikes. You can list the items, with photos, on these sites and have a buyer at your door and cash in your pocket within hours.

Postage – hints and tips

When you start out selling your belongings online, it’s important not to forget that you will need to pack and post the items correctly. Postage can become a serious headache if you don’t get organised, so here’s our tips for getting P&P right, from the start.

  • Buy your envelopes, packing paper and tape ahead of time.
  • Familiarise yourself with Royal Mail parcel sizes to make sure you are charging the right amount for postage  – remember, it’s not just about weight, but also about size.
  • If products are small and light, consider offering free postage to boost sales.
  • Make sure you have printer ink and use tools like eBay’s postage label service to make the whole process easier.
  • If you’re selling abroad, make sure you attach customs forms to the rear of the packages. Also – if you’re selling to the EU, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with these rules to prevent your buyers from paying VAT twice.

Selling online really is easy these days, but it does still require a little work. You’ll need to photograph your items, research prices, and take the time to list them on your chosen selling platform. Offloading your items to specialist buying sites can be a lot quicker and easier, but you might get a better price if you are willing to put a bit of work in and have a little patience. 

However, selling online is a fantastic way to boost your income over the short-term. And it comes with the added bonus of some seriously positive vibes as an ethical, sustainable way to raise some much needed extra funds.

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