Selling your unwanted stuff online can be a great source of additional money when decluttering your home, but it can also be a huge time waster.
Here are my tips on how to get rid of your stuff once you've decluttered a space, the best websites to sell stuff, and ways to make the most of your precious time.
Before you sell anything, make sure to read the section on donating vs selling. You might change your mind!
Sell Your Stuff Online Without Meeting Anyone
Here are a couple of ways to sell your things in bulk without meeting anyone or dealing with annoying questions from potential buyers.
And if you've ever sold things before, you know how much precious time answering questions and arranging the physical product exchange can eat up!
DeCluttr is a great way to get rid of phones, CDs, DVDs, video games and game consoles, technology, books, and even Legos.
You send them your items, and they pay you once they receive them and evaluate them.
thredUP is like DeCluttr for clothes. They send you their closet clean-out kit. You fill it up and send it back to them.
thredUP then evaluates what you sent and lists the items (that meet their quality standards) for sale. All earnings are commission-based when the items sell.
The Pros & Cons
We love that both of these online sites take your unwanted items from you in one shipment. You get to essentially sell many items all at once, not have to worry about offloading or shipping items to new owners, and free up a lot of time.
However, you may not always get as much money as you would when selling items on your own, individually to individual people. It's important to weigh up the amount of time it takes to sell and the potential selling price.
If you have some items that are worth the extra time and effort, you can sell them individually on Ebay.com or Poshmark without ever needing to meet anyone- but do be sure to factor in listing fees and shipping costs into the mix.
Poshmark allows you to buy and sell used clothing quickly and easily online. All you need is the app, and you can have your first listing up in less than a minute!
It's free to list items on Poshmark, and you'll even be sent a prepaid shipping label when you make a sale.
Plus, Poshmark encourages users to view your whole wardrobe which can encourage more sales for you.
We all know and love eBay! It's a great place to search for new and used goods, making it another great place for selling unwanted items, vintage items, used clothing, designer items, and more.
You will have to spend the time packaging up orders and taking them to the post office, but you don't have to meet anyone for the exchange - unless you want to. There is still the option of local pick-up when selling on eBay.
Local In-Person Selling
Thanks to social media platforms and new online marketplaces, there are lots of great ways to sell items that you no longer need.
Keep in mind, the following places may involve setting up in-person exchanges and drop-offs. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
The nice thing about selling on Facebook Marketplace is that you are probably already on Facebook. And so is just about everyone else in the world!
Wondering how to sell on Facebook Marketplace? It's easy!
Just click the Marketplace button, list your item with a good photo (or 10) and you are all set to sell!
Hot tip: While Facebook Marketplace has typically been a market for selling locally, in-person, they have recently opened up the ability to offer shipping to customers.
That means you can sell on Facebook as you would on eBay, for example. This opens up a market for your pre-loved goods beyond your local reach.
Craigslist is another great option for selling items in your area without selling fees. You can use the desktop site or download the app on your phone.
Be sure to follow the protect yourself and protect your time sections in this article to make the most of this option.
OfferUp allows you to list items for sale. Users have a profile with a photo, transaction history, and ratings, so you can see who you are meeting ahead of time.
Selling Online FAQs
Where can I sell my stuff online for free?
A lot of online selling sites will take a percent commission of the sale or charge a listing fee. However, sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace where you exchange money in person are free.
How can I sell things online fast?
This comes down to finding the right online marketplaces for the unwanted items you are trying to sell. We recommend trying out Facebook Marketplace as, again, that's an outlet with a massive audience of potential buyers.
What are some companies that sell your stuff for you?
Check out either thredUP or DeCluttr depending on the goods you are getting rid of!
Remember to Be Careful!
No matter which method you choose to get rid of your things, be sure to protect yourself and your time when you sell your stuff online.
If you are selling locally, in-person, and need to set up an exchange of goods, do the following:
- Meet someone in a public location where there are lots of people.
- Don't have them come to your home.
- Have someone there with you when you meet the person.
- If someone can't be with you, text someone that the person has arrived and when they leave. If you don't text them within a set amount of time, they should call you and call for help if they can't reach you.
Protect Your Time
- Be firm.
- Don’t answer questions that have already been answered in your post. It can take all day going back and forth.
- Don’t reply to questions that are answered in your post.
- Include the dimensions, condition, color, etc. in your post. If you talk about imperfections, show pictures of them.
- If possible, delete your post after it has sold.
When Should You Sell Your Stuff Online and When Should You Donate it?
Sometimes it's just not worth the hassle to sell an item rather than donate it. This decision is definitely up to you. Here are my methods for deciding if you should sell or donate an item.
#1 - Evaluate the Item's Worth
Look at the item and ask yourself these questions:
- How much time will it take to sell this item?
- How much hassle will be involved?
- Is the item worth more in dollars than that?
How Much is Your Time Worth?
This all comes down to the amount of time that your hours are worth. If you were working for the amount of time that it will take to sell this item, how much money could you make?
For example, you get paid $20 an hour. This item is going to take you two hours to post, reply and sell the item, but you are going to list it for $20 and get an offer for $15.
Is it really worth your time to list it in the first place?
#2 – What Would You Rather Be Doing?
Ask yourself, "What would I rather do than spend my time trying to sell this item?"
Time is a valuable resource. We each have only so much time. You can buy other people's time (essentially multiplying your time), but at the end of the day, you only have so much time.
What would you rather do with your time than spend it selling your stuff online?
Would you rather:
- be working on working on a project?
- take a long hike?
- play with the kids/grandkids?
- workout, do yoga, meditate, or do some other form of self-care?
Then donate the item instead and keep the time to do something that holds more value for you.
In my case, the answer 100% of the time is to donate the item. I had the item for a while. I used the item. And now I'm letting it find a new home.