So, you want to get rid of some of your crap (or stuff…sorry) that you no longer need? Most people call that downsizing or going minimal. Selling your stuff online is a great way to unclutter your life and avoid waste. Throwing stuff away just creates more trash and there are literally thousands of people out there looking for exactly what you’re selling at a discounted price. Below I will share with you how to sell stuff online for free.
There has been a lot written about the benefits of downsizing and getting rid of stuff. I won’t go into all of that here but the benefits range from the psychological (feeling good about yourself because you accomplished something) to the actual health benefits of having less stuff to collect dust and toxins. In addition to all of that, there’s the side benefit of earning additional income.
You don’t need any special skills to sell stuff online. In most cases, it’s as easy as taking a picture of your item and posting it online. I had absolutely no clue how to sell stuff online when I began downsizing. And, you can sell just about anything online. From used books to electronics and appliances to clothing and slightly used make-up.
So, let’s get selling!
First, A Nod to Amazon and Etsy
The online sites I list below are ones where you can sell stuff for free. Some of the bigger sites like Amazon and Etsy are great sites for selling but you can’t list your items for free. They charge a listing fee and then also take a percent of the final sales price of the item as a commission. So, for purposes of this article, I will only focus on the sites that are free to list.
Now, that being said, there are some advantages to sites like these for selling your stuff so I wanted to give them a quick mention. In fact, I used EBay a lot when I downsized and was very happy with them. One huge advantage of using Amazon or EBay is the large pool of potential buyers these sites reach. They have been around a while and are tried and true. Another advantage is that they are trusted sites and will handle the payment processing for you, which some of the free sites don’t do. They are the big daddies in this space so, for those reasons alone, you may want to consider them.
Where You Can List Your Stuff For Free
There are two popular sites where you can list your items for free but will charge you a fee if your item sells. I mention these two here because there are some advantages to this model which may require some consideration.
A relative newbie to the online marketplace space is Bonanza. Although they are new, they are doing incredibly well and receiving some top awards. Their tagline is “everything but the ordinary” so go ahead and sell that thing you think nobody would want.
A lot of people are making some good money on Bonanza and over 50,000 sellers have already created businesses here. And, they currently have over 23 million items listed on their marketplace. It’s popularity is rising and they are getting noticed. They were voted one of the Top 100 Companies in Seattle and they made Entrepreneur’s 360 Best Companies List.
- You can sell a huge range of products here – the sky’s the limit on what you can sell.
- Many items for sale here are quirky and unique. So, those extraordinary items you have will do well here.
- Higher profit margins because Bonanza doesn’t make money until the sellers do. It’s absolutely FREE to list your items on Bonanza and the average fee per sale can be as low as 3.5% which is considerably lower than eBay.
- Bonanza is a fixed-price site so buyers pay the price set. They do not bid on items.
- Bonanza promotes items on Google and Bing and you have the option of getting more exposure by advertising listings on places like Pricegrabber, Nexttag and Bonanza’s affiliate program.
- The ratio of shoppers to sellers is much higher on Bonanza than on eBay, although their actually monthly traffic is much lower. So, that means much less competition for buyers.
eBay lets you put items up for auction which will attract the highest bidder. You can list your items for sale for FREE but only if you start the bidding at $.99 or less. If you start your bid at $1.00 or more you will pay a small insertion fee to get it listed. eBay also lets you sell items at a fixed price if you prefer.
- EBay is a global marketplace where you can sell your items to people from all over the world. You’re not just selling to a local market.
- They have an EBay mobile app where you can take pictures of your items and list from your smart phone.
- Ship it and forget it. Once a buyer is found and they pay you, simply drop the item in the mail and enjoy your new de-clutterred life.
- They are a trusted site and handle the payment processing for you.
Where to Sell Stuff for Totally Free
Craigslist is the world’s largest online classified website. You can sell anything on Craigslist, even yourself under the “Personals” section. It is a very basic, no-frills website with no bells and whistles. It’s super basic in both design and automation of the selling process. It is a forum so you are basically on your own when it comes to selling, collecting money and resolving disputes.
- Listing products for sale on Craigslist is FREE. They only charge for a handful of listings such as job postings and vehicles.
- Craigslist is a local marketplace so you will be attracting more local buyers and will need to make arrangements to have the item picked up or dropped off. It is an advantage if you are selling large items that are too big or too expensive to ship.
- You get cash in hand. There are no listing or other fees associated with selling your items.
While there are advantages to selling on Craiglist, there have been many reported scams associated with it. So, just be vigilant.
Letgo is an App that lets you sell your items locally, similar to Craigslist, but it’s done completely through an app on your phone. It very simple to use. You simply take a picture of your item. The app automatically categorizes the item. All you need to do is list the name of the item, give it a brief description, confirm the category, and list your product.
Once you complete your item listing, it is posted inside the app for potential buyers to see. Potential buyers can communicate with you through the app. They can ask questions, negotiate price and even make arrangements to meet all through the app.
The final step is to meet with the buyers and collect payment The Letgo app does not handle payments so you’ll need to take care of this step yourself.
- Ease of use through a user-friendly app.
- Great for large items or items that are too expensive to ship as you are targeting a local market.
- The app is free and they do not charge for listing or selling your item.
As with Craigslist, since you are dealing with a local marketplace and handling the collecting of payments, be vigilant and watch out for scams and, of course, your safety.
Your Own Website
What if you are looking to do more than just sell a few of your gently-used items? What if you are the entrepreneurial type who wants to start your own online store? Perhaps you have a hobby and want to make money selling your own crafts or handmade items online? Or, you want to turn your passion into a successful online business?
When selling from your own online store, you have to drive traffic to your site. It may take you a little longer to establish your own traffic, but once you have your website up and running you won’t have to compete with anyone else and your sales are your own. You will also be building your own brand, rather than eBay’s or Amazon’s.
The best site I know of to help you learn how to turn your passion into a successful online business is Wealthy Affiliate. I have first-hand experience with Wealthy Affiliate and it is where I learned everything from building a website to finding products to sell to driving traffic to my sites. It is a great learning portal for people who have no experience building online businesses.
- The Starter Membership is totally Free. You can start building your own website and online store right away for free.
- You are building your own business and your own brand.
- You can choose which payments to accept and what the design of your store looks like.
- You’re not competing with other sellers on the same platform. Which means you don’t have to use competitive pricing and can achieve higher profit.
If you want more information you can check out my review of Wealthy Affiliate here.
Where Should I Sell My Stuff?
If you are looking for a totally free site to list and sell your items, you should check out Craigslist or the Letgo App. Both are focused on your local market so are great if you have large items or items that are too expensive to ship.
If you are looking for a much larger, global market for your item and don’t mind paying a small listing fee, you should consider Bonanza or EBay. You’ll have access to a larger pool of potential buyers.
If you have a passion for starting your own online store or online business you should check out Wealthy Affiliate. You’ll be building your own brand while avoiding the competition. And, it’s free to get started.