Today my annual series on selling shares 8 of the top online selling sites, along with the pros and cons of each.
Think it will be a relatively easy process to recoup some dollars? Well, possibly! There are many specialized online selling resources to choose from, with many others cropping up all the time. Which is the right one for you? It’s critical that you select the best venue to showcase your goods. You want to attract the right buyer and you want the sale to occur sooner than later … so grab a seat and let’s check out your options!
eBay is a pioneer in online selling, having been around for almost 25 years. It’s a gigantic auction house where over 168 million active buyers can bid on your items! With bidding situations, it can take time to receive your desired price. In contrast, you may choose to list your item as “Buy It Now“, meaning it’s a fixed, non-negotiable price. There is an enormous buying audience for your goods but the competition is stiff. You’re competing not only with other individual sellers. In fact, there are wholesalers and corporation, as well…not to mention fierce competition from China, as well!
eBay has a built-in algorithm, geared towards helping buyers locate specific items which can also be good for sellers. But on the flip side, customer protection…even in falsified complaint situations….can be at the expense of a legitimate seller. And it’s not free to sell on eBay. You do get 40 free listings per month, but there are additional fees. For example, there is typically a 10% transaction fee (including shipping & handling) to use this venue. Your net profit is released three days after your tracking shows delivery. However, if you enjoy an auction-like outcome and you have the time and patience to wait for the right buyer bid, eBay is your venue.
For eBay selling details, check out this step-by-step guide: click here
Or listen to this tutorial: click here
Amazon has evolved from an online bookstore into one of the world’s most visited marketplace websites. It boasts massive traffic volume with separate retail websites in 15 countries! This means more buyers for your stuff. Additionally, the “Fulfillment by Amazon” service handles both customer service and shipping on your behalf. Amazon has a traditional retail structure so you sell your items at a set price. You only pay a fee if your item sells. But all this comes with higher fees and brutal competition.
In comparison to eBay, Amazon has a better reputation for customer service and offers buyer perks such as same-day or two-day shipping. But the humongous size of both these online selling venues result in the risk of getting lost in the sea of sellers. The best way to succeed with either eBay or Amazon is to do a little market research to see what similar items are going for and how many other sellers are in that arena.
Go directly to Amazon for the latest facts on selling: click here
Etsy takes us into a narrower market: it popped on the scene in 2005 as an online platform for crafters, artists and vintage aficionados. It currently ranks as #3 behind eBay and Amazon. It’s an ideal venue if you have handmade, vintage or highly unique items. Think crafting and jewelry supplies, specialty fabrics or handmade personal products. Still, despite the exclusive focus, this venue attracts some 30 million shoppers worldwide! Similar to eBay, you’ll pay a listing fee but your Etsy listing will last for 4 months instead of just 10-30 days. This fee is charged whether or not your item sells. The fixed pricing model is also cheaper and simpler than that of the above two powerhouses. So keep Etsy in mind if your items fit this handmade, one-of-kind product profile.
Go directly here to further explore this online selling platform: click here
#4 and #5: Bonanza and Ruby Lane
These two venues are still relative newcomers. Nevertheless, they are on the rise and worth checking out for online selling if your items fall into the Etsy categories of unique, vintage, antique, or quirky. Both are smaller than the preceding platforms but they have respectable reach along with more reasonable fees. They specialize further in the following sub-categories:
- Think garden gnomes or taxidermy (although product diversification has been creeping in)
- Fixed price items as opposed to a bidding situation
- How to get started: click here
- Ruby Lane
- Specifically for actual antiques and vintage-style goods
- Excellent customer service reputation
- How to get started: click here
#6 and #7 : Facebook and OfferUp
FB groups are definitely trumping Craigslist these days! Simply enter terms to find and join local groups. For example, type in “Scottsdale, AZ Buy and Sell” in the FB search bar if you live in Scottsdale, Arizona. When you click to join a group, others will be suggested to you, as well. These groups are very popular with buyers such as young moms or small community residents looking for online garage sale deals. The sky is the limit for what goods are offered. You are on your own with seller protection but you will also avoid listing and shipping fees. You need to “bump” or refresh your listing to stay current.
OfferUp merged with letgo in July 2020 to create one big mobile marketplace. It’s essentially an app that you use on your phone or other electronic device. It provides an easy way to sell locally with payments tendered with either cash or via Stripe, the electronic payment processing partner. There are some fees involved to consider but it’s still a compelling way to sell just about anything online. Here’s the scoop on using OfferUp: click here
Craigslist is the world’s largest online classified ads website! You can sell almost anything here. It’s super basic with no fees and no frills but you’re on your own to work with buyers. Craigslist requires that you sell locally, unlike eBay and Amazon. This means that you arrange for pick-up and drop-off of your items. When all else fails, you can shift your items to the “free” section, which can come in handy. You need to regularly refresh and repost your listing to ensure you are at the top of the category. So you save on the listing and shipping fees with this venue but you lose protection with questionable buyers, i.e., passing off counterfeit money.
Honestly, I’m not convinced of the relevancy of this platform anymore! It’s been around for a long time but contends with stiff competition from other platforms such as such as FB and OfferUp. However, it may still an active player in your community…so why not check it out? Here’s a simple video with a Craigslist tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZqfRoOCLaU
There is definitely cash to be claimed using any of these or other online platforms. But first do your homework! Review your things to sell with a critical eye. Realize that you have a history with the items so your emotions may skew your pricing decisions. Research how similar items are selling. Finally, understand what is entailed to close the deal.
This was the fourth piece in my annual selling guide. Circle back to this post if you missed the kickoff: 3 Considerations to Maximize Your Return When Selling Your Stuff
And here’s the prior post: Second-Hand Stores Can Be Your Decluttering Partners
Are you ready to turn your excess stuff into cash?