Before you start thinking about how to sell stuff online you need to know what you can sell online. The sky’s the limit, as there are customers out there looking to buy your household waste - think loo roll tubes, old football match programmes, plastic milk bottle tops and jam jars. You might have to sell some in bulk (e.g. 50 toilet roll tubes for £5) which might require some extra storage space, but this isn’t the case for all items. You can also take some inspiration from MoneySavingExperts’ Flog Your Rubbish forum thread, where people post what rubbish they have managed to sell online recently.
Often when people start investigating how to sell stuff online, they assume eBay is the best platform. However, there are other options with lower listing costs that are potentially better suited to the product that you’re selling. Gumtree, Shpock, Facebook Groups and Facebook Marketplace all let you sell to others for free and are particularly good for selling larger items (e.g. furniture) to people locally. Alternatively, Etsy has a global reach with a great search function that make it easy and inexpensive to sell specific items online. However, if you are going to stick with selling on eBay, you can at least work out how much they will charge you with their fees calculator.
Treat the photos of your items as you would if you were putting them on Instagram. Get the lighting right, use a solid background and use your very best photo. A good photo will help draw attention, and it’s only fair that buyers can see what they’re purchasing - if they can’t see it, they’d be forgiven for worrying about the condition that the item is in. It doesn’t need to be a professional job and you can certainly use the camera on your phone.
If you’re not great with a camera, maybe try asking someone who is to help you, or invest in a tripod to help you keep your camera steady. Salehoo has some great advice on how to take fantastic photos for eBay (or other platforms), including guidance on what resolution setting you should use on your camera.
Across all websites, sellers are expected to pay the packaging and delivery fee, unless they charge for it separately. David Grimes, CEO of My Parcel Delivery says courier services can work out cheaper and “save time too as they can collect your deliveries from home or work. Which courier you decide to use will depend on the budget and time frame that you’re working with. Whether you need fast, next day delivery or slower delivery at lower costs, there are options for everyone.”
David also recommends using a parcel comparison website to find the cheapest delivery options that are available and following packaging guidelines used by couriers to make sure you’re packaging your items correctly.
The final point in our how to sell stuff online guide: take the time to do the research. It’s likely that someone else is selling what you’re selling too. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing – in fact, it can help you to write a better listing and see whether the price you’re looking to get is realistic.
Paul Ward at Direct Packaging Solutions suggests “Look at the layout, description, photos and most importantly the price. The best way you can do this by checking out the ‘Sold Listings’ page and seeing the kind of listings that have already managed to sell the item you’re trying to sell. This allows you to gauge the average selling and shipping price you can expect to receive when listing your items, giving you a little head start over people listing their products without any research.”
If you’re looking to sell your stuff online and need somewhere to store your items whilst they’re on the market, check out our self storage options all across the UK, including Access Self Storage Birmingham, Access Self Storage Isleworth and Access Self Storage Edmonton. Our packaging materials can also help get your items ready to send on their way.