Selling your old junk on the internet has become a fairly popular source of passive income. The income itself isn’t completely passive but it does come fairly easily. You put up an ad online for a product that you’re trying to sell, others bid for it, the person that’s willing to spend the most money is then rewarded with your product. Sweet! You win by getting of a dust collector that’s not really adding any value to your life. The other person wins because they just picked up something that they were searching for.
Instead of giving you chearleading and simply hyping up the process of selling your stuff online I wanted to tell you what you need to consider before you start selling stuff online:
What site will you use?
There are many sites to choose from. From eBay to Craig’s List to Kijiji (and many other emerging sites, both local and international). Does it matter what site you use? Yes it does 100%. Every site has a different auction setup/pricing structure. I’ve lost money unnecessarily to eBay just because I wanted to reach the front of the page. The auction setup is also very important because this dictates the amount of communication that will occur. On Ebay, you rarely communicate with potential buyers, unless they want to ask you specific questions. Through CL & Kijiji I find that there’s lots of communication involved. You need to exchange emails, phone calls, and arrange for any scheduling discrepancies that may occur.
Will you ship internationally?
I once sold a product to the highest bidder in Germany. I was happy with the amount that the person was willing to pay for the product. In fact, it was much more money than I was expecting by far. There was only one problem. The shipping of this product to Germany was much more than I expected. Even worse, it was much more than I told the buyer it would be. At the end of the day I was upset and the buyer was pretty disappointed as well. You always need to consider international shipping fees and customs– they can make or break your online transaction.
Do you prefer something local?
When selling textbooks and larger items, I’ve preferred to sell on local sites. I find that you’re more likely to sell textbooks on the local version of Kijiji, where other students from your school are more likely to frequent. The local transaction is also a lot easier to deal with logistically. The biggest issue is trying to arrange a perfect time to meet up with the buyer.
What’s the product worth?
Just because something has sentimental value to you, it doesn’t mean that it has market value to others. I’ve sold stuff that I found to be highly valuable for next to nothing simply because there was no demand for it. Before you even put your product up for sale on the auction site, you need to search for similar products to determine what you should expect to receive from your transaction.
Hopefully this post has given you a realistic perspective when it comes to selling your stuff online.