The Internet has really made it much easier to connect people with excess items to sell and people who want to buy those items.
But, many people find selling online to be quite intimidating.
People are often worried about the logistics of selling online, privacy concerns, and having to answer questions from “tyre kickers”.
Our clients often prefer us to handle online sales for them, but if you want to take on this task yourself, the below information should hopefully get you started.
Why sell online
Where there is a good demand for items, selling them through one of the online marketplaces can often get you a better price than selling the same items through a bricks and mortar outlet.
For example, recently I tried to sell a client’s SLR camera bodies and lenses through a vintage camera store and was offered $100 for the lot. I then sold the same camera equipment for the client on eBay for over $700.
So it can pay to investigate your options!
Where you can sell items online
There are three main platforms for selling items online: Ebay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. Here’s an overview of each platform and when/why you might use each.
Ebay is probably one of the better known platforms. It is wonderful for selling smaller items which are easy to post.
You can also sell larger items to pick up locally, but I find Ebay is not the most effective platform for this.
For items you can post, however, Ebay opens up the range of potential buyers to an Australia wide (and, if you choose, worldwide) market. This means that you can potentially get the best price for items you want to sell online.
However, Ebay can be quite cumbersome to use as you need to provide an accurate estimate of potential postage costs and create a reasonably detailed listing for each item.
Gumtree is pretty well known as a general purpose online classifieds, with everything from job advertisements, houses to rent, and cars for sale.
It’s great if you have a larger item such as a fridge or washing machine to sell within your local area. Unlike Ebay, it can take some time to connect with a potential buyer, but you can repost your listing for free.
Facebook Marketplace has really changed the online selling landscape, especially for younger buyers. It’s a more intuitive layout than either Gumtree or Ebay and it’s quicker to use for both buyers and sellers.
It really has taken significant market share from Gumtree and eBay and can connect you with potential buyers quite quickly.
It can be really useful when you want to sell household goods quickly but don’t necessarily need to get top dollar for each item.
When not to sell online
In spite of the potential of different online selling platforms, I do not believe that selling online is always the solution. For example, I rarely sell clients’ antiques and collectibles online.
For specialist items which may need to wait for the “right” buyer, bricks and mortar outlets are often the better option.
Also, selling online is a big investment of time. I believe a good rule of thumb is to list an item if you believe you will get $50 or more for an item, or if selling helps you avoid tip fees or disposal fees.
A final thought
If at all possible, it’s best to put some research into the types of items which sell best online and sell your items of value where the potential buyers are.
If you aren’t already a savvy internet seller, I hope this article was able to give you some food for thought when you do come to the project of selling items of value.
If you’re in the greater Canberra region and would like a hand with the process, don’t hesitate to get in touch.