Long gone are the days of putting an ad in the local newspaper or corner shop to sell your unwanted goods. Sure, boot sales are still a popular way to declutter your home and make some extra cash. But what other ways are there to sell your preloved items?
Whether you’re buying or selling, online is where it’s at! And with second-hand shopping seeing a boom, there are millions of people across the globe taking to the internet to buy or sell used items that may otherwise be destined for landfill.
Reasons to buy second-hand
If you’re not already considering buying second-hand then now’s the perfect time. Not only will you save money compared to purchasing something new, but it’s fun hunting for those preloved bargains too.
And there are many other reasons to shop second-hand which will benefit you as well as the planet:
- Buying second-hand is more sustainable: When you buy a used item, you are saving on all the resources it took to make that item. For example, it takes 2,700 litres of water to make just one new cotton t-shirt, so buying a preloved t-shirt, whether from a charity shop or online, is free of those impacts.
- Shopping vintage means you can own something unique: No more turning up to a wedding wearing the same dress as someone else. Buying a vintage dress means you’ll have something beautiful and unique. And filling your home with gorgeous antique pieces is sure to get your guests talking.
- Reusing promotes a shift to a circular economy: We need to create a sustainable society that doesn’t take away from future generations. And to do this, then we need a circular economy, meaning everything is reused, repaired, and recycled. Buying second-hand instead of new is a great step towards achieving this.
- Vintage items are often better quality: Before the days of fast fashion, quality was considered more important than quantity. Now, many clothes are cheaply made, and worn just a few times before being thrown away. Vintage clothes were made to last, and that’s why vintage shops and markets are popular today. And the same goes for furniture too – low cost, mass produced items tend not to last a house move. Whereas a solid wood wardrobe can last centuries!
Reasons to sell online
Now, with all of the different selling websites and apps available, anybody can make some extra cash selling just about anything, without having to leave your house.
Here are some of the reasons why selling online is a good idea:
- Declutter by selling your unwanted items: When’s the last time you watched a DVD, or made juice from scratch? Keeping things we no longer use clutters up our home. Find out How to Declutter Your Home – A Room by Room Guide and sell what you no longer need online and make space for the things that matter.
- You can make some extra money by selling online: It’s estimated that there are an average 25 items in every home which could be sold. So rather than leaving them to take up valuable space in your home, why not make some money from them instead? You can treat yourself to something new, or put the money away for a well-earned holiday.
- Selling your items is better for the environment: It’s no surprise that allowing someone else to enjoy your unwanted items is more environmentally sustainable than throwing them away. Of the 26 million tonnes of waste produced in the UK every year, around 14 million tonnes are sent to landfill sites. So let’s not add to the problem, instead, reuse belongings as much as possible.
- You can help others by selling unwanted items: Not everyone can afford to buy brand new, so the second-hand economy gives people the chance to own things they couldn’t otherwise afford. Particularly in the current climate where the price of everything, from food to toys, seems to be going up – your unwanted items could bring a lot of joy to someone else.
The best places to sell second-hand items online
So, you’ve spring-cleaned and decluttered your home – well done you! Now you need to get rid of everything you no longer need before it manages to creep back into your home.
Once you’ve sorted through your unwanted items, why not take a few things to a charity shop? Or even make a little extra money at a local boot sale or market? But if you want a super easy way to get your preloved items in front of millions of potential buyers all around the world, then try selling online!
Here are 5 of the best places to sell second-hand online:
The original online selling platform, eBay has been around since 1995, and it has since become one of the most popular marketplaces for people to sell their unwanted items. From electronics and cars through to clothing and collectables, there is almost nothing you can’t sell on eBay. Choose between auction or buy now, and you can decide whether to post the item, or keep it local and arrange for the buyer to pick it up – great for larger items like cars and furniture.
eBay has over 1.3 billion listings and a whopping 182 million users worldwide, according to 2021 eBay Statistics. Just make sure you’re aware of the selling fees before you list your items.
Every month, you’ll receive a number of free listings, which means you can list items for sale in many categories with no insertion fees. But you will need to pay a final value fee for items you sell on eBay, which is usually 12.8% of the total amount (including postage, plus a fixed charge of 30p per order).
Most people have a Facebook account, but did you know you can sell second-hand items on the platform too? And it’s super quick and easy to do!
You can start by using local Facebook groups to post ads, like a buggy in a local parents group, for example. Just snap a picture on your phone and share it with the group to see who’s interested. Or sell new and used items easily on Facebook Marketplace, which brings people in communities together to buy and sell.
If you’re selling through local groups then there’s no need to trot off to the post office – it’s easy to arrange for the buyer to collect it from your home. And the best bit, there aren’t any selling fees so you get to keep everything you make.
Founded in 2000 by two friends, Gumtree has always had community at its heart. The aim was to build a community where people like them could find everything they needed to settle into a new city: a job, a place to live, and some furniture to fill their place. And so, the UK’s first online classifieds platform was born.
Today, Gumtree is one of the UK’s largest online classifieds sites, helping people find what they need most, affordably and locally.
With no listing fees to pay – you can sell your unwanted items at no expense. And as you can list your ad for free, there is more choice for buyers looking to pick up a bargain – brilliant for both buyers and sellers.
4. Music Magpie
This is a really easy to use service, and you can sell all sorts of things like books, phones, CDs, DVDs, games and even Lego, quickly and simply. You can enter the details of each item on your computer, or scan the barcode into the app on your phone and a price will come up instantly. If you’re happy with the price then you can choose to sell your items to Music Magpie.
Once you’ve completed the order, Music Magpie will email you everything you need to send your items in your Pack & Send Guide. Just grab any box you like, pack your items up and send them for FREE using your chosen send option! And when your items arrive, the team at Music Magpie will check them over and they’ll pay you the same day.
Just one thing to note, you will generally get less for your items than if you were to sell through other online selling platforms, but if you have lots to sell then it could definitely be worth it when everything gets added together.
If you have a lot of second-hand clothes, shoes and accessories to sell online, then Vinted could be a great option for you. And it’s easy to use – just download the Vinted app for free. Take photos of your item, describe it, and set your price. Tap “Upload” and your listing is live, it really is that simple.
Once you’ve sold your item, wrap it up, print your prepaid shipping label and pop to your local post office or drop-off point.
There are zero selling fees when you sell with Vinted, so what you earn is yours to keep. And you’ll be paid as soon as the buyer confirms everything’s OK.
How do you price second-hand items?
How much you list your items for actually depends on many factors, including condition, rarity, and how in demand something may be. But a good place to start is to check out the competition. Before listing your handbag on eBay, have a look to see if there are any others the same or similar to give you an idea of what you might be able to charge for yours. It’s important to check out SOLD items if possible, as that’s the best way to see the real value.
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