When you’re ready to sell, you have to pick the sites you want to list your used goods on. Some make selling easy, others take a big bite out of the profits, and others have huge communities eager to buy. This week we’re looking at five of the best.
Amazon isn’t just a juggernaut when it comes to buying things, it’s a great place to sell them as well. Part of what makes Amazon such an attractive place to sell your stuff is that your used stuff goes right up for sale next to the new versions of the same products—so anyone shopping for, say, a Nintendo 3DS, will see your offer under “New and Used” right next to the price for the same item new. If they’re interested in saving a few bucks, it’s one click before they see the one you have for sale—and considering how many people browse Amazon for just about anything, that’s a huge potential audience. Plus, listing your item is super easy, even if you don’t sign up for Amazon’s fulfillment program. You list it, wait for it to sell, then ship. If you really want, you can send all your junk to Amazon, let them list it for you, then handle the shipping and customer service after it sells.
All that said, Amazon isn’t a panacea, and just as many of you called that out in the nominations thread as people who praised it for its ease and fast selling. For one, if your item sits in Amazon’s warehouses too long, you’ll pay fees on it. Amazon also takes a big chunk out of your sale price, and other prices severely limit how much you can make on your used stuff. Plus, Amazon’s shipping credits are never enough to really ship an item, so you wind up losing some money either way. Still, others of you highlighted Amazon’s direct buy-back program, where they’ll just buy your stuff from you straight away, and their free shipping in their fulfillment program—so you can send your used stuff to sell free of charge.
Swappa focuses almost exclusively on smartphones and tablets of all types, and has a huge userbase of people both selling and buying devices in good, workable condition. Selling a used phone on Swappa is super-easy, and only requires that you verify your account, take some pictures of the device, post your listing, and get it approved by the Swappa staff. Swappa only deals in clean devices as long as you buy from a trustworthy, verified seller, so you don’t have to worry that the phone you buy is stolen or won’t be able to be activated. Buyers get the satisfaction of knowing that the phone or tablet they get is in good working order at a great price, and the sale is never closed until the buyer has the item in hand, inspected it, made sure it works and activates, and they’re good to go. Swappa also handles things like payment and dispute resolution, which makes it a pretty good platform for buyers and sellers.
Of course, Swappa isn’t perfect either. Their fees are lower than sites like eBay, which is great, and they have a large user base of people who are looking for great deals on phones—along with tons of protections for both buyers and sellers—but there are tons of people on the site with sketchy lowball offers and people selling dozens of the same phone who look like they may have lifted them from a warehouse or something.
Facebook may not seem like the first place you’d think of when you’re looking to sell things, but in reality it’s a great destination. It is the world’s largest social network, after all, and it’s packed with buy-and-sell groups for specific items and interests. It’s also full of local swap groups where people who live in specific communities or even in specific apartment communities can talk to one another and offer their used goods up to their neighbors. Some are public, others are private and require you to prove your identity and where you live, but in any case, they’re worth checking out if you want to sell your stuff, but don’t feel like dealing with deadbeats or shipping your stuff across the country.
One of the biggest benefits of Facebook as a sales tool is that you can set your own price, and you don’t have a third party in the middle taking a cut of the sales. Of course, you have to keep in mind that many of those buy/sell/trade groups only accept certain kinds of listings, but you always get to know exactly who you’re dealing with, instead of some anonymous emailer or lowball offer. That doesn’t necessarily make it easier, but it does give you a great alternative. In its nomination thread, one of you noted that you almost exclusively use Facebook for selling things at this point, and it’s especially good for weeding out weirdos and seeing who you’re buying from before they show up to meet you and make the exchange.
eBay is a pretty obvious contender here—it’s the original “sell your old stuff on the internet” site, and while it’s lost a lot of its luster thanks to several unpopular changes, rising fees, and quickly eroding protection for sellers on the site, it remains one of the biggest destinations if you have used goods and you want to put them up for sale. Long gone are the days where people could empty garages full of goods on eBay and make tons of money, but there’s still a huge userbase at eBay, and tons of room to list your used items. The site has global reach, lists just about everything and anything you could possibly want to sell, and has buyers who regularly sift through all of those categories, either looking for specific treasures or for anything they may want to acquire. eBay has tried to reposition itself in recent years to be more of a buyer-friendly paradise, full of not just auctions that you have to win, but full of shopping listings that you can buy immediately and have shipped to you right away. Buyers and sellers can leverage multiple payment options, from direct credit card payments to Paypal—although you should be aware of the fees that eBay takes out of your bottom line for any real transaction.
That said, many of you took to the nomination thread not to support eBay, but to decry it, pointing out that even though it may be huge and popular doesn’t make it good. You called out the fact that eBay has removed seller protections almost completely, and sides with the buyer in almost every dispute—to the point where it’s not uncommon for buyers to scam and take advantage of sellers by telling eBay they want a refund or want to dispute an item—eBay will usually side with the buyer, and the seller is often out both the item they sold and the money they should have gotten. Some of that may be in more popular categories like electronics or cosmetics, and things like cars, collectables, and other goods may be safer, but if eBay is your site of choice, make sure you’re careful about who you’re dealing with and how you interact with them.
Craigslist is huge—not just for selling stuff, but for listings of all types. It’s all but replaced the classified pages in most major cities around the world, and you can find listings for everything from apartments to parking spaces to clothes to baby goods—all specific to your community and at a wide range of prices. Craigslist’s user base is absolutely massive, and many people turn to it first when they’re looking to sell something just because just about everyone uses it for something or another—especially bargain hunting. Best of all, since Craigslist is essentially just a big classified site, there are no fees for listing your items, no middleman charging you to list or host photos, and no one in between you and the seller—which can be a good or a bad thing.
Of course, its efficacy is up in the air as well—any service as large as Craigslist draws in a wide array of users, and many of you noted that the site brings out all of the lowball offers, weirdos who show up to make a sale but then try to weasel out of the deal or try and get you to take less than they promised, or other strange scenario—not to mention the safety issue. Craigslist is great, but there’s no accountability whatsoever by the site for anything that happens through the site, but at the same time its huge user base and community-based pages make it easy to offload even things like appliances and other large goods you can’t ship and would rather have your buyer come pick up.