Turn clutter into cash by selling it online

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I love clutter
photo by: sindesign

Do you have a closet full of discarded electronics, a garage teeming with pet projects your husband insists he’ll “get to,” or cupboards filled with toys the kids don’t play with anymore? Do you ever feel like you’re trapped in an episode of “Hoarders?”

It may be time to consider selling some stuff online.

First, make sure you price it right. Search for the item you want to sell on eBay, Amazon and Craigslist and see what other people have it listed for. Take into account comparable age, condition and quality so you can adjust your price. Try to remember that your goal is to get the item out of your house, not set a sales record for highest price for a Super Nintendo.

Next, make it pretty and take some photos. Track down all the parts, cords and manuals (if you have them). A treadmill that looks taken care of and has all its parts will fetch a higher price than one the buyer will have to figure out how to use by trial and error. Once you’ve got it spiffed up, put the item in a well-lit place and snap a few photos. Many buyers won’t even consider items listed without them, and flattering photos will ensure you get top dollar.

How do you choose between listing your item on eBay, Craigslist or Amazon? Each site has its benefits. Craigslist is best for larger items like furniture, exercise equipment and cars. Since it links you with a pool of local buyers, most people expect that the item will be picked up or delivered, saving you the hassle of figuring out how to ship that Nautilus machine to Kansas City. Amazon and eBay are great for collectibles, jewelry, small electronics and one-of-a-kind items that you don’t mind shipping and need to expose to a larger market to get the best price.

By this point, you are probably thinking, “that’s all fine and dandy, but how do I get my money?” When selling an item on Craigslist, we’d recommend that you accept only cash or money order. Amazon and eBay work best with PayPal. You can set up an escrow arrangement where the buyer sends in the money before you ship the item so you don’t have to worry about getting a bad check, or worse, sending off your item and never getting paid. It’s easy to set up a PayPal account that links to your bank account, and money will be transferred automatically into your account as soon as the buyer receives the item. Just make sure you ship with delivery and/or signature confirmation.

If we’ve whetted your appetite to launch your new career as an eBay power seller but left you with lingering questions, drop us a line on Facebook (facebook.com/nerdsoncall) or e-mail us at [email protected]