One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure: Selling Online

What do you do with your old stuff when you get something new? In most households, it is either passed down from generation to generation, packed into a corner, or sold to a scrap dealer. But that old thing in your garage is exactly what someone else is looking for. So, an easier and more effective solution is to sell it online. You definitely can use some extra cash.

Why Should You Sell Your Old Stuff Online?

Reports show that most of the used items purchases take place online. According to the popular secondhand fashion app ThredUp, the global secondhand market is expected to reach $77 billion by 2025. The development of new websites for selling used products has driven secondhand retail from the margins and into the mainstream.

However, getting started in the realm of selling second hand stuff online is a deep rabbit hole. You should learn about how to scale while being profitable, how to keep track of your inventory, and, most importantly, how to choose the best platform to sell on. In this detailed article, we’ll go over the reasons why people buy old products and how you may resell them.

How to Start Selling Online?

After a thorough cleaning, you may find yourself with a plethora of items that you no longer need. If that is the case, you might want to try selling your stuff to make some money. One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure, as the saying goes. However, there are a few things to consider if you decide to sell your old clutter.

Organize Your Items

Preparing your items for sale is always the first step in online selling. Following this step-by-step plan will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run:

  • Inspect all items for defects and, if electronic, test them.
  • Divide your stuff into categories.
  • Keep your items in a place where you can easily access them.
  • Prepare packaging and shipping materials ahead of time.

Keep the Title Simple

When it comes to listing titles, try to keep them as simple as possible. You can even limit it to a single word, such as “wardrobe” or “toaster”. Sometimes people get notifications about specific items when they are listed on some apps or websites. You do not want to overwhelm them with reading too many details if they are not into it. So, keep the name of your item short, basic, and to the point. That is the core of a good sales message.

Offer a Reasonable Price

Basically, people tend to buy second-hand stuff because they are cheaper than retail. Therefore, you cannot offer a used product at the same price as a new one. Consequently, when you price your items do not get greedy.

In general, overpricing is a big turn-off. This is especially the case if you are trying to leave a good first impression. Even if you are seeking to make a big return on every sale, it is often wiser to focus on your public image. Moreover, you want a product that sells at the end.

The Details Matter

When it comes to the product description, provide as much detail as possible. It is preferable to include some photos from different angles of the item you are selling. Also, you should demonstrate the dimensions of the item, it will help people figure out if it fits.

Lastly, honesty is key! Never provide people with false information or fool them about damage or breakage in your items whatsoever. Providing misleading descriptions of your items is a sure way to lose the buyer’s trust and will almost certainly result in poor reviews.

Be Responsive

It is important to respond and answer people’s questions as quickly as possible. Do not ignore anyone or let them wait for long. If you are not actively responsive, people might lose interest in your listings.

Know Your Potential Buyer

To meet the needs of any potential customer, every wise seller must be well-versed in his or her market. A young couple shopping for a sleek, minimalist sofa will not be interested in an antique chair. While an older couple is unlikely to be interested in purchasing your old PS4.

This is when your understanding of your neighborhood or local community comes in handy. Depending on the things you are attempting to sell, try to tailor your promotion to who the most potential buyer will be.

Where to Sell Your Old Stuff Online 

So, now that you have identified your ideal buyer and developed a strategy, you are ready to select a platform to start selling your old products. Connecting with your target demographic and their specific search query is the best approach to sell something online. To put it another way, meet them where they already go.

Local online marketplaces are perfect for sellers who do not want to deal with the hassles of processing, delivering, and tracking their products. While local marketplaces are unmatched in terms of convenience, always remember to meet buyers in a safe location and be aware of scammers.

We are going to show you what different platforms you can use to sell your stuff. Starting with local marketplaces, then specialized websites, and finally general marketplaces.


Craigslist has not changed much since its inception. It retains the same simple, Web 1.0, Times New Roman style (maybe part of its charm). Craigslist is kind of like the Goodwill of the internet. Buyers are aware that they may have to sift through mountains of trash in order to uncover a gem. That has, however, become part of its charm.

Craigslist is not designed to run a full-fledged used item marketplace. However, it is a good option if you are seeking to make fast cash on a few products here and there. It is also distinct because it can feature not only products for sale, but also jobs, autos, and even houses.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a more structured and organized version of Craigslist. Again, it is not intended to support large-scale used item sales, but it is ideal for piecemeal sales of used products.

You can find the storefront easily in the Facebook app. Because of the social side of the platform, sellers can vet out a buyer by checking their profile. This helps to screen out scammers, con artists, and other potentially dangerous people. It is far easier to create a fake persona on Craigslist than it is on Facebook. Anyways, you have to be careful.

In terms of convenience, it is fairly uncommon for products listed on Facebook Marketplace to sell for cash in a couple of hours. If you do not want to deal with marketplace restrictions and want to keep your sales local, Facebook Marketplace is a great option.


OfferUp started as an “anti-Craigslist” kind of a thing. The founders wanted to expand on the open marketplace concept by providing differentiators that addressed frequent inconveniences. Their infrastructure and product selection are extremely comparable to Craigslist. Instead of a web style that brings back some memories from Windows 98, OfferUp has a beautiful, modern user interface.

OfferUp also combats scammers and dubious people by including users’ profiles and a rating system. It even has a mobile app and a Safe Trade Spot function to provide you peace of mind when making a transaction.

The website is all local and free, just like Craigslist. It is your responsibility to manage the sale and delivery of your item, as well as to answer any questions from the customer.

David Kalt was disappointed with the lack of high-quality internet markets for buying and selling old guitars in 2013. What did he do? He created his own Six years later, Etsy got it for $275 million. It is now one of the most popular online marketplaces for all musical instruments and equipment.

Musical instruments are only one of many products that lend themselves well to resale. Most artists do not mind if some other people have used their guitar effects pedal in the past, or if it has a few scuffs on it as long as it works. sells new, used, and antique music equipment in every available category. Its system of buying and selling makes shifting gear simple and convenient. Reverb’s mobile app makes it simple to list products, and their real-time price evaluations help sellers get the most out of their offering.


The key value of Decluttr is that it provides a platform for buying and selling high-quality secondhand technology. This covers not only cell phones, computers, and cameras, but also DVDs and Blu-rays. Decluttr is suitable for both technophiles and collectors.

However, Decluttr has another seemingly insignificant feature that makes it even more desirable to collectors: a strong second-hand LEGO buying program. Decluttr buys LEGO depending on weight, even if you do not remember what sets you bought or cannot find all the parts. Simply pack up your old LEGO bricks, weigh them, and ship them for free to take advantage of Decluttr’s speedy next-day payout.

Decluttr may be your best option if you have high-quality second-hand technology, media, or a large bucket full of LEGOs lying around.


I guess the phrase “selling used stuff online” conjures up an image of the iconic multi-colored eBay logo. Since its start, eBay has firmly established itself as the online auction house for secondhand items.

It is a piece of cake to list items on eBay. Take a few photos with your phone, follow a few steps, and your item will be online in less than five minutes. Selling products here and there is one thing, but understanding eBay’s cost structure is critical if you intend to sell items in bulk.

Expect to pay roughly 10% of the final sale price to eBay as a general rule (not including taxes). When you begin to increase your selling volume, eBay increases its fees. If you list more than 50 items per month, they will begin charging you 30 cents for each listing. eBay also provides a variety of upsells for prominent listing locations and reserve prices.


Etsy is the dominant player in the handmade and crafted goods sector. It does, however, have a booming vintage storefront. Yet, the quality bar is set high. You cannot just ship them a lot of secondhand items and hope for the best.

“Vintage items” are those that have been in use for at least 20 years, according to Etsy. This means that Etsy is a good marketplace for vintage art, furniture, musical instruments, books and magazines, collectibles (like cards), and even clothes.

Selling on Etsy has several advantages, such as:

  • You will not be competing with waves of low-value junk,
  • Etsy’s selling infrastructure is first-rate,
  • And it attracts a clientele that is frequently ready to spend more money.

Etsy charges $0.20 for each listing and a 3.5% commission on all sales.

Last Word

In short, you can take advantage of your old stuff for one last time if you decide to sell them. And what is an easier way to do so than selling online? If you just want to sell your old stuff after a thorough cleaning, there are multiple options. You should expect a simple and manageable selling process.

You have some good local platforms like OfferUp, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. If you prefer something more of a specialty, then check out Decluttr or Finally, you can deal with a more generic platform like eBay, Etsy, or Amazon.

Following a few easy steps can significantly help you free up some space in your garage or even your cabinets, and earn some extra cash.