How to Make the Most Out of Selling Your Old Stuff Online

How to Make the Most Out of Selling Your Old Stuff Online
Image: iStock / sarayut

Whether you’re engaging in activities that would make Marie Kondo smile, or simply looking to make a little spare cash selling off the gear that you no longer want or need, there’s some simple ways to make the most out of your online garage sale.

According to research undertaken by Gumtree, around 85% of Australians have unused items in their house. I’m going to take a wild guess there and say that exercise equipment is probably right up there in terms of the most frequently unused. Or maybe that’s just me.

Either way, Gumtree’s research – which, we should remember, is ultimately self-serving because of course it is – suggests that a whopping 87% of people have gone as far as to simply throw out an item because they’ve found it too hard to sell. Issues around working out how to fairly price an item are common at 17%, while 14% simply stated that they felt like they didn’t know how to create a good advertisement. Selling online shouldn’t be that hard, folks!

While it’s Gumtree-specific, the following tips, which Gumtree associates with influencers (and apparently top Gumtree sellers) Flex Mami and Ash London do highlight some very simple things you can do to make sure that listings stand out, starting with the biggest failing of many online auctions – product photos.

According to Flex Mami and Ash London, the secrets to online selling success are as follows:

  1. Bangin’ Backgrounds: Setting is everything. Find a blank background like a wall to shoot against.
  2. Super Styling: Styling is super easy. Place your item on a pillar or a table top and put all the accessories that go with it in the frame.
  3. Lit Lighting: Good lighting is so important. Natural lighting from a window is hard to beat so try and take photos during the day if you can. Use the edit functions on your smart phone or camera to add extra light, if necessary. Standard rules – never take a photo at night with your lamp on and never have a shadow on your pic.
  4. Work The Angles: Find the angle that makes your item look the best. Don’t be too close or far away, just enough so you can see the item in all its glory.
  5. More Is More: Take a few crystal clear photos to show your item in detail and people have a better idea of what you’re selling. For example, holding up décor in your hand with brightly painted nails draws maximum attention.
  6. Open Strong: Put your best words forward. Have a clear and attention grabbing title and opening sentence.
  7. Get Descriptive: Know every feature and product detail? Then include it! Most importantly include measurements and specifications. A detailed description not only drives traffic due to search ability; it will also reduce the volume of questions people will send you which will save you time.
  8. Be Positive: People love a backstory. Let them know how much you loved this item, and why you’re letting it go. The best way to positively contribute is to be upfront with the items you’re selling and provide details or photos if the item has any wear and tear. That way you won’t disappoint buyers or waste anyone’s time!
  9. Think Like A Buyer: If you were looking for this item, what would you search? Include those keywords and add your item to the right category to help people find it.
  10. Have Fun: Don’t be afraid to add a little bit of your own personality to your listing making it engaging and relatable to potential buyers!

If you’re struggling with the lighting part, bear in mind that you can build a very effective home lighting studio out of not much more than a cardboard box or even an old flatbed scanner.

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