Carlton started selling online in order to raise the funds to buy his daughter a bike. From there things escalated. Find out how you can start making money online.

Watch Carlton's story

 

Could you be an online seller?

Almost anyone can be an online seller. All it takes is a little bit of work and patience. And if you have an attic stuffed full of unwanted things, all the better!

Most bidding sites involve setting up an online profile, which is then ranked by other users based on your skills as a seller and buyer. Things taken into consideration include: Do you dispatch items on time? Pay your fees promptly? Are your items as described? The more you play by the site's rules, the better your profile will be, and the more likely people are to buy from you. 

If you want to sell expensive items, such as electricals, build up your profile first by buying things or selling smaller items. Nobody will want to buy a smartphone from someone with no feedback. 

 

What do you have lying around the house?

Selling things online can be a great end point to a spring clean. Set yourself a goal of decluttering a certain room, and then rather than throwing away, consider selling online. 

A good rule of thumb when you're deciding whether or not to sell something is to ask yourself: "Have I used this item in the past year?" If the answer is no, then it's probably time to sell. 

New items, branded goods (such as a BOSH drill), rare commodities or job lots generally sell the best. 

It's amazing what some people are willing to purchase second hand. People share the most surprising items they have managed to sell through bidding site eBay on this forum. Used tax discs or old carrier bags anyone?

This handy tool allows you to see which items are eBay's most searched for, helpful when wondering what items to sell. 

 

sell your stuff

 

Do you have a good photo and description?

When you're compiling your description, and especially the title of your listing, be sure to ask yourself, "What are people searching for?"

If you're selling that BOSH drill, for example, it's no good using the title "Tool for drilling". "Brand new, working BOSH drill" will sell much better. 

It's important to always be upfront and honest about an item's condition. Even when you admit that an item is faulty, you'll be amazed how many people are still interested. This is especially true with electrical goods.

Searching out other sellers successfully selling items like yours could be a good source of pointers for your own listings. How did they phrase their description? Take their photo? How might you copy their style in order to sell your own goods?

Before you list your item, make sure you proofread your description. All it takes is a simple typo in your title to mean your item won't list for the people searching it out. 

A good quality photograph is also vital if you want to get a good price for your item. Services like eBay will allow you to upload up to 12 photos free of charge, so there's plenty of space to show off your item's every good side.

Taking the photograph outside can ensure good lighting while a plain background will help it stand out in the search results. Be sure to capture any imperfections so buyers know what they're letting themselves in for.

 

Where should I sell it?

eBay dominates the world of online auctions but there are many other sites where you can list your items. eBid and CQuot are growing services, but it's worth searching around for the sites that charge sellers the least.  

Of course, you can also use classifieds websites such as Gumtree, Preloved or local Facebook groups where it's free to list. If you're selling books, then Amazon Marketplace is probably your best option. 

 

Do I know how much it's worth?

There are plenty of online valuation sites that will give you a rough estimate of what your item is worth. If you want a more official opinion for an expensive object, consider using an appraiser or visiting a local antique shop. If you use a certified appraiser they will give you an unbiased, professional opinion on an items value. 

Of course, an easy way to estimate how much you could make from a certain item is to search within your auction site of choice to see how much other people are selling the same item for. 

 

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