Spring cleaning just got a lot more profitable! If you want to sell your unwanted items online, we asked some of our favorite pros to share their simple strategies that'll help rake in cash.
Selling on eBay? Post on Sunday.
“After selling thousands of dollars worth of items over 14 years on eBay, I’ve found it’s best to do a 7-day auction starting on Sunday by 7 pm PST. That’s when the most users are on the site. And always start an auction at 99 cents — people find that price irresistible!” — Danna Crawford, founder of PowerSellingMom
Use the right words to ensure a sale.
“To get the most visibility for your item, focus on a few specific keywords. So if you’re posting a bangle bracelet, zero in on specific words buyers would use in a search bar when looking for that item, like ‘bangle bracelet lucite vintage jewelry.’ There’s no need to waste space on adjectives like ‘lovely’ since no one searches those words.” — Angelina Brooks, founder of ePrivet.com
Try Craigslist to move big lots.
“If you have several items to clear out, like tools or kids’ toys, Craigslist is a great option. To move them all, include a line in each post noting that you have many items for sale, then include a unique number, like your phone number followed by two asterisks or other icons. Then buyers can plug that number into the search bar to see all your listings. I once sold a desk and chair and when the buyer saw the other office supplies I had listed, like a wastebasket and file folders, she bought all of it!” — Becky Blanton, author of The Homeless Entrepreneur ($12.95, Amazon)
Make your item descriptions urgent.
“It’s easier than ever to list items on Facebook sale sites — I’ve made more than $4,000 this way. There’s a lot of competition to sell there, so you want to make it seem like your item is a hot commodity. Create a sense of urgency by including words like ‘won’t last’ or ‘must go today’ in the post. To find sale groups near you, log on to Facebook and search for ‘buy, sell, trade’ and the name of your city and state.” — Christina Hidek, professional organizer at Streamlined Living
Include the original price on these items.
“When posting clothing or accessories, include the price you paid when you bought the item. When buyers see that in the listing, they immediately feel like they’re getting a really good deal and want to snap it up. You also want to make sure the items you’re selling are clean, then take clear photos and display accessories like sunglasses or a scarf on a pretty background or with some silk flowers to make them stand out.” — Jessica Kay, founder of Cubicle Chic
Keep your listing short and sweet.
“For items that are too fragile or too bulky to ship, like dishes or appliances, post on free apps like Letgo and OfferUp, which connect you with buyers in your area. But since people are likely viewing the listing on their cell phones, which have smaller screens, it’s a good idea to give your item a title with 30 characters or less so the title can be read in its entirety on a phone. Plus, most people only scan the first few words when deciding whether to click on it and you want to lure them into clicking on yours.” —Joan Concilio, blogger at Man Vs Debt
Unload outdoor gear now.
“Right now is prime time to sell bikes, patio furniture and other seasonal items. As the weather gets nicer people are getting excited to spend more time outdoors, so they’re looking for these items. Tools and materials for home projects are also top sellers at this time of year, so it’s the perfect time to clear out your garage and make some extra money.” — Donna Smallin Kuper, founder of Unclutter
Group your gadgets.
“As most sellers know, you’ll generally get a higher price the newer the electronic device is. However, don’t toss broken or old electronics — instead, bundle similar items together to sell on sites like eBay. You get more money this way from buyers who repair broken electronics than you would by trying to sell each item off piece by piece. As for phones, tablets and other gadgets that are in working order, I’ve found that you’ll get the best price at decluttr.com. The process is simple: You just enter the details about your device, including what condition it’s in and any accessories you have, and accept the price they offer, then they will send you a free shipping label to mail them the device, and you get paid via PayPal or check.” — Donna Smallin Kuper
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine.