One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure: Tips for Selling on eBay, Craigslist and Amazon

Pile of stuffed animals selling on ebay and craigslistWhen to Let Go

The dilemma: Whether to get rid of every piece of baby and tot gear, toys and clothes. Yes, the Darlings have outgrown these items; yes, we don't have the room for it in our home; and no, we are NOT having any more kidlets. So, clearly the reasonable answer is, yes.

I'm really not the type to get sentimental over the baby bed {my Darlings rarely slept in their baby beds despite our best efforts} or the pack & play or strollers, etc., but there are a few outfits, blankets, books and toys that I will be putting away for safe keeping. I don't really know why, but for now I'll hold on to a few things from those sweet days of babyhood.

I recently read that people are prone to price items too high for resale whether it's for a garage sale or eBay, Craigslist or other venue because we over value certain items when there's an emotional connection to that item. This is probably very often the case when it comes to baby gear and family heirlooms.

Tips for Great Ads

So, how do you get your online ad to stand out, attract buyers and sell? Here are a few simple tips:

  1. Choose the right online classified platform for you: eBay, Craigslist or Amazon, in general. Do a bit of research to learn about the best items to sell on each site, the fees, if any, pricing, additional requirements, etc.;
  2. Read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of the site you choose to ensure your ad will conform with their policies;
  3. Write a detailed headline and use keywords in the title that will help your item reach the top of the list when similar items are searched;
  4. Write a detailed and accurate description of the item to be sold. Remember to be honest regarding the amount of use, condition, etc. Be sure to include brand, model, size, color and other such information;
  5. Provide a number of good quality and detailed photos of the item(s) to be sold. If there's no photo, many people won't even bother to view the ad {and I'm one of those people};
  6. Proofread your ad {several times}. An error regarding a detail in the description, price, payment or shipping could cost you; and
  7. If you will be shipping the item(s), offer reduced or free shipping. This will help you stand out among other sellers with similar items.

These few simple tips can help you succeed in selling quickly and making a profit, regardless of which site you choose.

What Not to Sell

But is there anything you should just throw away or donate rather than list online to sell? Yes. Each site has a list of items you are prohibited from selling; for Ebay’s list click here and for Craiglist list click here.

Additionally, this U.S. News and World Report list written by Amy Lu details the items you should never buy {or sell} used:

  1. Cribs and children's furniture
  2. Car seats
  3. Bicycle helmets
  4. Tires
  5. Laptops
  6. Software
  7. Plasma and HDTVs
  8. DVD Players
  9. Digital and video cameras
  10. Speakers and microphones
  11. Camera lenses
  12. Photo light bulbs
  13. Mattresses and bedding
  14. Swimsuits and undergarments
  15. Wet suits
  16. Shoes
  17. Hats
  18. Makeup
  19. Pet Supplies
  20. Vacuum cleaners

For the details as to why this is a list of no-nos to buy and/or sell used, click here for the whole U.S. News and World Reports article.

The Scoop

Tis the season for spring cleaning...I've found that sometimes it helps to have someone with an independent, unattached opinion on hand when going through a pile of discarded items in the basement and pricing these items for resale. Plus, it takes less time if you recruit a friend or family member to help out. I'm still trying to figure out the best option for our gently used goods. Over an out...


You might also like:

Alphabet Soup: Food Safety Standards; USDA, FDA, HHS & Now FSMA

The Overly Cautious Traveler: Must Read Pool Safety Tips

Distracted by Technology: Are Hands-Free Devices in SYNC with Safe Driving?