When it comes to selling things you no longer need, Craigslist is the go-to place for many people. But we’ve all heard the horror stories about Craigslist. It’s a reason why many local police departments let you conduct transactions in their facilities.
Before you sell anything, use eBay to come up with a ballpark value. You might be surprised how much old tech is worth. Tap or click here for old tech in your house right now that’s worth big bucks.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself from fraud (online and in-person) or physical harm:
- Never give out your phone number or email address to the people you’re selling to. If they want to contact you, they can do so through the app. If you can’t get around it, create an email address just for selling purposes. Tap or click here to get a second number on your phone you can use for online sales.
- Do not accept personal checks or money orders. These can be canceled before they’re handed to you.
- If you need to ship an expensive item, request “proof of delivery” from the shipping company. If it’s really pricey, get the insurance.
- ALWAYS meet in a public place. If you must meet a buyer at your house, move the items to the garage or outdoors so the buyer has no reason to enter your home.
Now, let’s get selling!
If you’re looking for a broad audience to hawk your wares, you can’t beat Facebook. The social media behemoth offers the free Facebook Marketplace, which makes it easy to reach people in your area interested in what you’re selling.
You can sell just about anything on Facebook Marketplace, including gadgets, gifts, household items and even houses. Once you upload images of your items, select your location to reach potential buyers in your area and communicate via Facebook Messenger.
Before you dive in, be sure your Facebook security settings are set to your liking. Tap or click here for the ones I recommend you change.
Skip the all-day yard sale and list your stuff within 30 seconds (so claims its creators) on OfferUp. This free-to-use app is ideal for sellers looking for buyers in their local community. Communication between the parties on OfferUp takes place through the app via secure messaging.
If you want to extend your range, OfferUp allows you to sell locally or nationwide. For a local sale, you collect cash in person. For goods that need to be shipped, payments are made through the app.
This year eBay celebrates 25 years of online buying and selling. For its 180+ million members, eBay is a great place to unload big-ticket items. Tap or click here for a secret to help you earn top dollar.
It’s also the perfect place for wacky, unusual and … questionable products. How crazy are some listings?
The list is extensive and includes ad space on a guy’s forehead, which brought in $37,375 in 2005, a bus-sized barbeque pit that sold for $350,000 in 2015 and a supposed 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich encrusted with a portrait of the Virgin Mary back in 2004, which raked in $28,000.
Regardless of whether your items are every day or off-the-wall, there are two ways to sell on eBay: via auction or fixed-price listings. Both methods come with fees and all payments go through PayPal. Tap or click to learn how you can avoid making a big mistake when selling your old phone on eBay.
Letgo is a free selling app, an easy-to-use app also great for local sales. Categories include used toys, housing and pre-owned vehicles. Just upload a photo of your item and provide details like description and condition. From the info you enter, Letgo will generate a product title.
Contact between buyers and sellers happens via an in-app messaging system. Once you agree upon a price, a meetup is required to complete the transaction. Payment can be made either in person or through PayPal. Letgo also offers you the option to “feature” your item for a small fee.
No meetups required with this selling app because all items ship. Mercari allows you to list as many items as you want with zero listing fees. What’s the catch? It does charge a flat 10 percent selling fee when your item sells.
Buyers can either buy your item at your asking price or offer you an amount they are willing to pay. Any time you sell an item on Mercari, whether it be listed or offer price, you will have to wait to get paid (into your Mercari app account) until your buyer receives the item, leaves feedback for you and you leave feedback for them.
If you have a balance, you can transfer money from the app directly to your bank account, which can take a few more days. Although this requires a bit of patience, there are no fees for transfers.
Maybe your clutter consists of CDs, DVDs, games, books and tech. If so, Decluttr is the best app for selling your stuff. No photos, no listings, no waiting for a buyer.
To sell with Decluttr, enter information, such as your tech’s model number, and if it’s a CD, DVD, game or book. Then scan its barcode using the app’s built-in scanner to instantly receive a valuation.
If you accept, pack up your items in a box, slap on the free pre-paid label and ship. When Decluttr receives and processes your items, you will be paid the next day. The company pays via PayPal, direct deposit or check. Or you can choose to donate your payment to charity.
Considered the largest online consignment and thrift store, thredUp can help you pocket some major bucks for used women’s clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry, as well as kids’ clothing and shoes.
There are two ways to offload your items on thredUP: Order the standard cleanout kit (you get paid) or donation cleanout (charity gets paid). You fill up the kit with gently-used items and ship it back. Then thredUP lists your items and sends them to buyers.
Fees do exist for options that include processing your clothing within one week ($16.00), returning any unwanted items to you ($10.99) and a pre-paid return shipping label ($1.99).
Payouts can range from 5 percent to 80 percent for directly purchased items and 20 percent to 95 percent for consignment goods. Pay alternatives include PayPal, a Visa prepaid card or shopping credit.
If you don’t want the hassle of shipping your stuff, sell it on Nextdoor. This community app allows you to post a listing for items you wish to sell or give away. Upload a photo and select a category, price or free, description and title.
If you use Nextdoor to keep tabs on your neighborhood, beware. These are a few things you should know to protect yourself from creeps, bullies and snoops. Tap or click here to see exactly what you need to do.
Promotional options for Nextdoor include posting to a broader local area, which allows you to reach nearby neighborhoods and boost your item (if it hasn’t sold within 48 hours) with a discount. This second option will further help you access a wider audience.
Once you have a buyer and agree on a price, you must arrange for a meetup and payment. There are no payment methods available through Nextdoor.
Now you have all the tools you need to get rid of all that clutter. There’s nothing stopping you from cleaning out your home and making some money in the process.
BONUS TIP FOR EXTRA KNOW-HOW: Fed up with robocalls? App lets you automatically sue spammers
After years of struggle against the robocall menace, we’ve made startlingly little progress. Day after day, we’re bombarded with annoying phone calls.
How can you stop them? Well, when the authorities fail to solve the crisis, leave it to the private sector to develop other tools to aid in the fight.
As much promise as these apps seem to show, none can give the people what they really want: a shot at revenge. Thankfully, a new app is being developed that not only blocks robocalls, but also gives you a chance to sue them for cold hard cash.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.