Best place to sell stuff?

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macandal
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Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Best place to sell stuff?

Post by macandal » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:30 pm

I have a lot of things around my house that I do not use and want to sell. Things like clothes, books, electronics, tchotchkes, etc. What's the best platform to do this? eBay, Amazon, craigslist, other?

I live in San Francisco, CA.

Thanks.
Last edited by macandal on Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:37 pm

Depends where you live. Used items aren't going to sell well on Amazon in my experience.

EBay has the challenge of shipping, and dealing with PayPal and a buyer saying they didn't get it or they want to return it.

Craiglist is great IF you have a local area Craigslist and IF you follow Craigslist guidelines.

I have sold hundreds and hundreds of items (in-law's stuff) on Craigslist over the past 5+ years, hundreds and hundreds of items, for well over $20,000.

1) Do NOT put your phone number in the listing.
2) Use CL confidential email (ensure you email address isn't setup as Don_Smith DonSmith@comcast.net, set one up as Craigslist DonSmith@Comcast.net so your name doesn't come through).
3) Only meet at Craigslist Safe Zones.
4) Only take cash, $20 bills or smaller.
5) If an item is to big to transport, meet at CL Safe Zone, THEN go to your home, with the item in a garage or basement, not providing a tour of your home. If at your home, ensure you have someone else around.
6) Do price research. You can get fair prices on Craigslist, if you avoid the bottom feeders. If it's found on Ebay (sold listings) for $90, ask $90. When you're offered $20, it's someone trying to see how desperate you are.
7) Have patience. I had hundreds of listings. Some items took several years to sell. I have a big basement, I didn't care.
8) Just because you value something, doesn't mean others do. And just because you think it's garbage, you may get much more than you think it is worth.
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bloom2708
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:38 pm

LetGo, Facebook Classifieds, Craigslist, eBay, garage sale.

Depending on how much effort you want to put in, you might use all of them. More expensive/shippable items go on eBay for me. More effort, but a much broader audience of bidders/buyers.

Take your hourly wage at work and apply that to time spent trying to sell $3, $5, $10 items. It just isn't worth the effort to squeeze every cent out of small/unused items.

Craigslist and LetGo, you can snap a couple photos on your phone and post in just a few minutes. Then you have to shuffle through the scammers, lowballers and time wasters.

We end up donating a lot of small/low value items. Certain books might fetch a worthwhile amount. Boxing, shipping and driving to drop off need to be included in the costs.

Start small with a few items and see how much success you have.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mindgap
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by mindgap » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:41 pm

I would say it depends on the product.

Bigger items I would personally sell through Craigslist or apps like letgo so people can pick it up and you don't have to worry about shipping.

Products which need a bigger audience to sell and are not as popular and easily shippable I put on eBay.

Products you have lots off like CDs, DVDs and stuff I would try to sell on declutter.

I guess there is not one platform to do it all. It also depends where you are located. In LA it might be easier to sell stuff compared to somewhere in Wisconsin.

Hope that helps.

bob60014
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by bob60014 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:14 pm

macandal wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:30 pm
I have a lot of things around my house that I do not use and want to sell. Things like clothes, books, electronics, tchotchkes, etc. What's the best platform to do this? eBay, Amazon, craigslist, other?

Thanks.
Having recently gone through this, and to be honest, the things you mention will bring pennies, especially clothes, books and tchotchkes. Of course this depends on your area. The exception may be electronics IF it is something special, current or a antique. IMHO, you're best bet and to avoid the hassle, donate it!

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:21 pm

For books, just do a google search for book buyers. There are a ton. You key in the isbn number and they give you a price they'll pay. All will have a minimum to buy (usually $15) and for a good book, expect to get $1. Current text books can bring real money.

Anything eBay, expect to be scammed out of a good percentage. You can complain, but the buyer always wins.

I love craigslist but I don't see much listed that'll bring much. I've sold thousands of things on craigslist. Just a few examples of what doesn't sell. Flat screen monitors. I listed 4 working ones with AVI and DVI cables and power cable that I'd demo that they work for $5 total. Zero interest. 300W Kenwood audio/video amplifier that I would demo working for $15. Zero interest. Working desktop computer with xeon, printer, monitor, external altac lansing powered speakers, mouse, keyboard and webcam, all working and demo: $15. No interest. I scrapped all of them for PC board/aluminum/steel/wire value.
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Blake7
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by Blake7 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:35 pm

Craigslist is all I use. RickBoglehead's advice above is excellent. I've sold about $1,500 worth of stuff over the last three years or so, mostly stuff under $50, but a few higher ticket items too. There are a lot of people on Craig's at any given time, so the ad exposure is great. Research and price fairly, and you will most likely get it sold. WAY better than what you get a garage sale. I've actually sold on Craig's for a nice profit quite a few things that I got at garage sales for next to nothing.

I personally never use the anonymous email/proxy email option, instead I have a Google Voice Number (via phone app) and only communicate via text, which has worked well for me. You will get some scam texts now and then, but Google Voice can block numbers or divert them to a spam folder. I would never use anything other than a Google Voice number for Craig's.

Don't waste you time with anything that involves shipping. The chances of being scammed are way higher.

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JaneyLH
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by JaneyLH » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:51 pm

If you use Craigslist, get a free Google Voice number so you can get phone calls and texts without the caller knowing your real number. If you call back, use the Google Voice app to keep your real number secret. Works great!

Jp0122
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by Jp0122 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:56 pm

I have sold lots of stuff in different ways. I recently traded in a laptop to best buy for store credit. I traded in 2 kindles to Amazon for credit. I have sold lots of stuff on ebay with only a couple of issues. Restrict sales from eastern Europe and you'll avoid a lot of issues. If you are selling collectibles ebay is your best option. Old cellphones, apple products, dvd's and cd's sell best to gazelle or decluttr. Most used clothing has no value but some items will sell. You can easily look at sold items on ebay to tell what's worth messing with. Like it or not, ebay, craigslist and others have served to show that most collectibles are almost worthless. If you keep in mind your goal is to unload these unwanted items and anything you can get is a bonus, you'll feel a lot better about the process.

Jp0122
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by Jp0122 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:21 pm

Also, I did succeed in getting a buyer kicked off of ebay and got an overseas buyer to pay after I left negative feedback for not paying.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by TallBoy29er » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:24 pm

I find my local Salvation Army a rewarding place to donate items I no longer want, and to shop for "new" clothes. I get that you don't receive $$, but it's a worthy charity. It also saves on the hassle and time of selling and transacting goods/money. It's just easy, and quick.

ResearchMed
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:52 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:24 pm
I find my local Salvation Army a rewarding place to donate items I no longer want, and to shop for "new" clothes. I get that you don't receive $$, but it's a worthy charity. It also saves on the hassle and time of selling and transacting goods/money. It's just easy, and quick.
The Salvation Army in our area will pickup bags of whatever: clothing, linens, cookware, etc.
We make an appointment online, and they typically call a couple of days in advance to reconfirm time/day, plus "where will the bags be", and get a better count.

We don't bother with formal donations. Used clothing just isn't worth much.
We are getting ready to downsize in the next couple of years (we think), and we've just accumulated too, too much. That is a real problem with having a large house, alas. Some things are embarrassingly *old*...

But we just couldn't see throwing it away and knowing it would end up in a landfill, when most of the items could in fact be used by someone, either someone finding a bargain at a SA shop, or someone just in need of clothing.

Some bed/bath linens we donate to a homeless shelter.

RM
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willybiggs
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by willybiggs » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:18 pm

There is a site called "Next Door" where you can join if your neighborhood is represented. It is safe and secure and you know who may be buying your stuff. Check and see if your area is there, probably is since you are in SF. I've bought and sold several items in several locations.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:54 am

willybiggs wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:18 pm
There is a site called "Next Door" where you can join if your neighborhood is represented. It is safe and secure and you know who may be buying your stuff. Check and see if your area is there, probably is since you are in SF. I've bought and sold several items in several locations.
+1
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Watty
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by Watty » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:36 am

We have done garage sales about once a year for decades just to declutter but at least in my area they don't seem to move the stuff very well anymore even when it it priced low.
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:21 pm
Anything eBay, expect to be scammed out of a good percentage. You can complain, but the buyer always wins.
+1

After having some problems I would be real cautious about selling anything on eBay that is worth more than about $50.

I still sell things on eBay occasionally but I just sold a used camera to a camera store for about 60% of what I could have sold it for on eBay just because there are so many problems for sellers now.

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lthenderson
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by lthenderson » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:37 am

macandal wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:30 pm
I have a lot of things around my house that I do not use and want to sell. Things like clothes, books, electronics, tchotchkes, etc. What's the best platform to do this? eBay, Amazon, craigslist, other?

I live in San Francisco, CA.

Thanks.
If you want to get scammed somehow and then spend lots of time trying to get your money, use ebay.
If you want to spend countless hours being hounded by people to sell you something for half price or waiting for people to show up that never do, use Craigslist.
If you want to get rid of everything in one morning, hold a garage sale.
If you want the easiest and most pain free way of getting rid of your stuff, donate it to charity.

stan1
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by stan1 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:46 am

Watty wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:36 am
We have done garage sales about once a year for decades just to declutter but at least in my area they don't seem to move the stuff very well anymore even when it it priced low.
Varies by location. In my major metro area garage sales are dead, but in my mom's more rural area they are still alive and thriving as a way to get rid of stuff quickly (but maybe not at the best possible price). Her area does not have a dedicated Craigslist zone.

You have to do a time value of money proposition here. $20K of revenue sounds nice, but how many hours went into that? Do you value your free time at $0/hour? For those who still itemize (federal/state or state only) adjust for after tax proceeds over donating an item to charity.

Cheyenne
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by Cheyenne » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:48 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:37 pm
1) Do NOT put your phone number in the listing.
I do the opposite. When selling on Craigslist, I only accept phone calls because I can get a feel for the person by speaking with them. Texts are usually scams and come-ons so I never respond the them. I have a cheap cellphone number that has no Google history (except for Craigslist ads).

go_mets
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by go_mets » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:16 am

You still can't beat eBay for the breadth and reach.
I sold 3 fitness trackers in December that I had also listed on Craigslist.
Also 4 necklaces over the past 6 months.
Thankfully no scams yet. Fingers crossed.
However, buyers have 6 months (!) to file a claim with Paypal.
It is an absolutely ridiculous policy given that Walmart and Target give you 3 months max and Target has switched to 30 days on electronics.

Made 1 sale of an used laptop on Craigslist in the past year. Met at the local library.
Made 1 sale of an used laptop on OfferUp app in the past year. Met at Panera.
Made 0 sale on Letgo app.


For Craigslist, Offerup, and Letgo, I have a throwaway telephone number that I give to potential buyers.
Last edited by go_mets on Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

GCD
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by GCD » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:35 am

My wife and I largely gave up on selling things through any medium. I think there are so many people selling stolen property or just looking to get rid of stuff that it is almost impossible to get a reasonable price on something. We just donate to charity. It's not worth our time to eke out every last cent.

I have a few co-workers and friends of friends who spend a lot of time at it, but they don't seem to make much money.

I wish you better luck than my own!

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bottlecap
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by bottlecap » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:11 am

macandal wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:30 pm
I have a lot of things around my house that I do not use and want to sell. Things like clothes, books, electronics, tchotchkes, etc. What's the best platform to do this? eBay, Amazon, craigslist, other?

I live in San Francisco, CA.

Thanks.
Look into a local website. We are in the process of doing this and a local “buy, sell, trade" site works great.

Good luck,

JT

RollTide31457
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Re: Best place to sell stuff?

Post by RollTide31457 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:50 am

Yard sale

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