Author: Whitney Hollingshead

Selling items online can be a great way to get rid of unnecessary stuff and earn some extra cash. The tips below will help you get the most out of your selling experience and keep you safe in the process:

1. Create an email address to use just for selling items online. The more generic this email address is, the better; however, make sure you keep the address professional. For example, [email protected] is not a professional email address.

2. Look at posts of similar items being sold by others on KSL and Craigslist. Consider how you can make your item stand out. Scoping out the competition will help you find a way to win the sale.

3. Get your item ready in the best shape possible. Sure, it may take you a little bit of time to clean or fix a few things, but these improvements can earn you a bigger payoff in the end. For example, if you are selling a wedding dress, make sure the dress has been cleaned.

Helpful Tips for Selling Items Online - Image #2

4. Write a creative and honest description of your item. Keep the description brief, but provide more than basic information. Think about the questions you would ask someone when purchasing a similar item and include answers to those questions in your description. Figure out a catchy, yet professional way to grab a potential buyer’s attention, but make sure you are honest in all statements. If the item has flaws, is missing parts, or shows the signs of wear and tear, include these factors in your post.

5. Always post pictures and do your best to post a variety of really good pictures. If you are snapping pictures in your home, make sure the area visible in the photo is neat and tidy. Do not give away any clues to your location. In other words, don’t take a picture next to your mailbox with the address printed on the side. Do not post pictures of your children or your pets. If you use pictures of the item found online instead of posting your own photos, make sure you clearly state this in your post.

Helpful Tips for Selling Items Online - Image #1

6. Do some research on pricing. When possible, find out how much the brand new version of your item is currently selling for online. Mention this number in your post as a comparison. Use the pricing of other similar items online to help you set the price. Try to set your price at least 10% higher than the amount you are hoping to make. Buyers will attempt to bargain with you so you want to have some room to bargain. Make sure you determine your rock bottom price before posting any information online and keep this number to yourself.

7. Post your item on more than one site, but make sure to post on the local page for each site. If out of state buyers find your item online you may receive a lot of extra attention that will not translate to an actual sale.

8. Choose a meeting place that is in a public area. If you do not have your own business, ask a friend or family member who owns a business if you can use their location as a place to meet with potential buyers. Do not meet in the parking lot. Rather, choose a safe public location indoors. This may prove challenging if you are selling furniture or larger items. If you cannot find any alternative to having the buyer come to your home or storage unit, arrange for a group of adults you trust to be at the meeting with you. Never transact a sale with a child visible to the buyer.

Helpful Tips for Selling Items Online - Image #3

9. Make sure the financial terms are agreed upon before you meet with a prospective buyer. You should consider a cash only transaction. If the buyer writes you a check that doesn’t clear the bank, you may have a hard time getting the bounced check resolved. Do not give the buyer access to the item until you have received the payment in full.

10. Follow your gut. As you are contacted by potential buyers be wary of anything that seems fishy. Serious buyers will ask serious questions. Don’t waste your time responding to general inquiries. For example, serious buyers should include the name of the item instead of generic phrases like, “Is it still available?”. If you ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable, don’t talk yourself into continuing the transaction. No amount of money is worth your safety and peace of mind.

Bonus Tip: Posting rental properties on KSL and Craigslist is becoming very popular. If you are planning on posting rental properties online, make sure you have additional security measures in place. Ask for references, contact the references provided, and ask a lot of questions. Have an attorney examine your rental contract. You will also want to put extra effort into making your property stand out in a good way. Here are some additional tips to help you in preparing your rental.

By following these 10 tips above, you can successfully and safely sell your items via an online marketplace.