It’s not often I get invited on live national television to talk about my knickers. But that’s what happened when The Marilyn Denis Show brought me in to chat about the best ways to sell stuff online.
And no, I didn’t try to sell my knickers on TV. Promise.
But I did talk about selling Chloe’s used cloth diapers, clothing, and baby gear online. I also shared my selling tips for earning some cash from the stuff hiding in your closet. You know, that dress you wore only once and those fancy stilettos you refuse to wear EVER? Yeah, that stuff.
The segment also addressed entrepreneurs who have a product to sell with ways to reach a market online.
Since I had a blast squawking about a whole lotta stuff with The One and Only Ms. Marilyn Denis, I thought you guys might like to see my tips too. Enjoy!
Can you really make money online?
Yeppers. The second-hand economy is the first place most families can tap to both declutter and earn a little cash. If you have gently-used clothing, gear, collectables, or housewares sitting around the house, there is opportunity to cash-in online.
Canadians love second-hand goods. OK, Americans love second-hand shopping too. According to a big Kijiji study, Canadians sold 1.85 billion items in 2015 and earned an average of $883 from these sales. Here’s where to get started:
Post your stuff on Kijiji
Kijiji.ca is a free classifieds site that boasts a large yet local audience to sell baby and kid stuff online. From strollers to bikes, Kijiji is the place to reach a large audience in your local area. It’s also a great place to sell a car or rent an apartment. Heck, I used Kijiji to sell my Subaru for the asking price.
The best stuff to sell on Kijiji includes: kids toys, clothing, sports gear, and furniture. OK, anything goes — including Chloe’s cloth diapers.
It’s a dirty topic, but I sold my daughter’s cloth diapers on Kijiji for over 50 per cent of original cost – try doing that with disposable diapers! Selling gently-used strollers, jeans, and shoes is a win for earning a little cash. Kids grow fast and buyers want your gear to save money. Expect to get around 15 per cent of the original price for clothing, 60 per cent for gear, and even more on high-end kids stuff.
Selling Tip: Always clean and launder kids’ items before posting online. List stains and scratches, and find instruction manuals so buyers are in the know. Check for recalls on cribs, strollers, etc. The clearest photographs and most descriptive descriptions sell stuff fastest and at top dollar.
Stay Safe: Use the Kijiji App to post and communicate with prospective sellers online. The Message feature allows buyers and sellers to communicate without sharing personal information like email. If you don’t like a seller, your private information is safer.
Find a buy and sell group on Facebook.
This tip wasn’t mentioned on the show, but I’d like to add Facebook groups into the mix of options for selling stuff online. While on Facebook, start by searching for “Buy and sell” with your city name in the search. Facebook will list all the groups (open and closed) in your community. Open groups are easy to join — just ‘Like’ the page and start posting your sellables online. Become a member of a closed groups by requesting to join the network — the page administrator will check out your profile before approval.
The advantage of selling standard goods and even luxury items though Facebook is most people post using their real names, so you know who you’re dealing with at the outset.
For the Collector: eBay
If you have gently-used premium or luxury goods, consider setting up an auction on eBay. From one-of-a-kind designer purses to sports memorabilia, eBay is a global seller of luxury and unique items.
The best stuff to sell on eBay includes designer shoes, handbags and dresses. Big designer names like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dior sell for top dollar on eBay – sometimes for even more than the initial cost! Before listing as an auction or as a ‘Buy Now’ option, follow a few listings with similar items to help price your goods. Don’t forget to factor your seller fees into the price, as eBay fees can take a bite out of your profit.
Selling Tip: Proving authentication of the item is key on eBay. Always include photos of authentication certificates, serial numbers, original receipts, store tags, or designer labels to prove you’re selling the real thing.
For the Entrepreneur: Shopify
I’m amazed with how easily entrepreneurs build a brand and sell online with an end-to-end e-commerce system called Shopify. For as little as $10 per month (if you’re small) and up to $180 per month (if you’re big), sellers can use the Shopify platform to personalize their site, reach a global audience, and access secure payment processes.
Selling Tip: Learn by example and research how other Shopify businesses make the world of selling online and through mobile work. Researching your business vertical and finding your competitors is key to being a successful online entrepreneur.
For the Crafter: Etsy
Are you crafty? Etsy is the place to sell your unique and handmade goods to customers around the world. I shop Etsy when I’m on the hunt for a unique gift for someone special. If you’re in the business of creating one-of-a-kind wares then creating an Etsy profile and getting social through this online community could make you some money.
Selling Tip: One of biggest challenges for popular Etsy sellers is creating enough goods to satisfy demand. While this can be an enviable problem to have, it’s important to communicate delivery dates and production challenges with your customer base BEFORE agreeing to the sale.
Hope you enjoyed the segment!
Love, love, love,
Hi Kerry 🙂
I had heard of Shopify but did not know anything about it. I tried to google to learn more….it is still unclear to me how it works. Partnership with Amazon? Would you (or one of your Squawkfox groupies) tell me if one can focus it on a market rather than world wide coverage? (If it is a service rather than “goods” one is selling, can one choose a single city or province to target the app?)
Hi Connie! Shopify is an ecommerce platform you can use to sell stuff. There are so many use cases. Here’s a link to the Shopify Blog (https://www.shopify.ca/blog) where you can read their guides, success stories, and watch videos on how Shopify works across different markets. Hope this helps!
I use Kijiji quite often and found that baby strollers and baby accessories sell very fast. Ikea furniture seems to easy to sell as the buyer knows exactly what they are getting
Can you make money online? I bet you can? I started out my career as a blogger. Today, I hire bloggers for my website. The “online” cash flow: something on which my business runs!
Anytime I try to sell something on Amazon I always fail. They take 1/3 of the cut, and after mailing expenses I find the item needs to be above $20 to even begin to be worth it. This knocks out most books for resale. I’ll have to try some of these suggestions to get better at it
Thanks for sharing this! I usually donate my clothes to Goodwill, but I think this time around I’ll take a stab at selling them online, since I’ve been trying to buy higher quality clothing.
Wonderful information! Thank you so much for the great ideas.
Like one of the other repliers, I really have only donated things, not tried to sell anything. It just seemed to overwhelming but you have given some wonderful tips and resources for venturing into this!
Hello Kerry!! I loved your article…Selling goods online is a great way to get little cash…I have some articles in my closet, some bags and jewelry…Looking forward to selling them online..Thanks for your idea!
Thanks for sharing this! I usually donate my clothes to Goodwill, but I think this time around I’ll take a stab at selling them online.
Shopify is a great fit for entrepreneurs and e-commerce shops
just got my kids to find a bunch of old stuff from their rooms and my husband had the idea to sell it with them . we will put the ad up and when some of their clothing/toys sell they will get a percentage. We didnt know where to put the ad but this post helps to clear it up for us! Cheers
Hi Nina, You are very welcome!