Second-hand sellers share their top tips

Some people seem to have the golden touch when selling second-hand items online – and this could be an untapped way of making extra cash for some older people, new research suggests.

Only a quarter (26 per cent) of over-65s have considered using online marketplaces. This is despite them having an average 18 items lingering at home that they would like to sell on.

However, some of the people surveyed said they don’t feel confident using online platforms, or don’t know where to start. But it could be easier than some think, with a few insights from people who have already built up years of experience.

If you sell items on eBay and similar sites, are you putting prices up due to rising costs, or are you dropping your prices to stimulate demand in a tough market?

— MoneySavingExpert (@MoneySavingExp)

Denise, 63, says she has made upwards of $4000 over the years by selling online, and has funded significant purchases such as holidays and garden furniture with the money she’s made selling unwanted items.

“I’ve been selling on second-hand marketplaces for around 10 years now and it all started when I gave a jacket to a charity shop and saw them label it up for $200,” says McConkey. “It made me think that perhaps there’s money I can be making from more of the items I have at the back of the wardrobe.

“With daughters too, I was always surrounded by clothes they no longer wanted, so it gave me lots of stuff to put on the platforms. They actually then understood that if they left anything at my house, it was fair game and could end up being sold!”

A woman standing next to a wardrobe, tapping things into a laptop
Do you have unused items you could sell online? (Alamy/PA)

Denise, says eBay has been her “go-to” for selling. 

“Within five minutes, I can have a listing set up. I am not the most tech-savvy so found it slightly more difficult on the computer, but on my phone it’s so easy,” she adds.

“All the money I’ve made has gone into bigger things I’ve been saving for, as opposed to more clothes, and I actually have a separate account I keep the money in. Over the years it’s helped me pay for holidays and the outdoor garden furniture we have.”

And “sheer volume” has helped her make money, she continues – not necessarily having lots of designer goods to sell.

“Just household brand names that are still in good condition,” she explains.

“I’ve also sold furniture and ornaments in the past when I moved house, but good quality clothes have made me the most.”

Thankfully, she says she has not had many bad experiences selling online.

To help ensure that sales go smoothly, she tries to put as much detail as possible in listings, for example adding measurements of sleeves and legs, to help prevent people needing to ask. Denise explains: “I have found that helps my items sell and helps buyers make a decision.”

Samantha, 50, has also been using online marketplaces for several years. She made $5000 when moving house and having a clear-out.

This included furniture as well as kitchen and dining items that she had acquired over the years. She has sold clothes and items like bags in the past, but says “furniture was definitely the biggest money-maker”.

Samantha says she loves the sustainability aspect of passing items on too.

It is always a good idea to do your research before you begin, however. Fees or charges are also worth weighing up if you’re considering selling online. Some websites will allow you to sell items at no charge. If you’re selling on eBay, it’s worth keeping an eye out for any discounts it is offering to sellers on fees.

If getting to grips with the tech is holding you back, bear in mind there are free resources available to help people get started online – Australia Post is a good place to start.

Have you ever sold anything online? How did it go? Why not share your advice in the comments section below?

Also read: How to buy and sell online safely

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