9 Easy Ways Smart Sellers Get More Money for Their Stuff

Selling old stuff or used stuff is a time-honored side hustle. But are you getting the most money you could be getting?
Updated April 3, 2023
9 Easy Ways Smart Sellers Get More Money for Their Stuff

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Trying to sell some of your stuff and hoping to get top dollar? You’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re moving and need to downsize or just looking for additional ways to make money, learning how to get the best price for your stuff is definitely an acquired skill.

Selling your old stuff is considered by many to be one of the best side hustles. But although some people might haphazardly list things online and hope for the best, there are smarter ways to put your items up for sale. With these simple strategies (that savvy sellers regularly use) you can be sure you get the absolute most money for anything you’ve got on offer.

Fortunately, we know a few of these secrets to selling too. Here are our best tips on how to resell your stuff for more money.

Take good photos

There’s no way around it. If you want to sell your stuff online, you’ll need good photos. Without seeing something in person, photos are the first (and only) impression any interested shopper has, and you’ll want to make your pics as appealing as possible.

Be sure to take photos in a clean, well-lit space that showcases what you’re selling and its condition. If you can, take photos outside in natural light, far away from any clutter that might be mistaken as part of the item.

Be sure to take a few different shots of whatever you’re selling as well, including from different angles and distances — and don’t forget about the close-ups. Selling a soft sweater? Get in there and show me those fluffy fibers.

If you’re not sure what kind of photos will highlight your item, look online to see how others are selling similar products and model your photos after that.

Write good descriptions

Another great way to secure interest in your item? Describe it. Maybe you have a rare collector’s piece, some unique antique furniture, or even a limited edition print of a classic novel. Whatever it is you’re selling, be sure to write up a small description that tells the buyer what makes your stuff so special.

If there’s nothing remarkable about your item, then tell shoppers a bit about why you bought it and why you’re selling it. For example, “Great kitchen table, loved for many years in our home, but we need more space now.” This will help ease any suspicions a buyer might have about accidentally buying something in bad condition, and it shows them they’re inheriting something worth paying for.

Get specific

Another key part of selling your stuff for top dollar is being specific. If your item has a certain brand, is part of a particular collection, or even made by a well-known designer, be sure you mention that. And don’t just bury it in the description. Name it up top where people will see it in the title when they’re scrolling.

Something like, “Vintage 1960s Chanel Crossbody, Perfect Condition” will get you a lot farther than “Black Bag from the ’60s.” Including specific brand names, as well as the condition of your item shows you know what you’re selling, and that knowledge could justify a higher price in the shopper’s eyes.

Pick the right website

Just the same way you wouldn’t go to Amazon to buy one-of-a-kind artisanal products (or to Etsy for mass-produced car accessories), everything you sell should be advertised in its correct marketplace. Not only will this help you sell for more money, but it will also guarantee your stuff ends up in a place where people are actually looking for it and interested in buying it.

Take a scroll through sites like Letgo, Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, and Craigslist to see what people are selling. Then be sure to add the correct tags (i.e., Furniture, Clothes, Electronics) so your items get seen by the right shoppers.

Price right, not low

For anyone who’s ever shopped in an online marketplace for used items, it’s often understood that things are priced in a way to make bargaining possible. That might not be true of everything, but for the most part you’ll want to start by pricing your items a little on the high side and then go down from there over time or in negotiations.

You never know what people are willing to spend for something, especially if it's in any way rare, unique, or collectible. Don’t underestimate your buyer by pricing items too low. Start high, and adjust as needed — that way you won’t miss out on any opportunities to earn more money.

Group things together

If you’re selling smaller, less valuable items, one great strategy is to sell them in bundles. Although buyer interest might be relatively low for one pair of shoes or one tiny vase, you might find someone very interested in getting three pairs of shoes or four vases.

Again, it’s all in how you market things. “Ladies Size 7? THREE Pairs Block Heels for $75” will be a lot better than “Green Heels.” Similarly, “FOUR Cute Vases, PERFECT for Mantelpiece or Windowsill” will be a lot more appealing than “Small Vase.”

By clustering similar inexpensive items together, people will be given the impression of getting more for their money. Plus, you’ll be able to sell multiple things at once rather than going through the trouble of trying to get rid of one $10 item at a time. And both you and the buyer will save on shipping hassles.

Keep your manuals

Depending on what you’re selling, having some official documentation with it might be a nice extra. If you’re selling a collector’s item like a rare comic or limited edition action figurine, having the original packaging might make a huge difference in price. Similarly, some buyers enjoy having the official literature to go along with whatever they’re buying.

This probably applies more if you’re looking to sell used electronics, and it might mean throwing in a setup guide with a complicated gaming console or the manufacturer’s recipe book for a new blender. Whatever it is, if you have the original packaging or manuals, include them. Then be sure to mention these items as an added bonus that comes with buying your item.

Have good customer service

Even if you aren’t a natural-born salesman, there’s still a lot you can do to make your customers happy. For starters, keep the lines of communication open. If people text you with questions about what you’re selling or ask when they can come by to pick something up, be prompt in getting back to them.

Someone might even ask for extra info or more photos. Turning your old stuff into cash isn’t always the easiest of side hustles, but if you show people you respect their time and business, they’ll be more likely to leave a positive review or buy from you again. And those positive reviews may encourage other new buyers as well.

Accept digital payment

Speaking of good customer service, don’t be afraid to get on board with new technology when it comes to payments. In a day and age when most people don’t carry cash or checks, it’s good to offer a variety of payment options to your buyers.

Consider using apps like Venmo to collect payments, or ask people to send you money via PayPal. Providing these more modern payment options will make it easier for people to pay you, and your customers will also appreciate the fact that you’re doing your best to make things easy for them.

Bottom line

Selling your stuff is a great way to purge your place of unwanted items and figure out how to make money in the process. By focusing on marketing your stuff and selling it in the right channels, you’re almost guaranteed to make more money on it.

Author Details

Larissa Runkle Larissa writes for FinanceBuzz and divides her time between a cabin in the San Juan Mountains and traveling in a van. She enjoys writing about travel, debt relief, personal loans, and mortgages. Her work has been featured on MagnifyMoney, LendingTree, and Realtor.com. Outside of finance and real estate writing, she’s also at work on several fiction projects. When away from the computer, you’ll find her reading, exploring local trails, and climbing rocks.

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