I thought — erroneously — that selling stuff online was a thing people knew how to do. I was wrong. So welcome to this week's edition of Don't Be Scared, It's Not That Complicated.
There are a lot of options for selling online. With a slight nod to our weekly yard sale, let's talk about the more main stream places. Note: I'm updating this as we go along with suggestions people post in the comments.
Ebay: I have a love/hate relationship with ebay. Love the ease and the fact that you can sell pretty much anything, hate the 10% fees they charge. Then again 90% of $50 is better than $0 so just accept it. OK? OK. Go open an account. Great job, you're almost there!
(1) On the top left of the screen it says "sell." Click that. (2) Now it's going to ask you to describe your listing. If it's a DVD/book/etc, you can type in the UPC code (the little numbers under the scan bar) and it'll pull it up for you. If it's another item, it's time for you to come up with a convincing title. Describe the item in as glorious a way as you can in the characters provided (include item name and relevant details. if it's new or in perfect condition, mention that — otherwise save that fun fact for later because you don't want to discourage people from clicking through. EXCEPTION if you are selling a broken item for parts).
(3) Next it's going to ask you to select the category. That should be more or less intuitive. You choose the category where you think people will be hunting for your item. (4) Now something marvelous happens. Often ebay will give you a whole list of items that may match your item - then you can just click it and poof they fill in the details. If you don't see it there, scroll down to "continue with your listing."
(5) Now you get down to brass tacks. You're already good with the title and you don't need a subtitle. Condition should be obvious. If the condition is not new, you need to fill out the item description. Carefully detail any issues with it — saying "never used, flawless condition!" is fair game if it's true. Don't deceive people, lay everything out. This is both because you shouldn't be a colossal asshole and because dealing with returns from ebay is a pain in the ass. (6) Then add photos that accurately represent your item.
(7) Enter in the item specifics from the drop down menus and then you hit the details box. You can elaborate however you see fit (generally I just cut and paste what I placed in the descriptions box and say something inane like "makes a great gift!") - you don't need to write an essay but you'd do well to sell them item, highlighting any special features.
(8) Then you've got some questions about the auction. You can post things at a fixed price (which means, as you probably guessed, there is a fixed price) or auction it off. I've never done fixed price so let's talk about auctions. Put the starting price (I usually start very low - at like $5 - to lure people into my web). You can also set a "buy it now" price — essentially if people don't want to wait for the auction to end they can just fork over that amount to get the item immediately. Then set the duration (I do 7 days) and whether you want to start the listing now or later.
Ebay also gives you the option to set a reserve price. That means that, no matter how low you start the bidding, a bid won't be valid unless it hits that minimum price. I hate people who do this like I hate cooked carrots. If you have a minimum you are willing to accept, use that as your starting price. Don't get people excited and then say "J/K!" Those people are the worst.
(9) Then it comes down to money. Paypal is easiest (though I also put down amazonpayments because they are not evil and don't charge fees). Shipping is up to you. You can charge flat fee (include handling costs if applicable) or specific to the item (weigh it first! A handy trick is that you can usually look the item up on amazon and the weight of the item will be listed there for an estimate). For more info on shipping see this comment.
(10) Then continue, check to make sure it's all in order, and post! Congrats!
When your item sells, you will get an email. (11) Send the person an invoice promptly and once they pay you ship the item out. easy peasy. If it doesn't sell, you can relist the item or resign yourself to owning it forever or donate it OR put it on
Craigs List. It took me a while before I delved into this because I am a 5'4" weakling and I was afraid of being murdered. I don't think that fear is invalid, but I just meet people in public or arranged to have a large and scary man by my side and it's worked out so far.
Go to Craigslist for wherever you are. (1) In the top left pick "post to classifieds." In this case you want to choose "for sale by owner." (2) Then click what the item is and where you are. You're so close guys, keep going!
(3) Fill out all the boxes. Your email is automatically randomized to the person contacting you (use CL relay). (4) Hit next, include photos as appropriate, (5) then put your zip code (not your exact address) on the map and, (6) then review your listing. Hit "post." (7) Craigslist sends you an email that you need to open. Click the link, confirm the listing and you're done! Mazel tov!
People will contact you. You want to be paid in cash. 99% of people who offer to pay you through paypal are fucking with you. DO NOT FOLLOW THEIR LINKS because they will send you to a dummy page. Trust no one. If you get an email from "paypal" sign into your account through your own browser window and see if the money showed up. If it did, you're AOK (this has happened to me once). Otherwise either ignore them or send a harshly worded email shaming them.
Schedule a meeting in a public place, hand the item over, take your cash, and have a lovely day.
Etsy: I've know the site but don't sell stuff there so if someone can do a detailed play by play that would be swell. It's mostly for vintage and hand made stuff.
Amazon: There are two ways to do this. (I) Search for the item you want to sell on amazon. Under "add to cart" etc, is an option to "trade item in." They will send you a shipping label and you send them the package. They then give credit to your amazon account in the form of a gift card. This is incredibly easy but you also invariably get ripped off (50 cents for my Pitch Perfect blu ray was NOT a fair trade).
(II) To sell stuff yourself for cold hard cash (er, bank transfer), go to sellercentral.amazon.com and open an account. (1) Under "inventory" on the top bar, click "add product." (2) Find the item on amazon and click "sell yours." (3) Fill out all the appropriate details and you're done. You can also choose "fulfillment by amazon" in which you send them the item and they handle the shipping, etc but I've never done that so I don't know much about it. I usually go right at the lowest available price unless I'm willing to wait it out.
Buymytronics: buys your electronics for cash
Cardpool.com or plasticjungle: give you cash for gift cards.
SUGGESTIONS FROM THE COMMENTS:
Twice or Thredup: courtesy of lireal and strangerbird — trade in clothing
Newegg: electronics trade ins
Geartrade.com: outdoor gear and clothing
Half.com:anniegawker2-electricboogaloo suggests using it for books/dvds/etc. It's a subsidiary of ebay so you can use the same account. I've never used it so I can't talk you through it but you might want to check it out as another option!
Facebook: apparently there are groups where you can buy things. I imagine it takes some hunting to come up with the right one but if you're an avid user it might be a great option
Go forth and sell things. I expect a 20% cut from all your profits.