8 places to sell stuff online
With many different types of online marketplaces and platforms to choose from if you’re looking to sell unwanted items, take time to find the most suitable one for you.
Selling your unwanted stuff online is one of the ways you can make extra money. However, rather than just going straight for the biggest and most famous platforms, consider which site would give you the best chance of selling your item at a good price. Selling a vintage tea set is different to selling an old game console or some unused fitness equipment, and will have very different audiences.
Below are some of the major online marketplaces you might want to consider, along with tips about their fee structure, their audience, and how they work.
Online sales and auctions
The major online marketplaces charge you varying fees, and the big names of Amazon and eBay can be costly. However, as they attract a high number of visitors there is a big audience, and so you may manage to get a quick sale. Smaller sites may take longer to sell, but you may be able to make a bigger profit.
There isn’t much you can’t sell on Amazon! However, the fees and the process of selling will depend on the item you want to sell. If your item falls into one of the specialised categories, you will need to get Amazon approval and your goods may need to meet additional requirements. The amount that Amazon will charge you for selling on their site will depend on the plan you have.
If you opt for the Individual plan, which has no monthly subscription fee, you’ll pay Amazon £0.75 per item sold, plus a referral fee and possibly other additional fees. The referral fee typically ranges from 8% to 15% of the item’s total sale price, including shipping costs. However, you will be charged more for Amazon device accessories. If you’re selling media items, including books, movies and video games, you may need to pay a closing fee as well.
The upgraded Professional plan requires a £25 (excluding VAT) monthly subscription fee, but you don't have to pay a fee per item as you do with the Individual plan. However, you will still face some charges, like referral and closing fees. The Professional plan is designed for those who intend to sell more than 35 items per month.
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On eBay you can put a wide range of goods up for auction, or simply put your item up for sale at a fixed-price. Its fee structure is simpler than Amazon’s as, for most items, you pay eBay 10% of the final sale price of an item, which includes shipping costs. This is capped at £250. Private sellers can get 1,000 free listings on eBay; if you put up anything over this limit you will need to pay a £0.35 fee per listing.
Upon payment of extra fees, you can upgrade and promote your listing on eBay. For example, you can set a reserve price on an item up for auction to make sure it sells for at least that amount. However, make sure to consider whether it’s worth paying these fees, as you may be charged even if your item doesn't sell.
Bonanza is another marketplace where you can sell a range of goods. It is a US-based company, but people can buy and sell globally, including from the UK. Because it is based in the US, its fees are in dollars but these will be converted to local currency when it comes to payment. Bonanza charges fees based on how much your item sells for, plus any shipping costs over $10. For any item selling for under $500 you will pay 3.5% of the total costs in fees (minimum of $0.50). If an item sells for more than $500, you will again be charged 3.5% on the first $500, then 1.5% of the amount over this.
For a higher percentage fee, you can use Bonanza Advertising to publicise your listing. The fees for this service range between 9-30%.
4. Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace
These kinds of websites don’t always take a percentage of your sales like those above, but you are more responsible for connecting with your buyer and arranging the sale and exchange of your item. In contrast to the online marketplaces above, these sites are geared towards more local sales so you will typically liaise with your buyer to drop off the item in-person or for them to collect it. Because there is an element of risk meeting a stranger, many will prefer to make the exchange in a public place or accompanied by a friend.
You may choose to deliver an item in the post in some cases, but you will have to organise this yourself. When selling on these platforms be particularly cautious and on the lookout for scams.
Clothes, vintage and crafts
Big online sites can be a great way to find buyers for miscellaneous things. But, for some items like clothes and antiques, you may find more success selling on smaller, more specialist sites with a more targeted audience.
Depop is an online global marketplace where individuals can buy and sell men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, including shoes, jewellery, and other accessories. This site is particularly geared towards designer, vintage, and more unique styles. It is free to list an item on Depop, but you will need to pay fees worth 10% of the total transaction amount (including delivery) of any item you sell.
6. Ruby Lane
On Ruby Lane sellers can set up a “shop” to sell vintage antiques and collectibles, ranging from jewellery to art to rugs. Sellers can come from across the globe, including the UK, but fees and charges are displayed in dollars. You have to pay a $54 monthly maintenance fee to upload up to 50 items on your Ruby Lane “shop”, with a small extra charge for any additional items. Ruby Lane also charges a service fee of 6.7% of the total sale.
Because of these fees, you’ll need to be confident that you can recoup the cost by selling your goods. You will also need a minimum number of items in your shop and items will need to meet the site’s requirements.
Etsy is the place to go to if you want to sell handmade arts and crafts or collectables. Whether you want to sell small, unique gifts, jewellery or even furniture, you can sell a wide range of special items on Etsy. To list an item you will need to pay a £0.14 listing fee, and then you will be charged a 5% transaction fee on the sale price of the item (including delivery costs).
8. CeX, musicMagpie, Zapper
These sites are resellers rather than marketplaces, as you sell your goods directly to the company rather than to individual buyers. On these sites you can get a quote for your smartphone, laptop, tablet, CDs, DVDs, games, or other electronic goods, and then you send the item(s) to them for cash.
There are several sites that will buy old electronics from you, so it’s worth comparing the different options available. The drawback with selling to these sites is that you are likely to get a lower price for your goods than if you sold to an individual buyer somewhere else. However, even if you get a smaller amount of money, the big benefit is that you can depend on getting cash quickly rather than waiting around for a buyer.
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Rhiannon is a financial writer for NerdWallet, with a particular interest in personal finance and insurance guides for consumers. Read more
Laura McMullen writes about managing money for NerdWallet. Her work has appeared in The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other outlets. Read more