E12: Making money by selling second hand items online

You probably have quite few items gathering dust at home that you’d love to move on to a good home and make some money at the same time. In this episode we’ll talk about the ins and outs of selling and buying on Gumtree, eBay and other platforms with some important advice on how to avoid rip-offs.

Christine David from IT for Retirees says online selling can be a great way to make a few dollars as long as some basic rules are followed and safely is prioritised.

When advertising an item, think about whether you want the potential buyer to visit your home because this entails an element of risk. Never invite them inside, and if you live alone maybe invite a friend to be with you for the transaction. It might be better to meet in a public place such as a library or café. Don’t divulge personal information.

If the item requires a test drive, accompany the potential buyer or ask to hold their license or another item of value while they test the vehicle. Unscrupulous buyers have been known to drive away in buyers’ vehicles.

Be aware of the costs involved in selling. With eBay the seller pays the postage, so that needs to be considered. There are also costs if you want the item placed more prominently on the site. Also, eBay takes a percentage of the sale to cover the possibility of return if something goes wrong.

You will need photos for them items, and to provide information to the online platform before you can put your item on their site. Facebook Marketplace requires you to join facebook to use the service. Be careful to untick boxes to opt out of marketing material and other things you don’t want.

Christine advises that these platforms are good for some making money on unwanted items, but not for a revenue stream. If you have a small business a better option is your own website with an online store, or a platform like etsy. For listing and obtaining free items, you can try the site called zilch.

As always, make sure the devices you use for online selling are password protected and have good virus protection.

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