How to Sell Stuff Online and Make Money

sell stuff online

In 2015, had 304 million customer accounts. At the end of 2016, Ebay had 167 million active accounts. Both of these online marketplace giants are continuing to grow, which means one thing.

There’s never been a better time to sell stuff online.

Whether you’re looking to unload your original iPhone, or you want to clean out old stuff to make room for new stuff or to go Zen, selling stuff online can be a great way to give new life to your old belongings while making money.

You might even get so hooked on selling stuff online that you decide to do more than the occasional home-clean-up sale; maybe you’ll start a new business selling products people love!

Whatever your reason, and wherever you’re headed with selling online, there are five things you need to do in order to make money:

  1. Use great pictures.

  2. Provide a detailed description.

  3. Research the competition.

  4. Set the right price.

  5. Offer stellar service.

If you’re not sure how to do all of this, don’t worry. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you make money selling your stuff online.

Keep reading to start earning.


Snap your best shots

A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure you take the right ones.

Shoppers make instant judgments, often by the way an image looks, on whether they will even click on the listing to read the description, so your pictures need to grab their attention while presenting your product in the best way possible.

Clear photos that show your stuff in an honest light are necessary for successful sales and high seller ratings.

While you want your stuff to look good in the photo, keeping it honest is just as important. Your photos will be your first chance to establish trust between you and shoppers.

Once they click on your listing, the next most important thing is the description.


Write a detailed description.

Potential sellers want to know about your stuff, so give them what they want. Tell them all about your product, including the following if they apply:

  • Technical specifications

  • Size

  • Color

  • Year manufactured

  • Current condition

  • Accessories that come with your product

Even if you think some of the information is obvious in a photo, write it out anyway. That said, you don’t want to write a novel, either.

Think about what made you want to buy your stuff, to begin with, and make sure anyone visiting your listing knows what’s great about your product.

In addition to providing all the necessary details and facts, make sure that your description is, above all else, honest.

Not only will your honesty earn you major brownie points with buyers, but it can help keep complaints at bay.


Do your research before you sell stuff online.

Once you’ve taken your photos and written your description, the next step is to figure out how to get your stuff in front of the people who want it.

Finding the right category is crucial. Do some research before you sell to determine where searchers will be most likely to find your stuff.

Pretend that you’re shopping for the item you plan to sell and search for terms that relate to it. See what other products from other sellers come up in the results.

Choose the deepest category you can. For example, if you’re selling a Windows laptop, you don’t want to just list it under “Computers.” That’s too broad.

Narrow it down to laptops, or if possible, PC laptops. Sometimes you can even select manufacturer categories.

Be as specific as you can.


How low can you go?

Determining how much you’ll ask when you sell stuff online can be the most difficult task, but doing it right is important.

The first step is to keep emotion out of it. If you’ve worked hard to create something, or you’re selling stuff that has sentimental value, that value doesn’t necessarily exist for buyers.

As you do your research for categories, look at prices. You can usually sort from low to high, and then undercut competitors’ prices to move your product.

A good tip is to set the price at least one cent lower than your competition.

Have you ever met someone who would drive around for miles to find the gas station with the cheapest gas, even if the difference is only one cent?

People will often choose one product over another comparable product just to save a cent. Every penny counts.


Mind your Ps & Qs

The final step comes with a sale. Customers love to feel like they’re important, and that’s because they are. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to sell stuff online.

Offering great customer service can earn you higher seller ratings, which can, in turn, draw more customers. 

Higher ratings mean you’re a more trustworthy seller, and that can influence whether future buyers will choose to buy from you.

If you were looking to buy a book, and there were two sellers offering the same book in the same condition, but one of them had a rating of one out of five stars and the other had a rating of four out of five stars, who would you buy from?

Probably the seller with four stars.

So how do you make your customers feel special?

One way is to include a handwritten note to say thank you, along with any information your buyers need for customer service. Doing this can go a long way toward pleasing your customers.

High ratings aren’t the only benefit of good service. You might even get a repeat customer or positive word of mouth.


Bonus! List with the right marketplaces.

If you want to sell stuff online to make money, you need to understand and list with the right (and sometimes multiple) marketplaces

This will put your product in front of a wider audience, which can increase your chances of success.

One final tip to make money selling online is to continue learning. If you have more questions about best ways to make money or you want to see how other people have found success, learn more about selling stuff online.


Want to Sell Stuff Online? Avoid These 8 Mistakes

sell stuff


You’ve decided to take the plunge. You want to sell stuff online.

Selling online is a smart decision. Every year e-commerce grows by 23%.

But there are mistakes you can make. 

There are many ways to lose customers so if you want to sell stuff online, read here first.

Avoid these 8 mistakes if you want to sell stuff online:


1. You Can’t Sell Stuff if No One Trusts You

When you walk into a physical store, you get to see the store and meet the people.

You get a good sense as to whether or not you trust them. After all, you can look them in the eye, right?

Not so much for online sales. In order to sell stuff and be successful at it, you need to find a way to get your customers to trust you.

Here are a few things you can add to your online store to sell stuff more effectively:

  • Verify Your Site: Around 70% of shoppers will cancel their purchase without a trust seal. Visitors want to know you care about their safety. 

  • Share Testimonies: Visitors also want to know what their fellow shoppers thought of their shopping experience. 

  • Feature Trusted Brands: Featuring well-known companies such as Visa or American Express or placing awards you’ve won on your site will go a long way toward building trust on your site.

  • Sell Products on Amazon: Selling on sites like Amazon will help you generate reviews and ratings, which will go a long way toward building trust with your buyers.

  • Share Your Numbers: Sharing the number of products you’ve sold, your customer count, social shares and other stats will show that you are a legitimate business and build trust.


2. You Can’t Sell Stuff if No One Knows You

As we’ve stated, using a third party to help verify your site can go a long way to building trust with potential customers.

But you also need to have your customers trust you.

After all, at the end of the day, people buy from people. 

You can sell stuff more quickly if you:

  • Display Contact Info Clearly: Make it easy for people to contact you. They want to know a human who cares about them is on the other side and is ready to respond if they have questions or concerns. Display your phone and e-mail clearly, especially on the homepage.

  • Share a Photo of Your Team: People do business with people and they want to see who is on the other end. Share a group photo or write short bios and add a photo next to each person on your team.

  • Add a Clear Return Policy: If it’s too difficult to return an item, people will not buy and they certainly won’t return.


3. You Can’t Sell Stuff on a Cluttered Site

People will leave your site if they feel it’s too cluttered or they can’t quickly find what they are looking for.

  • Clear Visuals: People look to your photos first and the description second. 

  • Pop-Ups: Let’s face it unless a pop-up appears at exactly the right time and place on your site, people will get annoyed. 

  • Filtering Options: Unless you only sell a few items, you need to make searching for items as easy as possible or you’ll risk losing sales and customers.


4. You Can’t Sell Stuff if Your Website is Slow

People are busy and they turn to shopping on the Internet because it’s usually faster.

Here are a few things that can happen on the backend that can make it difficult for you to sell stuff:

  • Server Performance

  • Photos are Too Large

  • Too Many File Requests

  • Code Density

  • Heavy Visitor Traffic


5. You Can’t Sell Stuff if No One Can Find Your Site

Your website is supposed to act like your storefront.

But if you don’t take certain measures to have your site found online, you might as well have built your store in Siberia. No one will find you.

Here are some tips to help people find your site so you can sell stuff to them:

  • Keywords

  • SEO

  • Google

  • PR

  • Social Media


6. You Can’t Sell Stuff if You Don’t Have a Landing Page

A landing page captures your visitor’s information. 

This is to help you build an e-mail list that will allow you to continue contacting your visitors and shoppers after they’ve left your site.

But if you do them wrong, you’re leaving money on the table.

There are 2 types of landing pages any successful e-commerce business should have:

  1. Lead Generation: This is to capture their names and e-mail addresses. Offering something free like an ebook can help increase that capturing rate from 200%-400%. 

  2. Sales Landing: This page is used to convert the new user into a spending customer and contains more information about products they may be interested in.  


7. You Can’t Sell Stuff if it’s Difficult to Buy Your Products

The checkout process should be an easy one. The customer has found the stuff you’re selling. They like your stuff and now they want to buy some of it.

Except a lot of online stores lose a lot of business because their checkout process is too difficult.

Here’s how to make it easy:

  • Offer more than 1 way to pay for the item 

  • Make it possible for someone to buy an item without having to create an account 

  • Make it easy to fix a mistake they’ve made

  • Provide reassurances about website safety and easy returns


8. You Can’t Sell Stuff if You Have No Patience 

“No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” – Warren Buffet

The same goes true when you’re building an online business.

It takes time. Have patience.

In the meantime you can build up other skills that will come in handy once you start to sell stuff:

  • Learn to Outsource and Delegate

  • Create Effective Systems

  • Surround Yourself with Smart, Trustworthy People

Building a successful online business can be extremely profitable and fun when it’s done right. 

To ensure you’re taking the right steps and making the right choices, let our professionals help guide you every step of the way.