Coronavirus Decluttering Spree: Sell Stuff Online for Extra Cash
You’ve binged Tiger King. You’ve honed your baking skills. Maybe you’ve even finished that cross-stitch you started a year ago.
But the quarantine is still going, so there’s really nothing left but the spring cleaning you’ve been putting off. To make it a little less painful, here’s how to make a little money as you purge your stuff.
5 Sites to Sell Your Stuff During the Quarantine
Along with helping you make your quarantine kingdom a little more livable, tidying up can actually put some money in your pocket, too. Here are the websites that’ll help you find new homes for your stuff.
It’s a fact of 21st century life: We end up with a lot of technological trash. Old DVDs, CDs, iPods, game systems, and even cell phones can end up taking a lot of space — and it doesn’t feel right to simply throw them away.
Decluttr is a platform that helps users sell their old tech… and buy new stuff at discount prices. You can get an instant valuation, print a free shipping label and get paid as soon as the items are received.
Decluttr (full review) is still operating during the pandemic, and they’ve added social distancing measures to their warehouse protocols to help keep everyone safe. Their delivery services are also still working as usual, so you can use the cash you earn on your old tech toward a new Nintendo Switch.
OfferUp is a popular platform for those looking to buy and sell goods locally, and can be used either through your web browser or smartphone. You can find everything from furniture and appliances to clothing and even cars on the app, and it’s easy to converse and negotiate with sellers.
Given the importance of social distancing during this time, OfferUp has added a shipping option, which allows sellers to reach more potential buyers without having to risk a face-to-face interaction. Shipping costs are paid for by buyers, and OfferUp provides sellers with printable shipping labels.
3. Facebook Marketplace
Given how much time so many of us spend on Facebook — particularly while we’re all stuck at home — it’s no surprise that Facebook Marketplace is still hoppin’. And while Marketplace deals are often made in person, many items are also eligible for shipping.
This delivery option is safer for both you and the buyer because you can finalize the transaction through Facebook itself, thus avoiding the hand-to-hand transfer of potentially dirty cash. Plus, items are covered by Purchase Protection, which can help increase buyer confidence and make for quicker sales.
Whether you set up an auction or a “Buy It Now” price, eBay is a great way to get your for-sale items in front of a worldwide audience. This mainstay site is still running strong — and there are plenty of small business owners who depend on it to make their living.
The company has taken a number of steps to protect both sellers and buyers during the pandemic, including restricting the listing of certain items like toilet paper, diapers, and disinfectant wipes. It’s also launched a program called Up & Running to help get sellers…. well, up and running.
This last one is less for stuff you find around the house and more for the boredom crafts you’ve been churning out — but either way, Etsy is still connecting buyers and sellers during the COVID-19 period. The company offers seller protection and an easy-to-use payment system with multiple options for receiving your money, though there is a small listing fee.
Selling During Coronavirus: Pro Tips
While this quarantine makes for a great decluttering opportunity, there are some tips you’ll want to keep in mind to maintain everyone’s safety — and make as much cash as you can in the process.
Maintain social distancing.
No matter how great of a deal you’ve struck up, maintaining social distancing protocols is essential. That means avoiding congregating in groups and staying at least six feet away from others.
On this list, we’ve prioritized outlets where shipping is a delivery option, and we strongly recommend you take it — but if you engage in an in-person exchange, do everything you can to keep the necessary space. That may mean putting the item down and stepping back before the other party picks it up, which is gonna feel a little surreal, but is still better than catching or transmitting the coronavirus.
Clean stuff really well.
Evidence has shown that the novel coronavirus can survive on surfaces for at least a few hours, and up to several days. That means that items you’re selling can be vectors of transmission, so be sure to disinfect them really well before you box them up or hand them off. If you’re purchasing things on a peer-to-peer market, disinfect them before bringing them into your home.
Consider using mobile payments.
Cash and credit cards are notoriously germy. There are a wide variety of digital and mobile payment options to make use of instead, like Venmo, Paypal and Zelle.
Take lots of photos.
Successfully selling an item, especially if your buyer can’t see it in person, requires lots of buyer confidence. That means providing lots and lots of photos. Make sure to include as many physical details of the item as possible and to seek out good lighting and staging, given the limitations of your quarantine bubble.
Take advantage of trends.
The new coronavirus reality means that certain items are selling like hotcakes. For instance, newly remote workers need monitors and desks to make sure they’re set up for success. As the quarantine progresses, other categories may have their moment. We anticipate workout equipment and crafting materials may also do well.
Jamie Cattanach’s work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, SELF, The Huffington Post, The Motley Fool and other outlets. Learn more at www.jamiecattanach.com.