I read an amazing story today about how a chess piece bought for £5 in 1964 ended up being sold at auction for a whopping £735,000! Apparently, it was one of the oldest surviving chess pieces from a set made around the late 12th century. This is one of the best examples of why I think it’s so important to go through old items lying around the house and try to sell as much as possible! Even if you think it’s old junk, there is usually someone, somewhere who would love to buy it!
Of course, we can’t all have an ancient chess piece worth £735,000 sitting in a drawer, but if funds are running low and you have way too much stuff in your house, then here are some tips for selling online.
Even small things sell!
Selling an old brooch for £10 might not feel like such a victory, but consider selling 10 items worth £10! That’s £100 you’ve now got and 10 fewer items sitting around doing nothing. Old jewellery, cutlery, cups and plates are at least worth putting online, because you never know who might collect certain items and would love to buy your things. Musical instruments, furniture and definitely cars are all big earners, but always consider the small things too.
Don’t just try on eBay
eBay is definitely the most well-known website for buying and selling items online, but it isn’t always the best. The company will take a seller’s fee from you and there are sometimes those who can scam you and get the item for free. Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Gumtree are great sites if you only want to focus on selling in your local area, and customers can even pick up the item from your home or a meeting point like a café or park. Sites like Poshmark and thredUP are becoming popular choices to sell clothing and accessories, and even watches can be sold on Chrono24 if you have an old Cartier timepiece lying around, for example (lucky you if that’s the case).
Be very honest with the descriptions and photos
When writing the description on the advert, try to act like a used car salesman! Don’t say something is “old” when you can call it “vintage” and don’t call a brand “unknown” when it can be “unique.” Be creative with your words and make the item sound amazing. However, don’t get carried away and start lying. Be honest with the state and size of the item, like if there are any stains, rips, or damaged parts, as the customer will find out soon enough. People will still buy things that are a tad damaged, but they like to know beforehand! Take attractive, high-quality photos in good lighting and from several angles. The more info a potential buyer will have, the fewer messages you’ll receive asking for this, that, and the other.
Don’t be clingy
When you start cleaning out your cupboards and drawers, as well as the attic and basement, you’ll probably come across many items that you believe you might use one day. This is bad thinking, as the item has been idle for many years and you have to remind yourself that it’s better to sell and make money, rather than keeping it around just in case you want it one day. Don’t keep things for nostalgia, but give the item a new life with someone else!
Give a fair price but be open to bargaining
Finally, it’s worth looking at some similar items online to have an idea of how much the item(s) could be worth before settling on a price. Going a few pounds below your asking price isn’t the end of the world. For anything you think is really valuable, places like Sotheby’s can assess your items to see if they are incredibly rare or expensive and if it’s worth going to a real auction house. If the chess piece from earlier is anything to go by, you never know if £5 can turn into £735,000!