Expert shares top tips on how to successfully sell second-hand items
After Love Island announced it was coupling up with selling site eBay, paired with the cost of living and sustainability concerns, it looks like second-hand shopping is about to boom.
In the last three months, Google searches for ‘second hand’ have increased 50 percent, averaging 14,800 a month, along with searches for ‘upcycling’ averaging 12,100 a month*, illustrating the perception of pre-loved items has changed.
So, whether you feel inspired to commit to the circular economy, offload clutter or make some cash, the abundance of selling websites and apps means there are plenty of options for selling your possessions.
To help you successfully and safely sell items online, Mike Ryan Chief Executive at Pack and Send has put together his top tips.
With most selling sites you’ll have to create a profile to sell your items. While it’s mandatory to create a username, a picture and bio aren’t.
To increase your chances of a successful sale it might be worth using your account to purchase a few items to receive feedback from sellers to build your profile ratings before you start selling.
Most buyers will be reluctant to buy from a profile that has no ratings.
Consider the market
If you’re selling high-value items, it may be more appropriate to use platforms or selling sites that have authentication services.
To ensure you’re selling items at the right price, compare similar products so you’re not over or under-selling. Similarly, when writing the description of your item, ensure you’re not misrepresenting it.
If it has parts missing or is damaged in any way, make this clear. If it’s used, point out any defects or signs of wear and tear.
Where possible, avoid using stock images. Not only could there be copyright issues, but it won’t show the actual condition of the item you’re selling.
Include a variety of different shots including full view and close-ups, to show off its true colour and condition. Be sure to snap clear images of any labels and original packaging that help identify the product.
Not only are you allowing the customer to see as much of the item as possible, but it can also help fight a buyer’s claim there is a defect that wasn’t there when you sold it.
All in the detail
You must cover all the important points a potential buyer would need to know within your description. This will help your customers understand what they’re buying and reduces the number of questions asked, increasing the speed of sale.
A listing should include:
· a short, detailed and concise description within 120 words
· the brand name
· material information
· any unique details of the item
· hashtags that relate to your item to help attract buyers you are hoping to target
If you’re unsure, search for similar items on the site and edit the product description where needed to best reflect your item.
Keeping up with the trends
Staying up to date with trends is extremely important when selling items online. This is particularly true when selling clothing or household items as old trends often come back around.
If there is any suitable trend-led wording for your item like ‘vintage’ or ‘noughties’, be sure to include this in the title or description so it’s picked up by potential buyers more easily.
Similarly, seasonal trends can affect the popularity of your item.
Knowing how much to charge for postage tends to be one of the tougher parts of online selling, as it requires careful consideration. Pricing it too cheap could leave you out of pocket while charging too much could lead to a disgruntled buyer.
It’s also important to research shipping methods and costs before pricing items.
If you’re looking to post internationally, customs forms may be required and you may want to consider a specialist in shipments abroad. If this isn’t the case, sticking to platforms that sell locally may be best.
Also, your postage service should reflect the value of the item being sold to ensure it’s sent safely and securely. If it’s a high-value item, it might be worth looking into warranty cover.