Cleaning out your home and your closet is sometimes one of the best ways to make money. It can be pretty easy to sell online but there are a few things you should keep in mind if you are planning to do so.
You should always at least take a picture or post a photo of what you are selling (listings with photos sell more and faster!), list what condition the item it is, be clear about what you are selling and what you are not (make sure to note if it comes in its original packaging or with tags), and set the price to no more than 50% of what the original retail price was (it is secondhand, after all!).
The major sites used to sell items online are: Kijiji, Craigslist and eBay and each of them comes with their own risks for being scammed:
Kijiji / Craigslist
If you are planning on selling on either of these sites, be careful to state that you will either meet in-person at a busy intersection downtown, or if you give out your home address, be sure that you are either with someone else at the house, or that someone knows you are receiving a stranger into your home to purchase an item.
If at all possible, take the item out of the house and meet away from where you live.
You will want to note the following in your ad: Local Pickups only (if you are not willing to ship) and Cash Only.
You might want to be careful if you do decide to ship something somewhere. Obtain the money first from the buyer and wait until Paypal clears the payment before shipping the item. Many scams have been successfully completed where the seller was coaxed into shipping the item first before getting paid, don’t be a sucker!
Selling on eBay may be easier in terms of not having to provide your home address for local pickups or having to meet strangers but it doesn’t come without its risks either.
There are plenty of eBay and Paypal scams as mentioned above, where the buyer claims he or she will send you the money after you ship the item, citing that time is of the essence and they need it immediately for a birthday gift.
Another popular eBay scam is where they say they will pay you more than what the item is worth off the books, meaning you cancel the auction listing and you two do the transaction off eBay and using Paypal only where you don’t have to be charged eBay selling fees. This may seem like a good deal to you (who doesn’t love more money?) but if you don’t sell via eBay and have it confirmed by the site, you are no longer protected under their eBay policies and you could be a victim of a scam with no repercussions allowed.
As for paying you for more than what the item is worth, there is a final popular Paypal scam where they send you more money than what the item is worth as long as you ship it the day you see the money in your Paypal account, but the twist is that you actually see the money in your Paypal account, and thinking everything is kosher, you ship the item that day to get it to the buyer as soon as possible.
This is a bad move because you should wait at least 1 business day, as there are ways for scammers to send illegal or fraudulent cash via Paypal to make it look as though they actually sent money, but Paypal verifies a lot of these transactions and may end up cancelling the money sent, citing that it was part of a scam or a fraud.
A variation on this scam is that they Paypal you extra money and ask you to send them a money order or cheque for half the amount they sent to you. Naturally, if the money sent is deemed to be fraudulent by Paypal, and you wired the money to the scammer in return, you may end up being a victim instead.
Selling online is easy, as long as you remember that nothing is free and no one will pay more for something than they have to. If someone promises to pay you more than what something is worth or asks you to do suspicious things like send them a money order in return for sending cash to you via Paypal, stop communicating with them immediately and move on.