First came eBay and Craigslist. Today, those old-school sites are just the tip of the iceberg for selling your stuff online. Now it's all about smartphone apps and social media to sell stuff that no longer, as Marie Kondo would say, “sparks joy.” Possibilities include OfferUp, Poshmark, and Facebook Marketplace, to name a few. But which is best? Well, that totally depends. Each has its pros and cons, and the best choice for you depends on what you are selling and how much time and effort you are willing to devote to the process. So here's a rundown on three well-known buying-and-selling apps.
OfferUp is one of Apple’s top 10 shopping apps based on number of downloads. After using the at-times cumbersome Craiglist for many years, I can see why it's so popular: it's so simple to use. Once you download the app and set up an account, it takes just minutes to post. Snap a photo of your item, write a description, set a price, and wait for those offers to roll in.
Potential buyers message sellers directly in the app, so there's no exchanging contact info or other personal information. And when you get an offer, your phone notifies you with the sound of a cash register ding. If you're into that kind of cutesy stuff as I am, it adds fun to the whole process of selling your stuff...and making money!
OfferUp allows you to sell locally, but you can also indicate whether you are willing to ship, just in case someone across the country just has to have the vintage tea cups you no longer use or that set of Pokémon cards your tween has outgrown. Overall, I find OfferUp to be extremely easy to navigate. The downside: it can take a really long time to sell anything that isn’t a hot ticket item. In my experience, hot ticket items are things like furniture and kid-related products, so be patient.
I know someone who earned more than $20,000 last year selling used clothing and accessories on Poshmark. So I tried it and made exactly...$0. Initially I assumed I was doing something wrong, but once I became more familiar with the app I realized that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. It just turns out that Poshmark is wrong for me.
That’s because Poshmark is very much a social media app that requires interaction and engagement. You can’t simply post your like-new Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis and expect a designer handbag enthusiast to snatch it up stat. You have to “like” others’ posts, “share” closets, and attend so-called "Posh parties" if you want your closet (their chic-sounding name for all of the items you post) to garner attention. I don’t have the time or interest, but for others Poshmark can be fun and lucrative. According to Poshmark itself, users are on the app between 23-27 minutes a day and a sale is made nearly every second through the platform. For the lover of social media with the right items to sell (think: current/trendy fashion, designer goods, classic styles), it could be a good fit.
There are two main ways to sell used items within Facebook. One is Facebook Marketplace. Like OfferUp, it's super easy to use. Just open the app, click on the Marketplace icon, and you’ll be guided through the posting process. Potential buyers can comment on your post or message you directly to arrange a purchase. The second way to sell, through Facebook's buying-and-selling groups, is also popular. Towns and communities, for example, have groups for locals where people can post items for sale, often numbering thousands of members.
Facebook's reach is massive−over 2 billion active monthly users, according to statistics released last year by digital marketing agency Omnicore−so the opportunity to get your used lawnmower in front of the person who needs it is robust. And since you are on Facebook all the time anyway, keeping on top of posts probably isn’t too much of an inconvenience. The drawback, for me, is security. Buyers can easily see your profile. Plus, your Facebook friends are likely to see what you are selling. That might not be a big deal, unless you are attempting to unload an unsightly knick-knack a neighbor gave you as a housewarming gift and she happens to spy your post. Oops.
Other options: Of course, these are just a few of the many apps out there — Mercari (Mercari is great if you are shipping; they build shipping into your price and even provide a label), Letgo, 5Miles...the list goes on. All have their own unique features and methods; you just have to decide which one works best for you.
What sites have you used to sell your used stuff? Tell us in the comments!
Dawn Weinberger is a freelance writer in Portland, OR.
If you’ve been the victim of identity theft or just want to be prepared if it happens to you, watch the recording of our webinar, After Identity Theft, which will be available until July 23, 2019. You’ll learn about the different types of identity theft as well as proven steps you can take to minimize its impact.