[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Nowadays, people are starting to get into secondhand buying and selling. More and more people are starting to be aware of the environmental impact of the things they buy. It’s a lot more common now to ask someone where they got their cool outfit and for them to respond with “It’s thrifted.” Or to ask someone where they got their unique-looking jewelry and for them to respond with “It was passed down from my great grandmother.”

Selling used items is easy if you're selling books.

Second-hand books. Probably the best-selling used item, ever.

There has also been an emergence on platforms that focus on secondhand items. You can see this in online platforms such as Carousell, which is popularly known as a place to buy and sell secondhand. There are also rental marketplaces where you can borrow someone else’s items instead of buying the item as a whole. In addition to this, there is a lot of secondhand activity going around on Facebook. You can see this through the Facebook marketplace, Facebook “ukay” groups, and Facebook “live streams” wherein sellers would go on live to sell their secondhand items.

The environmental movement is on the rise, and buying secondhand items is one way in which we can help circulate items throughout the economy.

With this, here are some ways in which you can make money from selling your used items:

1. Take Note of the Quality of Your Items

Secondhand items are still used items. The items that you would want to sell might have signs of damage or over-usage which is not really appealing to consumers. It is best to sell items that are still in good condition; or even better, the items that look as good as new. With this, it is important to be honest with your consumers if ever your item has any flaws. Make sure to indicate any flaws when you are listing an item. It would not look good on your part if you had sold an item only for the consumer to find out after purchasing that the item has flaws or damages.

2. Give Lots of Details

You are the one who knows your pre-loved items best. The consumer only knows what you list. When it comes to selling secondhand items, your consumers want to know exactly what they are getting. It is best to include important details such as the brand of the item, where you got it, any flaws, reason for selling, and etcetera. Consumers are also more willing to buy something if they know more or less exactly what they are getting.

3. Price Reasonably

It is best to base your prices on the market value of the item. If you were the consumer, how much would you be willing to pay for the item? Better quality items can be priced higher whereas items with flaws or signs of usage should be priced more affordably for them to sell.

4. Know Your Brands

In line with the last point, another way to price your products is to know their brands. The more high-end the brand, the higher you can price. Higher-end products are most likely to be more in demand as well so this is an opportunity for you to price higher. Brands that are not so well-known would be riskier to price higher because consumers are more likely to care more about branded items.

5. Choose the Best Platform

selling used items via a garage sale

The old-fashioned garage sale. Photo by Min An from Pexels

There are many platforms online wherein you can sell your used items. It is important to know who you want to target first and then choose the platform in which they are most actively consuming. For example, if you want to make quick sales for consumers who are most likely to impulse purchase, Facebook live streams would be a good platform to consider. Instagram would be a better option if you are to target younger generations. Carousell is also a popular option for secondhand items for people of any age. Besides selling online, you can also opt to hold a good old-fashioned garage sale. There are still people who are willing to buy from these because they would like to see and test out the actual items for themselves.

6. Have a Niche and Focus on It

It could be tempting to simply sell anything around your house that you no longer want. However, not everything sells, and you cannot be an expert on selling everything. It’s better to sell items that you have a lot of or that you are really interested in. To add to this, they must be things that are in demand. For example, if you have a lot of clothes that you no longer use, you can set up an online thrift store on Instagram. This way, you would have a wide selection of things that you are going to sell.

7. Take Quality Photos

Sell a used item better with great photos.

A good photo of an old item increases its appeal. Photo by Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels

The pictures that you post of your products can either make or break a sale. Advertise your products in a way that is appealing to your consumers. Take well-lit photos, use clean backgrounds, add other elements to your photo that would enhance the product. For example, if you are selling old jewelry, you can use a jewelry stand to elevate the item. It would also be helpful to use different angles when taking pictures. More often than not, consumers are interested in knowing every detail about what they are buying.

8. Set Rules

When selling second-hand items, people are fond of haggling prices. This is especially common in the Philippines. We like to bargain for the lowest price that we could get. It is important to be clear on whether or not your prices posted are final or if you are open to negotiating for a lower price.

Another rule to consider is the number of allowable days a customer can reserve an item. You wouldn’t want to wait so long for the payment to be made. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time. You should also be clear on what would happen in the event that your customer cannot pay on time. In situations like this, you can either wait for the consumer to pay or hand it over to the next person who is interested in buying the item.

9. Market Your Products Well

Sometimes it’s hard for secondhand items to sell because there are so many other sellers who do the same thing as you do. Marketing is a great strategy to stand out from other sellers. You can do this by having a strong brand presence and engaging with your customers. You can do this by creating materials that would attract the consumer’s attention. Some examples would be promotional videos and posters. It is also important to post often so that your consumers would see your shop name or username frequently, making yourself more well-known to them.

10. Enjoy What You’re Selling

Last but not the least, enjoy the whole process. Sometimes, your consumers can feel when you’re not passionate about what you sell, and with this, there is less of an appeal to buy your items. It’s always important to love what you do so that you would be more motivated to continue doing your business for a long time. Remember to choose items that you are really interested in. Passion can be felt through what you do.

Here were some steps in which you can take to sell your used items. Selling your used items is not just a good way to make money. It is also a means for you to declutter your life and only own things that are of much value to you. One man’s trash can be another’s treasure. You may not need some items anymore but you never know who might do unless you put your items out there.


C., Jo. “10 Tips to Make Money Selling Used Stuff Online.” Neatntiny, 1 Feb. 2019.
kathleen_elk. “This 28-Year-Old Made $2,400 in 4 Months Selling Things Online-Here Are Her Top 4 Tips.” CNBC, CNBC, 31 May 2018.
Stephanie, et al. “How to Make a Profit Selling Used Stuff.” Six Figures Under, 2 Mar. 2018.
Trent Hamm – Founder & Columnist Last Updated: February 14, et al. “11 Ways To Sell Unwanted Items for Extra Cash.” The Simple Dollar, 14 Feb. 2020.

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