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Online Shopping Is Skyrocketing! Here’s How to Cash In

A couple sorting and photographing their things to sell online.
My Life Graphic/Shutterstock

Although more states are relaxing their stay-at-home orders, shoppers are still pretty cautious and ordering more online than ever. It’s the perfect time to make a little extra cash by selling stuff online.

What to Sell?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can sell online. People are buying everything from used clothing to handcrafted items. They can’t go to thrift stores or enjoy rummage sales, so they’re shopping online.

That old webcam you never use is gold, given the shortage of them caused by so many people working from home. You’re really only limited by the sites on which you decide to sell.

There are different sites for selling handcrafted items, craft supplies, or vintage items. There are apps now, too, that make it easy to get money back on your designer clothes. You can sell anything online, from old electronics and DVDs to broken jewelry (crafters love it).

A lot of people love to read, and, right now, more have time to do so. Go through your books and let the ones you’re never going to read a second time (or even a first) go. Clean out your closet and go through your storage items.

Sell anything you’re not using, like collectibles that are just collecting dust, or the stuff you boxed up to donate or were saving for that rummage sale you might never have.

Where to Sell?

When it comes to selling stuff online there’s always that old standby, eBay. But don’t limit yourself—especially if another site or service might give your potential buyers a better chance of finding you.

I’ve been doing quite well selling on Etsy, since my state enlisted a “stay home, stay safe” order. In all the years I’ve been selling on the site, this past May was my best month. I make the most on niche things—like handcrafted divination tools—but also on craft supply lots. These are groupings of similar craft supplies to help someone get started or replenish their supplies.

Because I’m in the process of closing one aspect of a personal craft business, I’ve had a few supplies worth selling. Regardless, visits to my modest page and sales have been significantly higher lately than they were last year—just check out my stats in the image below.

A sales conversion chart for an Etsy store.
Yvonne Glasgow/Etsy

Pre-pandemic, I made a few hundred bucks in one month on eBay selling used books and opened decks of tarot cards. People are into the mystical and unknown, and books are always good sellers.

When it comes to clothing, accessories, and shoes, check out Mercari and Poshmark. Clothes—especially designer clothing—are best-sellers on both sites. Mercari is also a great place to sell all sorts of stuff, from makeup to collectibles.

How to Sell?

Person photographing a pair of sneakers with their cellphone.
Poring Studio/Shutterstock

Before you start selling, make sure you do all the following:

  • Do a test prepack of your items to get a good sense of the actual shipping cost. Box it up, weigh it, and then use the measurements on the USPS website to get an estimate.
  • Take well-lit, clear photos of your items against a solid background with no clutter around.
  • Give detailed descriptions of what you’re selling and shape it’s in—and be honest.
  • Share your listings on all your social media sites.

Not every item you post online will sell. Still, it’s worth a shot to try to make something back on stuff that can still be used by others.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »
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