Monday, August 4, 2014

Selling Online: Getting Started

Whether you want to sell online as a profession or just get rid of a few things, choosing the best site to sell through is the first big decision.

Choosing the Right Site for Your Online Sale Items

With a few boxes of extras to "get rid of" I decided I would take them to the local flea market and offer them (for free) to a friend who has a booth there. I was very surprised to get a polite but firm "No thank you" in response. I offered them to another vendor who has similar items. That vendor did not want them either. (Some of these items were actually still brand new so I was feeling very surprised now.)

I brought my boxes of goodies home and started looking for ways to sell them online. I decided it might be fun to have my own online flea market. I found some great options for selling online. Three sites I found that seemed especially easy for a seller to use were EBay, Craigslist, and eCrater.

I wondered if other people have such a hard time trying to get rid of unwanted items. If you just have a few items you want to sell EBay and Craigslist are both nice - or if you want to start an online business eCrater is an excellent site to get started with no investment.

It is important to have a good photo of the item and to write a detailed explanation of the item you are selling. Customers making online purchases do not have the advantage of being able to touch the items so the picture and description are all the information they have to make the decision to purchase from you or not.
EBay is one option that has been around for a while. There is a small fee to list items plus a fee when the items sell so it is the most costly of the three sites. Registering as a seller with eBay is fairly simple. The screens pretty much "talk you through" the sign-up process.

I tried Craigslist on the recommendation of a relative. It is free to list most items on Craigslist. Registration for
Craigslist, similar to eBay, makes registration pretty simple. There are a few steps and some jumping back and forth from the website to check email. There is also phone authentication required to list some items. Overall I felt Craigslist was a good option for making a simple sale.

My personal favorite online selling option, eCrater, took a little bit longer to set up. This is a site that offers sellers their own online storefront - for free. It takes more maintenance than the other options, but it is closer to having your own online flea market - or whatever kind of stores you feel inspired to have. The name of your store will end in - for example instead of it will say

The site guides you through the set up process and offers you choices in how you want customers to pay you. One option is to let AdWords be placed on your site and payments will be processed for free - making your online store front free to get and free to make sales on.

Whether you want to work from home, start an online business, or just get rid of a few things - selling online can be a great way to make some extra money.


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