Hot Tips for Selling Your Stuff Online for Ca$h

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I am doing a lot of online selling these days to make extra money. I am trying to empty my storage area and make space so that everything fits in my shed. (Yes, you read that right! I have two sheds. I now accept that everything should fit in them, and that is my goal for this fall before the snow flies.) I own a small eco-cabin that is only 18 by 24 feet in size. I have also realized that my huge collection of farm memorabilia has got to go….or I won’t have room for my clothing!

Over the years, I would say I have been pretty successful at selling online. I get good prices and good “clicks” on my ads. I am going to share my best tips with you in the hopes that you can sell your stuff and make a few bucks, too.

Getting the item to the right market

I mainly sell in our local Buy and Sell “24/7 Yard Sale” type groups on social media. Let me be first to say that I am not a big fan of social media overall. However, this is one instance where it works very well. For most items, I post on the sites dedicated to the nearby villages. Some, like mine, might have less than a thousand members. For this reason, I also post to the nearest city, where the groups have over 30,000 members.

With this size audience, I find that I can usually sell what I want to. In most cases, people from the nearby city have been willing to meet me halfway, saving me extra driving time.

However, there are some items where I look for a larger or more specialized audience. For example, when my judo Gi (uniform) wasn’t selling locally, I expanded to a more distant city of one million people. When an item is collectible and easily shippable, I also post it on the “Marketplace,” where it will be seen by an extended audience.

Using these strategies, I recently sold a collectible farm quilt that had two damaged squares for more than $50 and the buyer paid the shipping. She lived over 2000 miles away! To get a buyer quickly for this quilt, I researched average prices, priced mine a bit low, and put “PRICED TO SELL” at the start of the title. It worked! I wanted cash that week and I got it.

Doing research and having a plan

I tend to post items in a batch, although each ad is separate. I find that taking a bunch of photos together and posting ads together streamlines the process. One of the first steps I do is quick research to identify the retail price. This can help with sales, as it convinces them what a deal they are getting. I will often paste the link to the retail store right in my ad, so people can confirm it themselves.

In this planning phase, I also make a list on old-fashioned paper of all the items and their prices. This helps me answer messages more quickly, as I don’t have to check back to any of my ads. Virtually all of the time, my prices are flexible. I generally offer around half of retail value for items in good condition. I find this usually gets me good attention. If I am firm on a price, I always mention this in the ad as a courtesy to buyers and to prevent being sent offers.

Striking when the iron/buyer is hot

If someone is interested, I will move mountains to get that item to them right away.  This is something that I learned from my mother. She taught me that people will buy when they’re keen and then they’ll cool off. I have found this to be true. So, if I get a message from an interested buyer, I will do everything I can to get that cash, even if it means going a bit out of my way. 

Be ready for some disappointments.

On a recent road trip to the big city of a million to meet with some friends, I had a buyer lined up for a tiny house accessory I no longer needed. I was feeling like a super Frugalite: See my friends and make my gas money selling this item. Perfect, right? Well, he never showed. I didn’t let it phase me. The item will still sell, and I didn’t let it ruin my day. Everyone once in a while this will happen. I don’t get steamed up. It is part of the game on my trail to cash. 

Upsell to interested buyers

When someone is interested in one item, it doesn’t hurt to mention if you have other similar items for sale. I recently had a very keen buyer come to pick up my kayaking jacket for full price. When she was there, I mentioned that I had a short sleeve wet suit for sale. Would she like to see it? I sold that, too, for full price! Ca-ching! Ca-ching!

Be ready to reduce your price (and let them know it!)

I am selling a pair of $300 handmade motorcycle boots that are in new condition. I started at $150 with lots of clicks but no takers. The boots are now $70. If goal is to sell them, I will still reduce. When I do this, I change the title of the ad and write “REDUCED” in front of the title. People love a good deal! 

Request a direct message as a response.

When I use social media groups, I always end my post in the same way: “If you are interested in this item, please message me directly. As this item is cross-posted, I may not see comments below the ad. Thanks very much!”  Time is money. This saves me time.

Requesting a delivery “bonus” 

On the rare occasion that I drive to someone’s home for the sale, I will message them with the following phrase after we have agreed on the price, “If I come by your place to deliver this today, I would appreciate it if you would throw in a few extra dollars. How does that sound?” They have always agreed, and to this day, they have always thrown in what I consider a generous amount: $5 Canadian. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know!  

Turning your thing into ca-ching the online way!

I have found selling online to work very well for me. Could you see yourself trying any of the thrifty tips offered here? Do you have one you can share with us? Please tell us in the comments section.



Colette is passionate about sharing her knowledge of thrifty living and self-sufficiency. She has developed her skills in self-reliance living in the suburbs, the city, and more recently, on her own Half-Acre Homestead. Colette lived five years completely off-grid and without running water in an eight by 24 foot tiny home while designing and building her own 18 by 24-foot eco-cabin. Her website, Half Acre Homestead is attracting followers from around the world who want to become more self-sufficient.  Colette invites you to stop by the Homestead and check out all of the great resources including the practical How To Guides, A Tiny Home Resource Center and her organic gardening stories on her blog. She shares her wholistic model (body/mind/spirit) for achieving self-sufficiency in her Free Course, "Growing Self-Sufficiency: The Whole Picture." Stop by the Homestead today to register free of charge!

12 thoughts on “Hot Tips for Selling Your Stuff Online for Ca$h”

  1. These are all excellent suggestions. I am in the process of selling quite a few things of my own, but my situation is somewhat different: we are having an estate sale as my parents have passed away and we need to sell the house. I hired a couple to go through everything as there was no way I could sell it on my own, but this way I was able to get help with selling my things as well.

    Your pricing comments are important but I have heard of cases where someone selling a specific item on a website was contacted by other sellers of the same item with hints to up their price – collusion! In this case the seller stood firm and refused to do it.

    1. Hi Alice, Thank you so much for you kind words. I hope that your own sale goes well. I am sorry for your loss.

      I appreciate the story about the price collusion. I had not heard about that. I will keep everyone posted if I have any experiences like that.

      Wishing you the best!

  2. With the exception of a riding lawn mower, we price to sell. The end game is to re-home an item, particularly items you know longer use and are just taking up space. Kudos for the goal of getting rid of your storage unit. On one hand I can’t believe how many storage units there are in the US but then again, I do. If we don’t have a place to store an item, we either make room or don’t buy it.
    And at times, free box at a garage sale (we usually participate in someone else’s since we are too rural and don’t have enough items – which I guess is a good thing). Items I can’t in good conscience ask for money but feel that someone else could make use of it.
    I feel for cleaning out the parental (or grandparent(s) house). Mine have a lot of collectibles/antiques – immediate family will not want all of it. Trying to sell each item myself will take me a lifetime. So auction it will be.

    1. Hi Selena, A free box at a garage sale is a great idea. I tried having a garage sale out here in my rural area for a few weeks. Although there is some traffic, it wasn’t making enough money to justify the time required for set up, take down and running it. I’m focussing now on making money selling more valuable items online. The garage sale items will be placed in lots and sold for a few bucks each. What doesn’t sell will go to our local church run thrift shop. I agree about the auction. I think it’s important to factor in the value of my time, so that’s why I will choose the auction for any estates I am involved in. Wishing you all the best!

  3. While selling for cash has been historically wonderful, our procedures will need to be updated in both the US and Canada when cash is forcibly made useless … and replaced with privacy-destroying CBDC digital money. All the dependable financial writers I see are regarding that switchover to be unstoppable.

    At the same time several US states are taking measures for precious metals to be used as well. There is even a bill before the Texas legislature to create a competing digital money to be backed by gold bullion.

    There are a number of small communities being created for the purpose of living and trading outside of the CBDC system. Many are in the US but some are in other countries where the IRS has no jurisdiction until a US citizen brings in about $120,000 or more in a year. Per investopedia, here are some of those details:

    “For the tax year 2022 (the tax return filed in 2023), you may be eligible to exclude up to $112,000 of your foreign-earned income from your U.S. income taxes. For the tax year 2023 (the tax return filed in 2024), this amount increases to $120,000. This provision of the tax code is referred to as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.”

    Such communities inside the US are focusing on crypto currencies and barter — which in both cases have a substantial learning curve. Of the many thousands of cryptos, only a very few (if used correctly) can be exempt from the SEC’s efforts to regulate that competition (to the central bank issued CBDCs) into oblivion. Barter is another option which has its own learning curve, and which the IRS has long maintained a greedy eye on non-trivial barter transactions. I’m sure that those small communities will be watching the various state efforts to legalize competing money systems. I shudder trying to imagine how the getting-paid rules will have to change on platforms like eBay where bidding customers come from all over the country … and where various payment methods may vary wildly. I’m thinking that even a once-simple for-sale ad on craigs-list will likely become very complex so the seller can get paid.


    1. Hi Lewis, So interesting! I had better get moving so that I can get all my stuff sold before the digital currency comes in. I am trying to get a local bartering network together in my rural area – all locations need to be within a day’s walk (or bicycle) or where I live. However, I am finding that there isn’t a lot of uptake. Perhaps many people won’t be looking for this until they are forced? Thanks, as usual, for all this great info! Wishing you the best!

      1. I wouldn’t be too concerned with CBDC digital currency. It is not on the radar of any of large banks. I liken it to the sky-is-falling-Biden-bucks which never materialized either. And while Congress has the power to coin money, they can barely decide to exit the building if it was on fire.

        1. Hi Selena,

          Those are good points. I have found in recent years that the balance between fear, preparation and enjoying the present moment has been more difficult to maintain! Much appreciated!

  4. Since you mentioned barter, I recently spotted this quickie video on a list of top ten items to acquire in preparation for bartering:

    NO MORE CASH | How To Survive When The 99% Of People Will Fail!

    [aka what to stock up on to prep for a barter economy]

    per this 10:58 minute video, from Finance Daily on Jul 11, 2023

    Imagine a scenario where traditional currency loses its value, leaving you in need of a safety net. In such circumstances, bartering becomes crucial. Today, we’ll explore the top 10 items for bartering, their benefits for preparedness, and potential exchange value. When bartering, consider the needs of others and prioritize surplus items.

    Plus 7 comments, and counting…


    1. This is great, Lewis. I am going to check it out later this week. I have out of town guests and am very very busy right now. I always appreciate all the resources you share so generous with the group. I will watch the video and then let everyone know where I stand in relation to the list. Should be interesting! Thanks so much, as always!

  5. Great article! Useful, interesting and relevant. I appreciate it very much. One thing I want to add is this: there have been quite a few times where I wanted to buy something but the only photo on the listing didn’t give enough information and the description was bad too. So having at least one good photo in decent light can be very helpful, two or three is better, and a description with useful details like measurements, model, any flaws, age, etc is needed. Obviously nobody wants to write (or read) a book but I think we can all think of examples of good descriptions as well as bad ones!

    1. Hi Redbranch, Thank you so much for this thoughtful addition to the article. Yes, good photos are absolutely key. I think it is part of respecting the time of potential buyers and also my own time. i don’t want to spend time answering messages that say “could you post some more photos?” I find it generally never ends well if I am a keen buyer having to send a message like that! I always post two to three photos of my items. For example, of the motorcycle boots: photo of side, photo of soles, photo of front. I try to have a photo that shows the brand name label, too, if applicable. My aim is to SHOW the good condition of the item to the buyer so that they’re not just taking my word for it. If there is a flaw, then I take a photo of that. For example, when selling the quilt, I posted around 8 – 10 photos and made sure the ripped squares were included so that they buyer could assess them in context. Thanks so much for drawing attention to this important point! Much appreciated! Wishing you the best!

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