If your house is filled with old items that you don’t use anymore or stuff you simply don’t want, you have a lot of options on how to get rid of them. A lot of people like to sell their old items because they not only do they get their house cleaned out, but they can also make some extra cash. There are a few ways to your old stuff. The three most common ways are eBay, selling locally, and pawn shops. Here are a few pros and cons of each.
Since eBay hit the internet in the late 90s by founder Pierre Omidyar, it has become one of the top places for people to sell all sorts of stuff, from vintage toys to collectibles and antiques. eBay makes it easy to set up a seller’s account that links seamlessly with Paypal. The biggest benefit to selling on eBay is that they get a massive amount of traffic, so your listings are going to be seen by a lot of potential buyers.
However, getting an item listed can be cumbersome since the user needs to take pictures, write an accurate description, figure out pricing, and what shipping method to use. This means that listing a single item can take at least ten to twenty minutes. You’ll also be paying selling fees to both eBay and Paypal, which can quickly eat into your profits. Further, eBay favors the buyer if there’s a dispute. Sellers can fall victim to scams with little recourse, leaving them without their money and sometimes without the item being returned.
Craigslist popular with people looking to sell stuff locally. This is a very do-it-yourself approach to selling because there is no middleman like eBay to help facilitate the sale. When you sell locally, you and the buyer agree on a price (there’s probably going to be some haggling) and then arrange to meet to finish the transaction. This method eliminates any fees because you are selling directly to the buyer. You can also get cash for your item, which means you have the money instantly, no waiting for payments to clear.
But selling locally brings on its own set of problems. First, you’re meeting a complete stranger to do a cash transaction. This isn’t always safe and people have been robbed in the process. You can minimize your risk by meeting in a public area, but the risk never completely goes away. Also, sometimes buyers are flaky and might not show up. Craigslist buyers are notorious for disappearing like this and leaving the seller in limbo.
Pawn shops have been around for centuries. In fact, they are the oldest form of lending money, dating back to ancient China. The premise is that you bring an item in, they estimate its worth, and then lends you money based on that amount. However, if you’re not looking for a loan and just want to sell your old stuff, these shops also have you covered.
In a way, these types of stores represent the best of eBay and local selling. They are an established business with a large customer base, and they will pay you cash for your items. You don’t pay any fees, nor do you have to meet a complete stranger who may or may not rob you. Many of these shops will also allow you to trade items. For example, if you have an acoustic guitar, but decide you want to play the electric guitar, you can trade your acoustic in for an electric, only paying the difference, if there is one.
The only downside is you might not get the best price. Since they want to resell your item, they’ll pay less than what you can get by selling it yourself. That said, they are a tried and true way to get money without dealing with strangers off the street or paying the high fees that eBay charges.