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Selling online: could your trash be someone else’s treasure?
We’ve all heard the phrase one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and in some corners of the internet, this is a sentiment which is most definitely true. It seems selling your rubbish online is extremely popular with everything from coat hangers to milk bottle tops being bought for anywhere between a few pence and £3-4 per item.
So is it time we all jumped on the bandwagon and started selling our rubbish to strangers on the internet? If you’re interested on how to make some extra cash from your unwanted items, find out everything you need to know below.
Before you start listing, it’s important to know what you can sell and what the higher value items to look out for are. This article from Money Saving Expert analysed some of the recent rubbish related sales on eBay and they found that:
- Empty perfume bottles can be worth a lot to the right buyer, averaging at £3 a bottle with a max price of £8.
- They may not be worth much but people will buy your old can ring pulls. Averaging at 1p an item, if you manage to get together a good sized bundle though you could make a couple of quid from an everyday item that we always tend to throw away.
- Plastic milk bottle tops, wine and champagne corks and kitchen roll tubes are also regularly sold, presumably there is a lot of crafting going on in UK households.
- Coat hangers are one of the most popular items with 492 bundles of them sold in the last three months. For an item most of us always seem to have too many of, they are highly sought after.
The usual suspects of eBay, Gumtree, Preloved and Facebook Marketplace were recommended by Money Saving Expert. If you are after seller protection and not having to sell face to face then eBay would be your best bet but there are fees to pay. The other three don’t have fees but there is little to no seller protection which could be an issue if items get lost in the post or you have to deal with tricky buyers.
When it comes to gathering together your items and listing them on your chosen auction site, there are a couple of things for you to keep in mind.
- Sell in bulk – Single items will probably cost you more to sell than you will make.
- Check the condition – Only sell if in good condition. The knockdown in price for a damaged item may mean it is no longer worth anything.
- Make the best of your listing – Good, clear photos and keywords you have researched will help your listing stand out above the rest.
- Take into account other costs and storage – You’ll need to store items until they sell which takes up space in your house. Plus, there are the costs of postage and buying packaging such as boxes, jiffy bags, brown paper and/or bubble wrap.
Quite frankly, why not? If you can make some extra cash out of something you are not going to miss then it is most definitely worth a try listing it for sale online. You’re not going to make your fortune from selling your rubbish online but for some high value items you could make a little extra cash and declutter at the same time.
The cost of postage and eBay fees, the hassle of saving rubbish in your house until you have a decent bundle to sell and the time spent taking pictures and listing your items may be too much for some. Whether this is for you is for you to decide but if you do decide to go for it, best of luck that your trash really is someone else’s treasure.