What to sell to make money

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I get it, because I’ve been there. For what seemed like an eternity, I searched for inspiration for what to sell online to make me extra money.

Everyone seemed to be selling something, heck, I bought a lot of it, but I just couldn’t decide on a product to sell myself. I think there was too much choice. There seemed to be 1001 places to buy stock, wether it was from China or the local Cash & Carry, and everyone else seemed to be selling it anyway.

I was certain I wouldn’t make any money and so I didn’t try. I didn’t see the point in even trying to sell anything to make money. Why would someone buy from me when there was so many other places to buy from. It wasn’t a great feeling, I was frustrated and finding something to sell to make extra money wasn’t becoming any easier for me.

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Finding the product I started to sell to make money

Having given up on trying to find the perfect product to sell to make money, things became a whole lot more relaxed. In the end, I started to sell things I already had to make money, and that’s when the penny dropped. I could simply sell ‘anything’. And I started off with the things I already had around me, or I could get hold of super easily.

Like loads of us, I had a wardrobe chock FULL of clothes that no longer fitted me or I didn’t wear. And there became the first thing I started to sell online. Secondhand clothes. Not just mine, I did so well I actively went searching for things I knew would sell, and it became a fairly sustainable way to make money online.

There WERE some things I needed to do. So many items I bought to sell on just needed a little love, a spruce up, an iron maybe. Then there were the pictures. You need AMAZING photos, and a lot of them. Anyway, I’ll stop talking now because we have an amazing round up of things you can sell if you’re in need of a little inspiration!

Sell secondhand clothes

Just as I started off, Skint Dad has a great article on selling your old clothes. With a huge 30% of unwanted clothing going to landfill in the UK, it’s great to do your bit and find a new home for these items.

If you’re looking to sell used clothes, the social impact can be huge.

Feel good about yourself, as you help to:

  • Reduce the impact of the clothing sold to consumers
  • Extend the useful life of clothes
  • Increase supply and demand for pre-owned, re-usable clothing
  • Reduce laundry impact
  • Keep clothes out of landfill

Preparing second hand clothes

To increase your chances of selling second hand clothes and keep your customers coming back, it’s really important that you prepare the clothes properly for sale. This is what I used to do:

  • Wash the clothes and use a really nice smelling fabric softener
  • Check for anything you could repair before you sell. This might mean a hem needs re-sewing or a button replacing. Make the clothes look as good as possible.
  • Iron them and hang then up.

Photographing second hand clothes

This is probably the most important thing you can do to increase your chances of selling your second hand clothing.

  • Use natural day light. This might mean hanging the clothes close to a window where you catch the best daylight.
  • If you’re photographing the clothes indoors, make sure the background is totally neutral. I used a white wall, but make sure the background doesn’t interfere with picture. No one wants to see me cooking in the background of a shot!
  • If you’re photographing the clothes outside, make sure the light is bright but not glaring and choose a pretty place to take photos. Check the background of the picture when you’ve taken it. I used a photo editor like Snapseed if I needed to enhance the pictures.

Places to sell second hand clothes

This is the aim, right? Here are some of the places I sold second hand clothes.

  • eBay is the biggest marketplace of all to sell secondhand clothes. Yes, the competition is huge but I promise you, there are enough buyers to go around. This is where is becomes crucial that your images stand out for the right reasons.
  • Vinted. With 11 million members, Vinted is an amazing marketplace for second hand clothes. I did best with branded clothes on Vinted. Think TopShop, and Levi’s, that sort of thing. The audience seems to be aged from teens to late 20’s, so aim for that market.
  • Facebook Marketplace. Facebook Marketplace lets you list your items with photos and it feeds them to people who live nearby you. It’s a great way to quickly sell items you have, and sell them quickly without the fee’s of market places like eBay.

Sell second hand furniture

Think you can’t make a small fortune selling second hand furniture? Take a leaf out of Jade Olivers book and get scouring the markets for second hand furniture to do up and sell. And she’s not the only one.

How to restore old furniture

Restoring old furniture needs skill, but that level of skill depends on the furniture you’re restoring. Antique furniture restoration is a highly skilled art, but it’s fairly easy to take non-antique pieces, do them up, and make a profit.

Getting a good finish on second hand furniture involves making sure the preparation is right. I wanted to repaint a chest of drawers I had. They’d been painted (badly) and I wanted to get the lovely old wood to show though again. This is what I did:

  • I used Nitromors to strip the paint. Nitromors is an extremely strong paint remover (use outside, take necessary precautions. This stuff can be nasty!) and the old paint came away. It did take quite a while, and you’ve got to let the Nitromors soak in.
  • Sand the wood back that’s underneath the paint. Having very little patience, I used a sanding mouse!
  • Once the wood is all sanded and cleaned, I waxed the whole thing. The finish was amazing.

Photographing Second hand furniture

A lot like photographing second hand clothes, furniture needs to be photographed in the right light, however, perhaps more importantly than clothes, it needs to be photographed in the right setting.

If your customers can visualize the item in their house, they’re more likely to convert into buying customers!

The good part about second hand furniture is that any nicks and marks are viewed as adding character to an item. Obviously you don’t want the item to be terribly marked and you need to be honest about the marks, but you can turn them into a positive.

Where to sell second hand furniture

There are a few places you can sell second hand furniture. It’s not nearly as easy as clothes because of the delivery issues, but it can be done. These are some of the places I’ve sold furniture before:

  • eBay. Good old eBay. Once again it proves to be a great place to find buyers for your restored old furniture. I tended to get buyers who lived quite locally to me and they came to collect the items they bought.
  • Thrifted. Thrifted is a fairly new site that allows you to sell your pieces of second hand furniture, but it is only really for London and surrounding areas. Being in the South East it was convenient for me, but of course, make sure this one works for you before you out your stuff on the site.
  • Preloved. This is a national site and so covers the whole country, but you join the local group to you, making delivery easy. The furniture on here tends to be cheaper, so use I used this site for furniture I wasn’t hoping to get a lot for and had been very cheap to restore. I also used Preloved for furniture I wanted to sell that I hadn’t restored, just wanted to sell. It’s worth a look.

Millennial Money Man has an awesome article here that talks you through how to start this creative side job.

Sell second hand jewellery

If you know your diamonds from your dimonte, rummaging through car boots sales and flea markets could prove profitable for you. It’s not just fine jewellery that’s making people money online either, Katie Mortimer started selling unwanted jewellery as a child and has never looked back.

How to prepare second hand jewellery for sale

Like anything else you sell, jewellery needs to be prepared and cleaned to make sure you get a great price for it. First impressions count, and jewellery is no different.

Generally, getting a cloth for silver and gold is enough to give the it’s back it’s sparkle, but if it’s an expensive piece, it might be worth taking it to your local jewelers and having it cleaned professionally. If the item is damaged, weigh up the price of repair against the sale price, if it’s worth it, have the repair done but if not, don’t.

Where to sell your jewellery

I was never very happy selling jewellery online. I sold two rings a few years ago, and didn’t fancy the thought of putting them in the mail. In the end, I decided to go to a number of jewellers and get valuations, and decide where to sell it after that.

If you;re not sure where to find local jewellers to you, Google ‘your location + jewellery valuations’ and you should get a list of local valuers able to give you their best price.

I didn’t buy the rings I had specifically to resell, and I don’t think I know enough about this industry to do so. If you do though, this could be a nice little sideline!

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Sell second hand books

As a book lover, I LOVE selling (& buying!) second hand books. I had a kindle, it wasn’t the same, and I’m not the only one to feel this way since 2018 saw us Brits buy 240 MILLION physical books, as opposed to virtual ones. That’s a lot of books people are giving away after they’ve read them, and provides us plenty of chances to get them and sell them.

I’ve written about WeBuyBooks.com here and it’s a great way to make some extra money. It won’t make you rich, but it will bring in some extra cash!

Part of the beauty of selling second hand books is that to prepare them for sale you have to do nothing! What you see is what you get, and book lovers are in it for the story and not for the condition of the book, assuming it’s readable!

Where to sell second hand books

Second hand books can be found everywhere! I’ve seen them in Garden centers and hospitals, and even the vets. Equally, there are a lot of places you can sell them:

  • WeBuyBooks! I’ve used this site for ages, it’s brilliant, and you get a good price for your books. They are selective, so read my article here to see which books they prefer to buy.
  • eBay. You won’t get much but you will get something. I did and still do sell books occasionally on eBay, but it’s very hard to complete with Amazon.
  • Amazon! Where else to sell books but Amazon! After years of buying books from Amazon, I then started to sell them on here as well. Like anywhere you sell second hand books, there’s not a lot of money to be made, but if you keep a steady stream on here for sale, you are able to bring in some extra cash!

Sell hand made jewellery

Following on from selling second hand jewellery, is selling custom made jewellery. It’s BIG business. Market places like Etsy have bought this niche into the spotlight and there’s a lot of money to be made.

What hand made jewellery sells best?

Although custom made jewellery is super popular right now, I found it helpful to look at the best selling custom made jewellery in market places like Etsy to see what was selling the best.

The aim here is to sell what you make, so save some time and see what people are buying before start buying supplies.

How to make hand made jewellery

There are a number of brilliant, detailed guides on the best way to make custom jewellery, and so I’ll give you some of the best guides I found:

  • Shopify has an amazing guide on setting up a jewellery business. The point of the article is to get you to set up a shopify shop, but if you take the article for the information it provides without the sales, it’s really good.
  • Instructables has another good guide to making the jewellery itself, which I found to be a great starting point.
  • Jewellery Maker has literally hundreds of tutorials on how to make different types of jewellery. This is a very handy reference site.

Where can you sell hand made jewellery?

The biggest market place without question for hand made jewellery is Etsy, and they have their own dedicated area to promote it. I started here, and really, although there are other places you can list your jewellery as well, Etsy is where it’s at for hand made jewellery. Some other places you might want to try that have less competition are :

  • Folksy is a small market place that is dedicated to crafts.
  • Facebook is another place that I’ve heard some people have had some success.
  • eBay. Although not dedicated to anything in particular, there is a lot of people buying hand made jewellery on here so would be worth listing on as well, especially since you don’t need to pay any fees until your item sells.
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