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What Can I sell to Make Money? A Guide to Selling Online

A woman and her daughter folding old clothes to sell.

If you’re struggling with money, you might be asking yourself how can you make a little extra this month? One option: sell unwanted items. It might seem complicated or like a lot of hassle to sell your stuff as things have progressed rapidly in the way that people buy things. So, let’s break it down.

First, there were car boot sales, then there was eBay, now there’s everything you could ever imagine…

Where can you sell things?

Selling things has never been easier, and the best way to sell something these days is online. There are loads of item-specific websites that mean your valuables will be displayed to the right audience, and you’ll find a buyer more easily.

Here’s a rundown of some of our favourites:

Clothes Electronics Instruments Furniture Everything
Vinted Music Magpie Musical Money Thrifted Shopify
Depop Money 4 My Tech Rich Tone Music Preloved Amazon
Thred Up Zapper Facebook Marketplace

(Please scroll sideways if you can't see the full table.)

This is just a sample of the sites out there where you can sell your unwanted items. The internet is saturated with websites but make sure you choose somewhere legitimate. Check reviews and ask around to find one that is credited.

And of course, there is always eBay!

How to sell things online

The first thing you need to do is choose the right marketplace for you. Some websites will charge you a fee for advertising your item, whether that’s commission based or a one-off fee, so double check how much they’re charging first. Once you’ve chosen your online platform, you need to put your item up.

An important tip is to take good photographs of your item(s). Most of us are lucky enough to have a smart phone with a pretty good camera so make sure you take some images where the item looks good, and in good wear. Have a look online at how other people take photos of similar items, for inspiration. A good photo can make all the difference!

Add an honest description. There’s no point saying your item is brand new if its not. Yes, it might sell better but once the customer has it, they’ll know you were lying and will probably try to return the item and you’ll have to go through the whole process again.

Once the item is sold, you need to send it. The one big difference with selling in person and selling online is postage and packaging. You’ll need to account for the price of it and the means of getting to the post office and shipping the items in good time.

Pro tip:

Some websites like Zapper will offer to pick up your goods for you either at your house or a collection point, all you have to do is pack them into boxes and label them.

Working out how valuable your items are

Selling stuff can be good money but it depends on what you’re selling!

Your grandma’s old bookcase might be sentimentally valuable to you, but you need to think about how a market would price it. Is it old? Does it have wear and tear? Does it need a paint job, or any work done to it?

If you price your items too high, they won’t sell, and if you’re being charged to advertise them, then you could be losing money rather than making money.

But equally, pricing them too low could be a mistake too. The key here is research. See how much other people are selling similar items for. And think: how much would I be willing to pay for this? There are also tools online to help you correctly price your items.

What are the pros and cons of selling online?


Less effort than physically attending a market or car boot sale

Great if you don’t have time to attend a market

Easy to sell a small number of items or an individual item

More in control of how much you’re selling things for

Able to advertise to your niched audience

Good option if you don’t have a car or means of transporting any items you’re selling


You will probably need to pay for postage and packaging

Profit on small items such as books and t-shirts could be marginal to none

Customers could delay payment or contest the item after you’ve sent it/say it never arrived

Items could get lost on delivery

Why sell things online?

One of the main reasons we might be thinking to sell our things is because we’re strapped for cash. It’s always therapeutic to de-clutter and refresh our environment but it can also be a great way to get some money fast.

If you’re struggling financially, you might be dealing with debts. Debts can become an issue when you can’t afford to repay them, and you may be looking to sell things because of this. This could be a good way to supplement your monthly income however it’s not a long-term debt solution.

Mounting debts can lead us to search for any means necessary to make quick cash. If you’ve got several debts from different lenders, it might be difficult to meet your debt repayments. In this case, a Debt Management Plan (DMP) could be a viable option. This type of debt solution will consolidate your debts into one affordable monthly payment rather than several. Apply today to find out if a Debt Management Plan could help reduce your monthly payments.

The most important thing when looking for a debt solution is to talk to a professional. A debt advisor can run through your options with you, and which one is the best for your situation. There are many options out there so it’s always good to do plenty of research and see everything available before signing up to anything.

Nervous about selling? Don’t be!

Once you’ve sold your first item, things will get easier as you get used to the process. Much the same as many things, practice makes perfect, and you’ll be well on your way to being a selling guru. It could even become a lucrative side hustle!

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