In all honesty, selling your belongings online can be tedious, but approaching the sales strategically will make your efforts more efficient and fruitful. It’s important to select the most suitable platform(s) for each item you’re selling
eBay: In my experience, eBay is best for selling lightweight items, and collectibles and other items that would benefit from large audiences. Check out eBay’s list of hot-selling items by room. You’ll see that electronics are popular items, and small/light ones are great because they’re easy to ship. Shipping larger items is more of a challenge and I suggest selling them elsewhere unless you’re an experienced eBayer or shipper. Note that there is a “local pickup only” option on eBay that you can use when selling large, heavy, or otherwise hard-to-ship items.
If you live in a rural or less-densely-populated area, eBay might be your best bet for getting your items in front of a wide audience.
I recommend: clothing (especially kids, designer and technical/outdoor items), accessories, packs and travel items, jewelry and watches, small home and kitchen items, collectibles and antiques (again, smallish), electronics. Note that low-end clothing (even things like GAP and Gymboree) doesn’t sell well on eBay; this is best left for garage sales, consignment, or donation.
Craigslist: Use this tried, true, and occasionally sketchy website to sell items that need a wide audience, but which are too heavy to make shipping on eBay worthwhile. For example: a set of Midcentury modern chairs that you inherited from a family member might be too pricey and specialized for the relatively small net cast by Next Door or Facebook groups. Because you’re reaching so many people (if you live in a metro area) and the selling process isn’t as automated as eBay’s, selling things on Craigslist can be time-consuming. For that reason, I recommend reserving Craigslist for higher-priced items or groups of items.
I recommend: outdoor items like barbecue grills and patio furniture, furniture and appliances, large electronics and computers, baby items like cribs (check for recalls!) and child carriers.
Next Door: This is a small neighborhood-based online community. Its classified (and free stuff) sections are excellent for posting large and/or inexpensive items. Because these people are your neighbors, they’re less likely to be sketchy, and I’ve found that most of the people I’ve sold to using Next Door are very decisive and respectful of my time. Often, my Next Door transactions are done in passing; I’ll leave the item on my porch and the buyer will leave the money in my mailbox. Other times, meeting the buyer in person is a pleasant way to meet new friends in the neighborhood.
I recommend: baby and kids’ clothing, toys, holiday items, electronics, furniture, sports and camping equipment.
Facebook: It’s rarely effective to post an item you’re selling on Facebook, but if you’re confident that your audience will respond to the item you’re selling, it’s worth a shot. This works best for things that require some sort of trust or familiarity between the seller and buyer, like tickets for an imminent show or sporting event, or a pricey musical instrument. That said, your audience is limited; not all your friends see your posts, and they aren’t there to buy.
I do belong to some neighborhood Treasure Trove groups and I’ve had and seen others have great success selling items there. If you anticipate having many items to sell, create a neighborhood Treasure Trove group, invite people you think would fit in and ask them to invite good candidates, too.
I recommend: similar items to Next Door.
Yard sale: You know the drill. If you’ve got a lot to sell all at once, particularly low-value and/or bulky items, a yard sale is the way to go. Note that you get far lower prices at a yard sale than online. That said, a yard sale is a pleasant way to spend a weekend day, a good way to meet your neighbors and make a chunk of change at the same time. Next Door and Craigslist are great ways to advertise your yard sale. In your advertisement, call out specific items that will attract buyers to your sale. Bikes, furniture, small appliances, and household items are all good draws, especially if they’re brand name.
Consignment store: I use a local consignment store for high-end collectible items, like some antique silver I needed to sell recently. They kept 35% of the purchase price, but the shop had the reputation, knowledge, and customer base to sell the items and fetched far more than I would have been able to. They sold most items in their shop, but several on eBay. Clothing consignment stores are good choices, too, and though the process can be a hassle, it’s good option for selling lower-priced kids clothing like GAP, Carters, and Gymboree, and higher-priced women’s clothing that aren’t moving well in you eBay shop.