Beginner’s Guide To Buying and Selling Used Merchandise Online

cluttered garage

Beginner’s Guide To Buying and Selling Used Merchandise Online

It’s unsurprising if the pandemic has left you a little bit suffocated and needing more air and space to breathe. Researchers have already begun to document pandemic-related claustrophobia – unfortunately, it’s not over yet, and you might be tempted to change your surroundings a bit.

cluttered garage

How? By flipping things you don’t need.

If you used to be anything like me, you used your house only to sleep and to unwind over the weekends. It didn’t matter if your chair was old and worn out, or if your broken-down lawnmower was lying in the corner, and if your television was sitting on a table occupying space instead of being mounted on the wall. Yes, they added to the chores by gathering dust, reminded me of my procrastination skills, but were never an eyesore.

As the new normal set in, I decided to go on a shopping spree. Among other things, I bought myself a better chair to work from home, a new lawnmower to take care of the front yard, and a replacement for the overly large table my TV was perched on. As for how I got rid of the old stuff – I flipped them. With a little bit of cleaning up and a couple of repair jobs, I not only made some space for myself but some extra cash too!

Flipping things that you don’t need is easy, all you need to do is sign up on a few apps, upload a picture, quote a price, and you will effectively be able to sell items.

Here are some marketplaces and apps that you can check out:

Facebook Marketplace

All you need is a Facebook account and the app installed on your phone. Selling items on Facebook Marketplace is a matter of just a few taps, and you can sell just about anything. All you need to do is upload a picture of the item(s), enter details and it will prompt pricing options. You can choose to ship to locations that are beyond driving distance.

If it matters, you can also take comfort in knowing who your items are going to, as you can view their Facebook profile as well.



Looking to lighten up your wardrobe? Poshmark enables modern-day thrifting of clothes and fashion accessories where you can sell your name-brand clothes that are in wearable condition. You get to add photos of items that you want to sell and offer discounts to tempt shoppers into buying multiple products for free.

They pose a flat charge of $2.95 on any sale made under $15 and charge a commission of 20% on items that are priced above the $15 mark. It is easy to withdraw earnings from the app by requesting the listed bank for a cheque.



You can sell anything on this app – from furniture to kitchen appliances, gardening tools, and even beauty products. They make the flipping experience much more seamless by taking the shipping headache off your plate. Mercari has partnered with UPS, so all you need to do is take the sold item to the UPS store, and they will pack it and ship it for you.

No more looking for the right box, creating shipping labels, and taking responsibility for shipping safely. All listings are free, however, they do charge a 10% commission on every complete transaction.


We are constantly upgrading our tech – a new phone, a more compact and functional blender, a better laptop, and so on. The older items are only taking up space in your cabinets. Decluttr allows you to skip long-winded auction procedures, so you can receive instant payments. Once you have inputted the item’s barcode, the app will prompt you with a price estimate.

Upon accepting the bid and shipping the product, they make payments for them the next day through direct deposits, checks, or even PayPal. You can also avail of free shipping by choosing the UPS option.


OfferUp is another app known for its versatility – you can sell anything here. They do not charge for any local transactions and do not get involved in payments. You can use the app to message potential buyers and even meet them in areas designated by OfferUp. These areas are usually well lit and equipped with video cameras if you’re concerned about security around strangers.

While they do not intervene in the payment process, they do encourage using cash as a payment mode instead of checks, deposits, and payment apps to close transactions immediately. In case of shipping out of town – they oversee the entire transaction to ensure convenient selling and maximum buyer satisfaction.


Just as the name suggests, this app has gone hyperlocal, using the GPS on your phone to locate buyers and sellers in your area. You can either use the safe area options to make the deal where the app will direct you to a nearby police station to make the exchange.

To make it even more convenient, you can choose an online shipping option as well. They also have a video-enabled listing feature where you can describe your goods while shooting a video of them – making it easy for buyers to set expectations of the product they’re paying for.

Some Things To Keep In Mind When Selling Your Items

Flipping goods is a great practice to ensure that you get a good price for your clothes, kitchen appliances, electronics, furniture, gardening tools, lawn maintenance equipment, and much more. You can make this experience much more profitable for yourself by using these tricks of the trade:

  • Click high-quality pictures: There is no need to buy fancy cameras, the one on your smartphone works just fine. Focus on the lighting, angle, and background of the photo to ensure that you are showing off your products for buyers to be tempted. Natural lights and solid backgrounds are most recommended to best accentuate the product you are trying to sell.
  • Price reasonably and value repeat customers: Don’t be exorbitant when it comes to your price range. Keep in mind that this is a community of people who are trying to make the most out of the resources they have. When you price very high, you are killing the purpose of flipping, to begin with. To value customers who return to you, offer them nominal discounts. Loyalty counts for something!
  • Offer elaborate, yet accurate descriptions: Mention colors, measurements, functionality, and everything that a buyer needs to know about the product on the description. Doesn’t matter if you are selling lawn care equipment, furniture, or clothes – mention everything that you have used it for and what are the benefits anyone will get if they buy the product from you. Detailed descriptions generally induce feelings of trust in potential buyers, after all.
  • Use keywords: While we are on the subject of descriptions, ensure that you are using keywords that someone may use to search your product. This helps the algorithm of the app to easily locate your product and showcase it to genuine and relevant buyers rather than just someone who will scroll/swipe past it. Not only will this put your product on top of the pile, but will also accelerate your transaction.
  • Stay honest about the flaws: You’re selling products that you have used already and there is bound to be some wear and tear. Doesn’t matter if it is a scratch on the surface, a tear in the back, compatibility issues, a button that requires some attention – you need to disclose all flaws that are on the product. Double-check, it’s quite possible that you haven’t noticed them while using the product.

Tips For Buying Flipped Products

Flipping is not just about selling and making some money, but it is also about buying and saving some. Thanks to e-commerce, we search, compare prices, accumulate all sorts of discounts and coupons, and order in literally less than ten minutes. But do they have a character and a story behind them?

Used products have a value that goes beyond money, and it could be rather devastating, but necessary for someone to part with them. They could also be unwanted items. Either way, you are giving something a new life, a new journey in the world. Here is why used products are a lot more effective and functional for you:

  • You get more for less: want to get the kitchen aid that is out of your budget? Or the automatic lawn mower you cannot afford? Flipping is a cost-effective solution. Considering these products have been used before, they come at a much cheaper price and maybe you will be able to buy something to go with it with the remaining budget.
  • You support the local economy: in a time where the world is closer to each other and it is possible to get anything from anywhere in the world, it is essential to take care of the ones around you. Your purchase may just be putting the next five meals on someone’s plate. How’s that for a thought?
  • You save the environment: Manufacturing commodities comes at a cost to the environment. By thrifting/flipping, you are preventing usage of energy, pollution, packaging wastage, and thereby reducing your carbon footprint.

Doesn’t matter if you are looking to buy or sell, download the apps mentioned and you can get flipping in literally no time.

2 thoughts on “Beginner’s Guide To Buying and Selling Used Merchandise Online

  1. This was very informative. I would have loved to have seen some photos. It felt like I was reading a text book.

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