August 13 is apparently National Garage Sale Day. I don’t know who invented it, but more power to them. However, we live in modern times and selling your unwanted items online can be much more profitable.

So if you don’t feel like posting in the heat of dawn until the last late stewards stop showing up, let’s explore your options online. There are plenty of shopping sites and apps out there that can turn your old stuff into someone else’s treasure. Here’s how to do it right.

How to start selling things online

The process is simple, but there are a few things you’ll need to prepare and decide before you start rolling in the dough.

  • First, gather the items you want to sell and make sure they are in good condition. Check that your gadgets are working, clothes have no major tears or stains, shoes have no holes, and bikes and household items are clean and repaired. The cleaner and newer it looks, the more likely it is to sell.
  • Next, take clear, well-lit photos of your items.
  • Next, decide whether you’d rather close the sale by meeting the buyers in a public place or by shipping the items from the post office.

There is no right or wrong way, just do what works for you.

Where to sell things online

Here are some of my favorite resale sites in no particular order:

Facebook Marketplace: Facebook Marketplace is free (thanks, Zuck), and on top of that, you can list your items in local buy/sell groups to expand your reach. With local pickup and shipping options, people can find and buy your listings from just about anywhere, and you can check them out before they meet.

eBay: eBay is great for selling collectibles, electronics, and vintage or antique pieces, like Beanie Babies stuffed under the bed. With auction and buy-it-now options, you choose how buyers buy your goods. Warning: there are fees with eBay, so read the fine print and list wisely, my friends.

ThredUP: ThredUP is a send-up style site where you send them your items and then they do all the work and give you a cut of the sale. My wife loves ThredUP because she can pack up a giant box of old clothes (and by old I mean last season, which is apparently already out of date), and it’s easily picked up right at your front door.

Includes: Decluttr is a fast and free way to sell cell phones, tech, CDs, DVDs and games. The website uses a pricing generator for listings so you can turn old gadgets into new dollars and purge your dusty first-generation iPod junk drawer while you’re at it.

Mercari: Mercari helps millions of people across the United States buy and sell just about anything. With options for prepaid shipping labels and profits added directly to your account, this app makes it easy to sell apparel, beauty, footwear, and household items.

Now, wherever you end up selling your stuff, remember two important words: safety first. Scammers want to take advantage of you, so be sure to take precautions. Review buyer profiles, question details that don’t match, never send a product without being paid first, and meet in a safe public place. Also, never share your personal information with strangers. Instead, communicate through the sales app or website, not your cell phone or email.

How to make more money with your online sales

Creating a post to sell your old stuff is a bit like creating a dating profile. With so many fish in the sea or coffee tables on the internet, you need to make your posts stand out. Here are some of the best ways to spice up your listing and grab a buyer’s attention.

  • Add keywords to your posts and include a good description. It is important! Describe your articles with keywords that people will search for. If you’re selling a living room rug, describe it as a rug, area rug, rectangular rug, oriental rug, or rug, and you can even describe the color or brand name. This way people find your ad under a few different searches.
  • Use bright, clear images. You don’t need a fancy camera to take good pictures of what you’re selling. Your cell phone will be fine. Make sure your photos are clear and well-lit and don’t have distracting backgrounds.
  • Price coins for sale and be prepared to negotiate. Search for items like yours to see how other people have priced the item. Asking for too much money can put off buyers, but too little means you’re leaving money on the table. And remember: your stuff is only worth what someone is willing to pay, so be open to the best deals.

So, does it feel good to earn a few extra bucks and create more space in your home? Really good ! It’s time to count your money, do a victory dance, and put that money where it belongs. If you’re not sure how to spend it, try a zero-based budget. Whether you’re working to pay off debt, investing for retirement, or even just saving for next Christmas, your budget gives every dollar a job to do.