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How to Make Money Using an Online Neighborhood Marketplace

Abby Slutsky frequently sells items via online local marketplaces.

Selling at local online marketplaces can help you make money.

Selling at local online marketplaces can help you make money.

Although you can sell your unwanted merchandise on Etsy, Amazon and other well-known online marketplaces, it might be easier to sell items in your neighborhood using a virtual flea market platform like OfferUp or Craigslist.

There are many apps and websites that give users the opportunity to market used and new items to people who live near them. The advantage of selling your unwanted items to neighbors is simple; you do not have to charge or pay for shipping. The purchaser can pick up the item at your home, or you can meet them at a mutually convenient place.

Additionally, selling items online locally is easier than having a traditional in-person yard sale. You do not have to tag items, drag them out of your home, spend a whole weekend day trying to sell stuff, and then figure out what to do with unsold items when it's all over.

Contents

  • What Can You Sell on an Online Neighborhood Marketplace?
  • How to Safely Handle Deliveries and Pickups
  • Tips for Selling on Nextdoor, OfferUp, Craigslist, and Other Platforms
  • How to Accept Payment

What Can You Sell on an Online Neighborhood Marketplace?

I have seen everything from small knickknacks to actual homes on virtual flea markets. Mostly, I see used clothing, furniture, and kids’ items, but almost anything that is legal to sell and meets mandated safety requirements seems to be acceptable.

You can sell many items at a local, virtual marketplace. Do not sell illegal items or items that do not meet safety requirements.

You can sell many items at a local, virtual marketplace. Do not sell illegal items or items that do not meet safety requirements.

How to Safely Handle Deliveries and Pickups

No one can guarantee that pickup or delivery of an item from an online flea market is 100% safe, but many local online flea markets require invitations to participate in the group. Often, this means that you have to know someone already in the group to get an invite and be approved. Therefore, you may often be selling your items to someone who is friendly with people that you know. Thus, the comfort of allowing them to pick up their item at your home or deliver increases.

Alternatively, you can choose to meet buyers somewhere public like an intersection or parking lot near your home.

Take advantage of private messaging or ask for a phone number so you do not have to give out your address on the virtual market where everyone can see it.

Tips for Selling on Nextdoor, OfferUp, Craigslist, and Other Platforms

Simply listing an item for sale isn't enough to make a sale. For a higher chance of successful sales, follow these tips.

Include a Clear Picture

Even if you can describe you item perfectly, a picture helps ensure that the purchaser gets exactly what they expect. The physical appearance of an item can help sell it. If you are selling a piece of clothing, depending on the item, you may want to let potential buyers see the front and back of the garment. Some furniture may require multiple pictures too.

Be Descriptive by Marketing the Item With Words

Mention the color, dimensions, brand, and any other relevant information that may help the purchaser make a decision to buy. Throw in a line about who could use the item or how it can satisfy a need.

Be Realistic With Your Pricing

People shopping via online flea markets are looking for bargains. Even if your item is new and in the box, you are unlikely to get what you paid for it.

Take a Hard Look at Your Items (Especially Clothing)

Envision taking your clothing to a consignment shop. Someone typically examines your clothing before accepting it. Usually, they do not take items that have tears, stains, missing buttons, broken zippers, or other damage. Make sure that your items are in good condition. If an item is damaged and you still want to try to sell it, let potential buyers know what is wrong with it, and price it accordingly. Make minor repairs if you can.

Be Responsive

Potential buyers will reach out to you if they are interested in your item. Check your listing and instant message frequently so you can respond promptly. An unresponsive seller can lose a sale.

Maximize Your Potential Sales With Multiple Board Listings

Do not limit yourself to a virtual flea market directed at your town. Your town’s virtual flea market may give you the option of listing with other local online flea markets. If there are others that target people in neighborhoods that are only a short distance from where you live, take advantage of this by listing in those online flea markets, too. Multiple online markets get your item in front of more potential buyers.

List Your Item During a Prime Shopping Time

Although people shop at all times of the day, keep in mind that peak times for shopping are generally between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. at night. For many people, this is a quiet time. Parents may have had dinner and put children to bed. Do a little research before you post, as this could change.

Be aware that if you want to post your items for sale in this time frame, some online local markets must approve the posting before potential customers can see it. Ask what customary approval times are and submit your posts accordingly.

Decide What You Are Willing to Accept for the Item

This is a little different than your listing price. For example, you might be willing to accept $20 for an item, but you may initially list it at $25. I recommend listing the item a little higher than the rock bottom price you would accept for a couple of reasons:

  • Someone may like the item and try to bargain with you for a cheaper price.
  • When you first post an item, it is usually at the top of the listings for that category. However, as other people make posts, your listing may move farther and farther down the page. Some online flea markets will bump you to the top again if you lower your price. Therefore, if you want to increase the item’s visibility, give yourself some wiggle room to reduce the price once or twice so that your item returns to the top of the page.
Although many customers pay with cash, Venmo and PayPal are other options if you are not home.

Although many customers pay with cash, Venmo and PayPal are other options if you are not home.

How to Accept Payment

Some purchasers will offer Venmo or PayPal payments. Others may just bring cash. Depending on your availability, it is nice to have options that ensure your payment. If you will not be home, be clear on where you will leave the item.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Abby Slutsky

Comments

Abby Slutsky (author) from America on August 30, 2021:

Thank you for reading and sharing my article.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 30, 2021:

I use to love to just go to the flea market to see the big variety of items. I think this is a good article with many god tips, Abby. I am not physically able to do something like this anymore. I appreciate all of your tips and I know someone who might be interesting in your article. I will pass it along.

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