Selling online

Alternatives to eBay for selling unwanted items

For many people, eBay is one of the first ports of call when it comes to selling unwanted items. Indeed, it’s become such a household name that we don’t even question whether it’s the best place for us to flog our wares. However, while it’s great in many ways (few things compare to the rush watching a bidding war on your item), some of its recent changes haven’t been so well-received by all users.

Whether you’re a small business or just want to shift some of your old belongings, don’t simply turn to the obvious choice straight away. There are loads of great marketplace sites out there offering great reach and competitive fees. Here, we look at some of the top sites like eBay for selling your unwanted goods.

Gumtree

Because you’ve been using Gumtree to find a job or a place to live, you may not have considered it as a place to sell your belongings. But this classified ads website is actually owned by eBay, and is a great domain for selling your old things. Unlike eBay, however, it’s largely free to list items – although there are some exceptions, such as cars, where you can sell the first two at no cost before facing a £15 charge per listing. You’ll also need to pay to feature your items.

Gumtree further differs from eBay in that buyers contact sellers to arrange purchases. This’ll allow you to lock in a sale much quicker and without the game-playing that occurs with eBay auctions. The overall verdict? It’s great for one-off sales, and larger items like furniture which can’t easily be sent in the post, but because buyers tend to be local, you might not always get the best selling price for your item.

Etsy

If you’re regularly selling hand-made, one-of-a-kind items, Etsy is the go-to marketplace. It’s got a reputation for being the best for quirky goods, so you can rest assured your items will be reaching the right audience: an audience of 26.1 million active buyers, to be precise. It also received second place in the Sellers Choice Awards 2016, and picked up an accolade for ease of use.

In terms of its downfalls, with 1.6 million sellers now using the site, competition is fierce. What’s more, listings aren’t free (currently 15p) – but fees often work out a tad cheaper than eBay, as the charges are lower. Frequent sellers may benefit from the fixed price option, which makes it simple for sellers to work out their profits, a useful tool for those in it for the long haul.

Depop

Despite being fairly new to the game, the Depop app has already been downloaded more than 5 million times. Its unique selling point is that it’s openly supporting the creative industries, and it has steadily built a large following thanks to its social media-style interface. This has made it particularly popular among the younger generation
(you can even ‘like’ other people’s items). Not to mention the fact that top fashion influencers such as Katie Eary and Chiara Ferragni have been flogging clothes on there.

The app itself is free, as are all listings – however, it will take a 10% commission from every sale. Generally, the app is simple to use, making it highly accessible for mobile users – all you need to do is take a snap of your item, upload it and share via your social channels.

Freecycle

Not bothered about making cash from your stuff, but want to stop it from becoming landfill? Give Freecycle a go. This not-for-profit organisation connects people throwing out an old desk or bike to those in their local area willing to take it off their hands – at no cost.

For something that offers no financial gain, there are around 9 million active members in 110 countries, showing that the gift of giving is well and truly alive. Membership is completely free and collection arrangements are down to whatever’s convenient for you and the recipient. It’s the ideal service for anyone who just wants a clear out, but if you’re looking to start a new enterprise, look elsewhere.

Preloved

It may not be a household name like Gumtree or Etsy, but Preloved is still one of the largest classified ads websites, with more than 6 million registered members. A major advantage of this platform are the 500-odd categories you can sell within, which include everything from pets and bridal wear to caravans, fancy dress and even houses. The focus is on local sales, giving you reach to buyers near your area for extra convenience.

Not a fan of auctions? No problem, as everything on preloved is sold on a ‘buy now’ basis – and while the website isn’t the clearest to navigate, once you’re in the right section, the selling process is simple and quick. There are no listings or selling fees either, and you have the option to place a private or business ad depending on your service level.

Shpock

Not to be confused with the Star Trek legend, this app is short for ‘shop in your pocket’, referring to the fact it brings the notion of the classic car boot sale to your mobile device (saving you from those early starts). As with real boot sales, users are encouraged to pay for goods in person through real-world collections and prices are negotiated between the buyers and sellers themselves.

The great thing about Shpock is that it can be cheaper than other platforms – you don’t need to pay to list your items, there’s no transaction fee unless you want to promote goods and the app doesn’t take a cut of your sales. What’s more, listings can be easily shared through social media.

Facebook Marketplace

Taking its notion of connecting people to a new level, Facebook is now connecting budding entrepreneurs to new customers through its Marketplace set-up. The selling process is easy: take a photo, enter a name, description and price, confirm category and location, and upload. There’s also a hub where you can see your interactions and deliveries to make things extra convenient.

The benefit of Facebook Marketplace is that the tech giant is regularly sprucing it up and adding new features to make the experience more efficient for users. Then there’s its reputation and gigantic user base, making it incredibly wide-reaching – 450 million people visit buying and selling groups every month. The downside is that Facebook doesn’t facilitate payment or delivery of purchases, so you’ll have to sort out any logistics yourself.

Reverb

Reverb is the online marketplace exclusively for musicians. While you could sell your old guitar or headphones through one of the above, the benefit of this site is that you’re connected to people – 450,000 people to be exact – who truly understand the worth of what you’re selling. You can also get a reliable view of the prices similar products are selling at, helping you to get more from your second-hand goods.

Listing an item is free, but if it sells you’ll need to pay a 3.5% transaction fee – which is still cheaper than the 10% fee charged by eBay. Be sure to check out the Reverb News section, where you can find a range of content such as tailored advice, industry news, quizzes and interviews with guitar experts.

BikeExchange.co.uk

Built on a similar philosophy to Reverb, Bikeexchange.co.uk grants you access to a community of bike lovers who will have a real understanding of and appetite for your products. Other benefits include the fact you can make unlimited changes to your listing, receive live web statistics and weekly performance reports and if your item is unsold after the 60 day listing, you can renew it for 50% of the original fee.

While it’s free to advertise goods under £250, anything over this will incur a charge of £4.99 to £14.99, depending on your item’s worth. That said, this site is a great option for established bike retailers, as they have the option to sell products and services, launch their own ecommerce-enabled page and drive further sales in-store. It’s also got a great blog covering all things bike-related, including product reviews, so you’ll get more out of signing up than making a bit of cash.

Now get selling!

Hopefully this article has given you some useful information about alternative sites to eBay. Whichever site you choose to sell through, make sure you take advantage of Parcelforce’s trustworthy courier service. Our options are designed to suit every need, and you can also enjoy benefits such as flexible shipping, compensation cover and guaranteed delivery times.

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