Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
We know from TV shows like Cash In The Attic that many people around the UK are sitting on (or under) tons of items in their own home that could be worth a few extra quid. Not all of us are going to have valuable antiques in our homes but for those looking for a bit of passive income, selling on sites like eBay and Vinted can be a nice little earner.
One such seller is Melissa Watts, a Yorkshire resident who sells items on Facebook Marketplace, Ebay & Vinted and has previously used work classified pages on the website of the University where she works full-time.
“On Facebook Marketplace I tend to sell household items,” says Melissa. “For example, sofas, side tables, lamps, mirrors, garden furniture. I use eBay to sell clothing. On Vinted too, although with them you don’t pay commission, so I thought I’d give it a go: the buyer pays their own postage.”
She adds that if you have an option to sell on your work classified site, you can make a tidy sum selling, as she has, “electrical items, anything and everything!”
Many people will perhaps fancy the idea of selling items for some extra cash, but worry they don’t have the time to search their house, let alone list and sell online. We asked Meliss how much time she takes each week to gather and list her items for sale. “It takes me less than 30 mins per week, unless my mum happens to have given me a bag of her own stuff to sell that week! I guess I have it down to a fine art so it doesn’t take me long, and once you work out where your items are and which to sell, you get into the habit.”
As for what items to sell, Melissa says, “have a think about things that are weighing you down or which you just don’t need anymore. Your unwanted items could be exactly what someone else is looking for.”
Passive income can go into the hundreds if you have a lot to sell, but Melissa currently makes “about £40 a month at the moment, which isn’t a lot but it’s partly the time of year, I think. It does vary.”
Although this amount seems small, Melissa does add that depending on what items she’s getting rid of, she has made up to £100 a week in busy times for her online shops. Again, it has depended what she’s decided to get rid of. What seems useful today may be in the way at a later date.
Melissa provides these top tips for getting your items up for sale.
“Provide as much detail as possible along with the item: don’t just say ‘a black top.’ Also, be honest about the condition and availability of your items, otherwise people will mark you down as a seller.
Take good quality photos of each item, including listing any faults if applicable.”
“Download the apps on your phone: eBay, Vinted etc. as if makes the process so much easier, and you will get notifications on your items if there are any questions or you sell anything.”
Melissa advises you to check each service before you sell, as they all have different built-in fees that will cut into your profits. Digital overheads, if you will: this is after all a business.
“As far as your own costs, make sure you work out the postage BEFORE you sell the items. When I started out, I used to lose money because I underestimated the cost of selling a larger item.
With Music Magpie, they have a scanner in their app to make it even easier to sell your items, but do be aware that they don’t pay you much money for everyday cods and DVDs as they probably have hundreds of the same titles.
Also if you use eBay, be aware that they take a percentage of the value of the item with the postage, so adjust your price accordingly.”
Melissa says, “Have fun with it! once you have sold a few items, you’ll get into it: it should be a pleasure and not a chore!”
Check out Melissa’s items for sale here:
You could also try Ziffit, which like Music Magpie comes with a scanner in the app. Have a good time shopping around for the best deal for you.
MoneyMagpie also offer a guide to selling on ASOS marketplace here.