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Selling your treasures online

Created date

February 26th, 2013
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Winter is coming to an end and spring is right around the corner. This is traditionally a time for starting fresh and cleaning frenzies. Yard sales have long been the go-to way to get rid of all those old “treasures” that have been gathering dust in your basement or attic. However, the Internet offers another solution.

Craigslist: The online yard sale

Craigslist.com has been around for almost 15 years and has sites for over 700 cities and 70 countries worldwide. Craigslist is the Web’s forum most similar to selling things in newspaper classifieds. Users can post simple listings for anything they have to get rid of. Prospective buyers can search for items ranging from an armchair to a pearl necklace. Users can include a photo of the object and a desired price. Like a traditional yard sale, buyers can haggle to try and get a better deal. If you have a smartphone, try downloading CraigslistPro; this super simple app allows you to snap a picture of an item and have it post for the world to see ten minutes later. The app is free and extremely user-friendly.

eBay: The online auction

Another way to sell your items online is through eBay.com. eBay is an online auction site that connects buyers and sellers all around the world. In order to use eBay as a merchant, you should also create an account with PayPal (paypal.com). PayPal is an online service that allows people to get paid through websites like eBay or Etsy without having to send out sensitive financial information. With PayPal, bank account and credit card information is safe.

Online safety

As useful a tool as the Internet is, it is still imperative that online sellers use good judgment to protect themselves. Here are some general safety tips when using eBay, Craigslist, or any other Internet marketplace.

• Be cautious about sharing too much personal information. As a rule, less is more.

• Get an anti-spyware program with antivirus protection and a firewall such as Norton or McAfee.

• Always use PayPal for payment. Never give out your personal banking information.

• If an email seems suspicious, disregard it. Spammers will send out phishing emails disguised as disgruntled buyers or eBay employees asking for personal information.

Tips for beginners

Online selling is a growing trend that won’t be going away anytime soon. Users can sell items once in a while as a way to declutter or pick up extra cash; serious sellers can use online selling as a source of income. Whichever type of seller you decide to become, you should do some serious research on what you’re selling. Learn about shipping and postal regulations. Finally, take quality photos of your item. There are many books available with tips on getting top dollar for your items. Becoming a merchant on eBay can seem like a daunting task at first, but it can also be well worth it.

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