Where to Start Selling Online As a Beginner

So you decided that you’re going to start selling online, whether for extra income, as a side hustle. Maybe you went Marie Condo and went through a massive purge of your stuff. While there is a slew of resources out on the web on how to sell, the first question we would ask as a beginner is where to start selling online?

  • Should I sell on Amazon?
  • Should I sell on eBay?
  • Should I sell on Etsy?
  • Should I sell on Depop?
  • Should I sell on Mercari?
  • Should I sell on Poshmark?
  • Should I sell locally? (Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp, garage sale)

Where Should I Start Selling Online? 

While you can certainly do your research on in-depth reviews highlighting the pros and cons of each platform, we will instead break down what are the best items to sell where based on the types of things that you’re looking to sell. This means, what kind of items do best in terms of selling quickly and for the most money? This will then guide you on where to take your next step.

What Should I Sell On Amazon? 

Selling on Amazon can be a full-time income for many people. If you have brand-new items from a wedding registry that you didn’t end up using, unopened gifts such as games, puzzles, electronics, they’re great to sell on Amazon because the listing and rating for those items exist already. We would suggest selling gently used, like new or brand new items.

Ideas for What To Sell on Amazon:

  • Sewing machines
  • Bread makers
  • Blenders
  • Printers
  • Scientific calculators
  • Portable grills
  • Lego sets
  • Toys

We would not sell used items with flaws, those would be better for other platforms. More often than we’d like, we had quite a number of buyers who did not read the description for a used item properly. They then got upset and opened a case because it was flawed. That can be a headache to deal with and possibly get your account shut down. 

Books are an exception though, especially school textbooks. They normally get beat up by the end of a semester anyways. Plus, they can cost an arm and a leg brand new. As long as you disclose that there are creases, highlighting, underlining or whatever it may be, books are great to sell on Amazon’s platform. Otherwise, stick with like new or brand new items with model numbers or barcodes to sell on Amazon.

Amazon restrictions have become more strict over the last few years. Much more so than when we first started selling on Amazon. Certain brands, categories, item types will be restricted to only certain sellers or established accounts. So if you are restricted on an item, you will need to sell it on another platform.

What Should I Sell On eBay?

True to its reputation, eBay is a great platform for any used items. These include clothing, electronics, games, collectibles, or anything you have that you cannot maximize on any other platform.

The great thing about eBay is that you have up to 12 pictures for each post so you are able to visibly show the customer every single flaw with the item. Additionally, customers can message you privately with any concerns. They can even make an offer for an amount other than your listed price. 

eBay gives you the option to participate in the global shipping program, which is a service that allows international shipping. That means your item can be bought by anyone, anywhere in the world that participates in the program. You will not have to deal with extra paperwork like customs forms because the global shipping program will take care of all the paperwork.

Once the buyer pays for the item, it will get sent to a hub in Kentucky. Then, the hub will inspect the item and repack them before shipping them to the end destination. When your customer base expands that far and wide, your items can be much more likely to sell. This is especially the case if the item is not available in other countries. 

Ideas for What To Sell on eBay:

  • Vintage or other clothing
  • Used games
  • Used electronics
  • Anything listed above that you could put on amazon, but you decided you don’t want to use Amazon.

Although eBay is great for selling and reselling, one category that we would completely skip to sell as a beginner is high-end designer handbags such as Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, etc. We have heard of horror stories from both the seller end and the buyer ends. Because these items are so high in value, there are so many scams that are possible. 

As a seller, even if you prove that the items are authentic with serial codes and receipts, they can be copied by someone else to sell a counterfeit. A buyer may receive a bag, claim it is fake and ask for a return, only to return another fake bag.

Though these may be absolute worst-case scenarios, we would skip selling such high-valued and often counterfeited items on this platform. Instead, we would recommend selling them on luxury consignors if you do not mind paying a higher commission or selling them on Poshmark. 

What Should I Sell On Etsy?

There are a few categories that Etsy offers for sellers which no other platform beats it at. First, if you are a crafty, creative who loves making unique pieces, whether that’s jewelry, artwork, clothing, decor, Etsy could be the platform for you. If your “junk” is a product of your creativity and you have amassed so many DIY items that other people can appreciate, this is a great place to share.

Ideas for What To Sell on Etsy:

  • Handmade jewelry 
  • Knitted accessories
  • Sewn clothing
  • Custom made T-shirts
  • Anything vintage (“vintage means 20 years or older on Etsy’s terms)

What Should I Sell On Depop?

These three platforms Depop, Poshmark, and Mercari are similar in terms of the types of items you’d want to sell on here. While we definitely have sold non-clothing items, we mainly use these three platforms to sell anything related to fashion. There are many sellers that cross-list between the three platforms to get more eyes on their posts.

Depop is structured like Instagram with the target audience as gen Zs. The brand availability on Depop is a lot less than Poshmark. Streetwear and trendy clothing do very well on Depop. Depop is also great for unique, vintage inspired pieces than Poshmark which is more mainstream.

If you have loud, color block sweatsuits from the ’80s and 90’s that you have no idea what to do with, the Depop user base will love them. Statement pieces that are a bit too loud for Poshmark’s clientele do great on Depop since the “feed” of Depop’s platform requires more eye-catching items. 

Ideas for What To Sell on Depop:

  • Streetwear 
  • Vintage style clothing
  • Trendy clothing
  • Popular brands: Champion, Fila, Levi’s, Supreme

What Should I Sell On Poshmark?

Out of the platforms we will mention here, Poshmark is arguably the best to sell for any fashion-related items. In fact, it is also the easiest platform to sell as a beginner. If you have brand-name clothing, shoes, and accessories with some of these brands below as an example, this is your best platform to sell on. 

Popular brands on Poshmark:

  • Kate Spade
  • Zara
  • Tory Burch
  • Michael Kors
  • Ray Ban
  • All Saints 
  • Lacoste
  • Off-White
  • Free People
  • Reformation
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Kuhl
  • Patagonia
  • Lululemon

The main thing about selling on Poshmark is to make sure to “share” your post often, whether that’s to your “followers”, to a themed “Posh party” or daily evening party that occurs at 9pm CDT. This often sharing will bring your post to the top of the search, making it more likely for your items to sell.

Buyers don’t often scroll all the way down at search results so the posts on top will sell more likely. You can also offer the likers of your post a discounted price and shipping so that your items may sell faster. For tips on how to get sales on Poshmark, check here.

If you have higher-end luxury items such as Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, or the likes, we would recommend selling them on Poshmark over any other platform if you don’t want to deal with third-party consignors out there, who tend to take a huge commission on the sale.

This is because items valuing more than $500 will go to Poshmark’s concierge who will perform free authentication before the items get sent to the customer. This way, you’re able to skip the headache that can come with the worst-case scenario described with the eBay scenario earlier. To know what it is like to sell high-priced items on Poshmark, check this post here.

What Should I Sell On Mercari?

Mercari’s advantage over all the mentioned platforms is having the lowest fee, with the exception of selling locally. That means you can price your items lower than on Poshmark or even Depop. Mercari is also less saturated so there is less competition than Poshmark, eBay, or Depop. However, Mercari has a much smaller user base than Poshmark so exposure on your items will be less.

Mercari is also more friendly for non-fashion items such as electronics, toys, and sports items than Poshmark. The types of items you would want to sell on Mercari are generally the same as the ones on Poshmark and eBay. That means clothing, accessories, shoes, bags, and small electronics.

What Should I Sell Locally (on Facebook marketplace, craigslist, OfferUp)?

If you have an upcoming move and need to get rid of larger items that would cost too much to ship and/or cost more to move to your next place than it’s worth, selling local is the way to go. We’re talking about appliances, furniture, certain sports equipment (bikes, snowboards, skis, etcetera).

We would suggest posting your items a few weeks to a month before your moving date to list on your local facebook marketplace. This way, it will give you time to see the interest around your area, expand your sale radius to include nearby cities, or lower the price if you need to in order to close the sale. If worst comes to worst, you can post your items for extremely cheap to free so you don’t have to break your back moving it elsewhere. 

Ideas for What To Sell Locally:

  • Couch
  • Dining room set
  • Stove
  • Refrigerators
  • Microwaves
  • Washers
  • Snowboards
  • Skis
  • Bicycles

The one drawback to selling locally means you will have to handle all the communication and meeting up with the buyer, likely face to face. However, in these covid times, we have sold items where the buyer asked us to ship drop off in front of their front door and left the cash outside. You can definitely get creative, arranging a solution with your buyer, as long as the trust is established and both are comfortable.

What Platform Should I Use To Start Selling Online?

To summarize what we have gone over for where to start selling online, see the table below.

PlatformBest for:Skip if:
AmazonBrand new or like new items with barcodes.Used items with a lot of flaws. Items without any existing listing.
eBayUsed to new goods. High end designer items.
EtsyHandmade items, vintage items, print on demandMall brand items.
DepopTrendy & vintage clothing, fashion accessories and shoes shipping worldwide.Limited brands available. If the brand you’re selling is not on the list, exposure is limited.
PoshmarkClothing, fashion accessories and shoes, including higher end designer items, shipped within the US.You don’t like to be active in the platform, such as sharing yours and other people’s closets.
MercariClothing, fashion accessories and shoes, small electronics, toys.You want a much bigger user base.
LocalLarge items that will cost too much to ship such as furniture, appliances and certain sports equipment.You don’t feel comfortable meeting people in person. 

There you have it, this will serve as a guide for you to start selling! Selling online can be extremely fulfilling; you can purge your closet, garage, storage rooms and give your items a new home. If someone is spending their hard-earned money buying, it is much more likely to be used, prolonging its usefulness.

Once you pick a platform, you will need a shipping scale, measuring tape, and a printer to ship your packages. So go ahead and pick a platform that will mostly serve what you need to sell and start listing. It starts with that first sale, and it’s easy to get hooked!

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