Life & Culture

Is it time to sell off your old pots?

Had a declutter over Pesach? Our personal finance expert knows the best ways to sell of your cast-offs


Woman looking at a vase

If the annual Pesach spring clean has left you with piles of unwanted items, then it could be time to make some money.

According to online marketplace Gumtree, there are £10 billion worth of unwanted items lying around people’s homes that could be sold. Its recent report claimed the average household has 56 such items worth £186.

There are myriad ways to sell, from car boot sales to online marketplaces such as Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Vinted and Depop, depending on what you are selling. In a survey by Which?, Vinted came out top for seller satisfaction, followed by Facebook Marketplace,Gumtree and then eBay.

Before you reach for the computer there are some golden rules to follow:

Write a detailed description of your item. Acknowledge any defects or signs of wear or tear or you could be accused of misrepresentation and be forced to give your buyer a refund if they feel misled.

Research the price of similar items to give you a guide to your selling price. If the items are valuable, for example designer goods, marketplaces that guarantee authentication may be preferable such as

Use lots of photos, including those of the defects in your listing. These will both help sell the item and protect you against any potential claims of misrepresentation.

Research the fees charged by the different sites. For example Vinted, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace do not charge a fee to sellers. Amazon, meanwhile, charges 75p plus VAT per item plus a minimum 25p per item referral fee depending on the category.

Do you have to set the postage cost or does the site? If you do, make sure you work it out accurately. Most couriers and Royal Mail let you work out the cost based on the package’s size and weight online.

If the item is being collected, or you are meeting the buyer, make sure you are safe. Have someone with you at the time of collection and do the exchange on the doorstep or meet in a public place.

How will you get paid? Through a secure option on the site or Pay-Pal for example? If the item is being collected through, say, Facebook Marketplace where the platform is not necessarily involved, ask for cash on collection. Do not send off the item until the money is securely in your account.

Do you get seller protection from the site, covering you against any sale issues? Check out the site’s T&Cs and make sure you follow them.

Keep all communication about the time on the site’s chat facility so it is recorded. Only send the item to the buyer’s registered address on the site.

Take photos of the item packaged up and always get proof of postage. Send the items tracked and get insurance on high-value items.

If the thought of selling items doesn’t appeal, you can always join the freebie economy and give away your belongings. Gumtree estimates that £3.69 billion worth was given away last year.

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