With another relocation approaching, we know you’re itching to clear out that junk-filled garage. We have some online selling tips that will help you sell those outgrown clothes, baby gear, and all those sweet sweet curb-alert scores that have been quietly piling up. You’d rather not tote them 3,000 miles across the globe. Instead, wouldn’t it be nice to turn some of your old stuff into cash? Um, yeah! Online selling before PCS is an amazing way to make space and make some spare change while you’re at it.
We’re not talking about porch pick-up either, where buyers are quick to ghost you. Rather, try selling on a highly trafficked resale platform where buyers pay before you ship. It’s easier than you might think too. Transform enough of your trash into treasure and you’ll be able to afford a few extra luxuries on your PCS road trip. Discover just how simple it is to get into online selling before PCS hits.
Which Type of Online Selling Should You Choose?
“Resale” is simply selling goods you already own. Here are your options for getting the job done:
- Garage Sale: The classic low-tech, but low-yield weekend endeavor.
- Porch Pick-Up: Use Facebook Marketplace, Offerup, or Letgo to arrange the sale and pickup.
- Bulk Buyers: Local shops like Plato’s Closet, Once Upon a Child, Buffalo Exchange, and 2nd and Charles are willing to buy some of your things for a small return.
- Online Bulk Buyers: similar to the aforementioned selling to local shops, but you send the goods to a company’s warehouse.
- Selling and Shipping Yourself: Sell items individually by using online platforms like Mercari, eBay, and Poshmark. Then ship them to their new owners.
Which method is the best? It depends upon what you need to let go of! In every scenario, the highest profits come from conducting the sale yourself in a place where the highest number of shoppers can find it. This means that your best bet is to sell and ship items yourself. Online marketplaces like Poshmark and eBay are great for selling most things since they boast millions of eager shoppers and are super simple to use.
For personal security as well, there’s no better option than online marketplaces—no sketchy parking lot meets up necessary. However, not all cast-offs make good candidates for selling this way. Most heavy furniture, appliances, and gym equipment are better suited for local neighborhood sales. Most bulky, low-value toys and housewares are also better left to garage sales or Facebook marketplace too since demand won’t support outsized shipping costs.
It’s also important to decide how hands-on you want to get. We know that to maximize your earning potential, you would have to list and sell everything individually. If you don’t think you’d have the time or patience for that, selling in bulk is a great option. This isn’t for everyone, but if you’re ready to open your very own online thrift shop today, we have a few excellent starting places to recommend.
The Best Platforms for Online Selling Before PCS
- Mercari—for selling almost anything
- Poshmark—mostly for selling clothes, but for now for home goods as well
- Kidizen—sell kids clothes, toys, and baby items here
- eBay—sell just about anything here
Each of these platforms hosts unique online marketplaces abuzz with activity. Start stocking your own storefront on one of these sites and get ready for little *cha-ching* phone notifications! All aforementioned company websites are extremely user-friendly and easy to set up. Their services all use a simple fee structure (with the exception of eBay, which is slightly different), with the costs well worth what you’ll receive.
First, all of the marketing is done for you. These companies use smart data to share your listings with their shopping-happy userbase and networks. They also offer a cushion of financial protection between buyers and sellers for safer transactions. Postage is also conveniently sold by these services, often at a lower rate than the post office! After a sale, simply enter the weight of the package and the label prints right from the app or website. Selling platforms like these are super addictive so be careful—it’s easy to find all your profits have turned into purchases of your own!
Online Selling Tips- The Most Bang for Your (or Rather, Their) Buck
What We Love to List
Go through your house and start compiling a list of which items you are ready to let go of. It helps to envision some dreamy clean and uncluttered space in your new home. Now, let’s sort out which things are prime candidates for selling online before PCS time comes. In general, look for things that are still popular now, were expensive new, and are under 5 lbs. If you plan to ship heavier items be sure to charge a higher rate for shipping. Otherwise, costs will take a big bite out of your profit. Here’s what we love to list and sell:
- Kids clothes
- Men and Women’s clothes
- Shoes, purses, and other accessories
- Video Games
- Baby Gear
If you decide you have got to try your hand at this, learn more to become a reselling all-star.
Shipping Supplies for Online Selling
Since you are about to move, don’t go crazy accumulating all manner of bubble wrap and tissue paper. Try to keep shipping supplies minimal so that your stockpile is not overtaxing when it’s time to pack! You’re doing this to downsize, after all. Everything you’ll need you can find—not surprisingly—on Amazon! Add the following to your cart:
You’ll also want to grab some free Priority boxes and Tyvek envelopes from any United States Post Office—anything over 1 lb. ships at Priority pricing, which includes shipping supplies! When you make your first sale (cha-ching!) pack your item neatly, perhaps even include a small (lightweight) thank you sticker, and seal securely with some packing tape. Then you can schedule a free USPS pickup or drop into a local blue mailbox. Easy peasy. Build a good reputation for yourself by shipping quickly after a sale.
The Easiest Online Selling Platforms to Lower Stress Before a PCS
If this all seems like a little too much work, especially only a few weeks before you move, you’re in luck—let’s examine the alternate ways to clear out and make a buck! There are several websites that you can send your goods to that will do all the photography and listing description for you. Naturally, your cut will be smaller, but after for shipping it off your work is done! You just sit back and wait for the cash to come rolling in. Try one of our suggestions below. Each option has it’s own fee structure and policies.
Another interesting option for kids clothing is called the Swoondle Society—a company that allows you to send in and trade your kids’ clothes for new ones. Genius. They charge a monthly or annual subscription fee, but it’s one of the most efficient, eco-friendly solutions to dressing your kids out there!
Through all this decluttering, keep your end goal in mind. Would it be nice to rake in some cash as you clean out? Sure, but don’t cause yourself major stress over it. Moving (especially as often as military families do) requires focus in many different areas at once. If you’re ready to give online resale a shot, start small. Try listing five things on Mercari or Poshmark and send a package to an online thrift shop too. Then see which feels right to you. Most importantly, take care of yourself, and have a smooth move!
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Photo Credits: Andrew Tanglao, Lauren Fleischmann, Patrick Perkins, Pope Moysuh, Priscilla du Preez, Mikaela Wiedenhoff