How to Sell Online for Free

All you really need is a computer in order to sell from home.

Sometimes a garage sale or community event just won't give you the exposure you need to sell your belongings. Or maybe you've designed a new product, but you're having trouble getting your business up and running on popular auction and selling websites. If you need a selling method that's inexpensive and will reach millions of shoppers, there is a solution for you.

Step 1

Choose a website on which to host your item. There are selling sites that function as free online classified ads, such as buysellcommunity.com or craiglist.org. To find other free online classified ad pages, search your city and state with terms such as "web classifieds," "free classifieds" or "free online selling."

Step 2

Look around the website you've chosen. Note what catches your eye, how people use language to advertise, and see what items like yours are selling for. If someone can get a better deal elsewhere, they may overlook your item.

Step 3

Take a picture to represent your item, or use a stock picture from the Internet. The picture is often the first thing a shopper looks at, so take the picture in excellent lighting, then crop the photo or adjust contrast as needed. Don't give the potential buyer a reason to skim over your listing.

Step 4

Describe your item thoroughly. Common attributes include category, size, features, color, age (if it is a used item) and condition. Use the exact ISBN (for books), product number or product name if you're selling a used item so buyers can be certain what kind of item you're offering.

Step 5

Be honest about the item's condition. If you're selling something you've used, state that it's used. Describe any flaws or obvious signs of wear and tear.

Step 6

Set your price and payment methods. If you're an inexperienced seller, you may want to avoid deals involving personal checks or online transactions and stick to cash or money orders instead. Carefully calculate your shipping costs and add enough to cover your shipping supplies if possible, or build the cost of shipping supplies into your item's cost.

Step 7

Ship your item. Purchase any necessary bubble wrap, packing peanuts, shipping paper, boxes or padded envelopes to ensure your item will be delivered intact. If your item becomes damaged, so does your reputation as a seller.

Tip

Most sites allow buyers to rate the sellers, so make sure you describe your item accurately and ship promptly. Even one instance of negative feedback can damage your overall rating.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer

  • Digital camera (optional)

  • Shipping supplies (optional)

Warning

Be wary of scams. Never ship an item before you receive payment — some fraudulent buyers will send fake PayPal emails insisting they’ve deposited money but it won’t show up in your account until you send the item. Some will promise to wire transfer money after you’ve shipped. With very expensive or difficult-to-ship items, it may be wise to say “pick-up only” on your advertisement.

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