Alert
Close

Join the Drive to End Hunger! Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

Highlights

Close

You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad

AARP Auto Buying Program

Contests and
Sweeps

$10,000 Games Galore Sweepstakes

Sept. 3, 2014 - Oct. 14, 2014
Play AARP Games for a chance to win $10,000!
See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed

How to Sell Your Stuff (Safely) Online

Use these expert tips to avoid scammers and bring in cash for your castoffs

2. Auctions

With online auctions, you sell your item to the highest bidder. The website eBay.com comes to most minds first, but there are others out there, such as Ubid.com and Ebid.net.

Step one is to set up an account. Make sure to read the fine print on listing and commission fees charged by the website. Ready? Photograph your item and write a detailed description. Buyers have a right to know if your glass coffee table has a minor scratch, so be honest. Decide on a bidding price strategy: Set the opening bid low to attract buyers, perhaps, or put it at the minimum you’ll accept.

For a gauge on pricing, do a search of your item online to see what other people are selling it for. And figure in what it will cost to ship your item to the winning bidder.

Tips

  • Check to see whether the auction site offers feedback or ratings of buyers. If so, do a little digging to find out whether your buyer has received negative reviews.
  • Once you’ve got a bid winner, use a secure checkout process to collect your payment — either a credit card that offers theft protection or a third-party billing company such as PayPal. When using PayPal, link it to a bank account that doesn’t hold your life savings.
  • Beware of “spoof” emails that pretend to be from people at the auction website or some other reputable organization and try to pry information from you for identity theft. “EBay or PayPal will never ask for personal information,” Lombana says.

3. Online marketplaces

You can list your used books, CDs, cellphones and such on virtual marketplace websites such as Amazon.com or Half.com. Just as with an auction site, you’ll pay a small commission when your item sells. Essentially, you’re paying a middleman — the marketplace operator — for handling the transaction for you in a safe and secure manner. In return, you get access to millions of potential buyers.

To get started, register with the website, then follow instructions. In some cases, you won’t write your own descriptions; you’ll use a description provided by the website. No need to upload a photo. But you’ll have to answer questions about the condition of the item, which will be added to the description.

Tips

  • Be a trustworthy seller. On many sites, you’ll receive a rating on your customer service. Maintain high standards to help make your next selling experience as good as the first.
  • Buyers have the option to contact you by email. Keep your conversation strictly professional. If you become too chatty, you may unintentionally divulge information about yourself.

Stacy Julien is a writer and editor at AARP Media.

Remember to go to the AARP home page every day for tips on keeping healthy and sharp, and great deals.

Debt: 5 ways to handle pushy debt collectors.

Saving: How to save more on everything.

Personal Finance: 8 places to find extra cash.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

VIDEO EXTRA

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Exclusive annuities for members from AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Homeowners Insurance
Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points