They say that one man's junk is another man's treasure, and fortunately the internet has made it easier than ever to turn your unwanted possessions into cold hard cash – with sites vying for the privilege of putting buyers and sellers together (and earning a fee). We take a look at some of the most popular options for selling different types of unwanted "treasure", from the internet giant that starts with "e" to more niche sites...
Changing fashions, changing body sizes and garments that were just simply a bad idea in the first place mean that most of us have clothes we don't want – but which might be very appealing to somebody else. There is a hugely busy clothing section on eBay, with modern and vintage clothing both well represented. In addition it's worth looking at Preloved.co.uk and Asos Marketplace for two – quite different – alternatives to the big E.
Records, CDs, DVDs and games
Again eBay is the default choice for many buyers and sellers, and Amazon also offers private sellers the chance to offload their unwanted vinyl and CDs – which works particularly well when the record in question is no longer being produced. The other big player is Discogs.com, which has a huge international user base and attracts collectors thanks to its grading system and community feel. Sites such as Musicmagpie.co.uk, Zapper.co.uk and Tradeyourstuff.co.uk offer to buy your CDs, DVDs and games – though you can expect a much lower price than if selling them to an actual buyer.
Most people just pack their unwanted books off to a charity shop or pass them on to friends, but there is demand for secondhand items – and again it's eBay and Amazon who are dominating the online market. However it's worth checking out what price the books you have are currently selling for, as a dog-eared copy of something mega-popular like Bridget Jones' Diary is unlikey to earn you big bucks.
If you're not trading in your old mobile handset then it makes sense to sell it rather than forgetting about it in that bottom drawer. There are sites like Mazuma, Fonebank and Envirofone who will pay you for your handset before checking it out and selling it on, but they have a mixed reputation and you won't get top dollar. Instead we'd put an honest description and good pictures on eBay and pass it on to someone who can use it themselves or fix it up and sell it on if it's faulty.
Your little baby is walking and talking and you've no plans for more offspring – so it's time to get shot of all that bulky equipment you managed to acquire during junior's earliest years. Due to the size – and sometimes weight – of baby equipment, eBay is not always the best option – though that may depend on where you live.
If you're in a high population area and selling a cot or pushchair, the chances are that enough buyers will be close enough to collect – so you're likely to get a decent price if your stuff is still in decent condition. Items like baby clothes and shoes sell well on eBay too, especially if they are Clarks or designer labels. But if you're selling bulky goods and in a less densely populated area, you may do better to check out the local Facebook parenting or classified sales groups – or log onto parenting sites like Mumsnet or Netmums to use their buy and sell pages.
Bicycles and fitness equipment
We all have good intentions but sometimes those New Year resolutions just don't end up working out, and it's time to offload that unused bicycle or weight-lifting bench.
Local Facebook sales groups are good for these kind of items, which are likely to be awkward or expensive to post. But if you have a high value or specialist bike, you still might make more money by posting it to your buyer. In which case you might like to use eBay, Gumtree or dedicated cycling websites such as Bikeradar or Pinkbike to advertise and sell. Gumtree is also a good marketplace for gym or fitness equipment. The latter options have the benefit of being free to use too.
What are your tips for selling online? Leave a comment below...