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Tap into these outlets when selling items

Selling stuff these days requires more than simply setting up a garage sale on your front lawn. One of the best methods is to sell it online, but that doesn't mean you can't use some tried-and-true outlets to pass on everything from old clothing and furniture to antiques and collectibles.

eBay: Auctioning items on eBay exposes your sale to millions of buyers, but it's important to understand the process and how best to market your items. To determine the worth and marketability of your item, search for similar items at eBay's "Completed Listings" list under "Advanced Search." You must register first, but there's no charge to do so. Before you post your listing, read eBay's seller's recommendation guide. You'll pay eBay a portion of your profit in fees, including posting your listing, completing a sale and receiving payment through PayPal.

Craigslist: Craigslist began in 1995 as an email distribution list of events. Nowadays, selling everything from cars to home and garden supplies on Craigslist couldn't be simpler, but consult the site's FAQ and "Avoid Scams and Fraud" page before starting.

Pawn shops: Some pawn shops, also known as pawnbrokers, purchase merchandise directly from the customer. Others are primarily used to secure loans by using items like jewelry or electronics as collateral. Your item is returned after you repay the loan.

Etsy: New York-based Etsy allows artists and crafters to sell their homemade products, but has lately expanded to include sales of retro and collectible items. Basically, you set up your own shop, post your products and wait for people to find you. A little social network promotion will help attract more eyes to your site. Sellers can now offer Etsy free shipping coupons through a program offered by the website.

UShops: UShops is an online channel for those who want to sell creative and niche products, but items offered through uShops must be handmade or art and craft supplies.

Your own website: There are several free or open-source projects, such as osCommerce, you can use to power your online shop. Take advantage of all-inclusive, small-business hosting solutions, such as Yahoo Merchant Solutions, which help sellers get started with little fuss and headaches.

Google Product Search: Google Product Search receives a lot of attention from avid Google users and it's free to list there if you have your own website. Google Merchant Center is a service launched in 2009 that makes it easy to upload and manage the product listings you want to appear in Google Product Search, AdWords and other Google properties. Amazon allows you to sell all kinds of products, not just books. You'll pay fees to Amazon if your item sells. Commissions range from 6 to 15 percent of the total, depending on what you sell. Amazon also charges 99 cents for each transaction.

Consignment shops: These retail stores resell your merchandise and keep a percentage of the final sale price. Many specialize in clothing and accessories, but you can also find shops that sell furniture, antiques, kitchen items and other things. It may take some time for larger items to sell, but you're likely to earn more than if you sold them through a garage sale.

Garage sales: Items that sell quickly at garage sales include small household goods, clothing, baby items and basic furniture, particularly dressers and bookshelves. Make sure all products are in relatively good shape and price them as you set them aside to avoid confusion the morning of the sale. Your newspaper's classified section is still the best place to advertise a sale, but you also can post your sale at Craigslist and YardSaleSearch.

Antiques and collectibles dealers: Dealers will buy anything from old coins and jewelry to books and toys. Items should be in good shape and collectibles in their original wrapping will bring a better price. Check eBay for price comparisons before you get several quotes or appraisals from dealers.

Newspaper classified ads: Classified ads still reach a fairly large audience. If you're selling low-priced items, look for ad classifications like "Bargain Box" or "Cheap Buys." These categories often cost less than a full-blown classified ad.

Play It Again Sports: They'll buy your used and new sports and fitness equipment or help you trade with other sports enthusiasts.

Barter: Some bartering websites are dedicated to specific products while others allow you to sell just about anything. RehashClothes and Swapstyle allow you to swap clothes. Then there's BookMooch and PaperBackSwap. TotsSwapShop and Kizoodle are for children's clothing. BarterClub includes a listing of clubs by type of business and location.

Tap into these outlets when selling items 09/19/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 12:00pm]
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