January 28, 2023

Most people are looking for more ways to get cash – especially with Christmas just around the corner – but you probably don’t know you’re sitting on a pile of it in the form of unwanted items.

It may seem easier to toss things in the trash or just leave them in the closet, but a few quick clicks can turn your wardrobe into some much-needed cash.

Millie Wright earns up to £250 a month selling her second-hand clothes to Twig.

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“I have a puppy and sometimes she’s very naughty and ends up at the vet,” the 24-year-old told Sky News.

“I had a savings account for her that I had to deposit into. But now, if she eventually has to go to the vet again, I know I can catch up on the money.”

She’s also moving into a new flat in West Hampstead and used the change as an opportunity to clear out her wardrobe – from selling old tech to clothes she doesn’t wear.

There are multiple sites to help you sell your items – and remember that you’re not always limited to selling on one (although make sure you delete items across the board once they’re sold).

It’s worth keeping track of selling costs so you can be sure you’re getting the best deals.

Facebook, eBay, Vinted, Depop or Twig?

eBay comes from the more expensive of the platforms – private sellers can have 1,000 free listings, but when you sell an item you pay 12.8% of the final value to the site, plus a flat fee of 30p per order. If the total amount of the sale is more than £2,500 for a single item (eg a car), you will pay 3% for the portion of the sale price over £2,500.

Depop takes a 10% discount from your PayPal account or card before the rest of the money is paid to you. You also pay a PayPal fee of 2.9% + 30 pence per transaction.

Vinted is relatively rare because there is no fee for selling your items on Vinted – you get the full balance and a shipping label, making it one of the easiest platforms to sell on. Instead, it charges the buyer a “Buyer Protection Fee” and the cost of shipping.

Facebook is also free – although anyone who’s sold through the platform’s Marketplace can tell you that what you don’t pay in fees you make up for in effort – but because it relies largely on local searches, your audience may be limited is.

Most sales are also takeout and cash – which carries its own perils. Consider meeting in a neutral, well-lit place with other people around if you’re worried about strangers around you.

Twig works a little differently because you sell to the site. You take a picture of your stuff and get an instant rating – you get the money instantly and have 48 hours to send it to Twig.

“I discovered Twig on the Tube. I love that it’s a more sustainable option too,” says Millie.

Beware of seller scams

Everyone has been warned about the dangers of buying online, but you can still be scammed as a seller.

Millie almost lost hundreds of pounds selling a camera on Depop.

“The man answered very quickly and I got excited because I thought I was going to get £200,” she said.

“I packed everything and when I got to the post office I realized he had missed the first line of his address. I went back to talk to him and he had deactivated his account.”

She later received a message from PayPal that the seller had been reported for suspicious behavior: “They said they were waiting for the money to come in, and it never arrived.”

If she hadn’t noticed the missing line from his address, Millie would have posted the camera and never received any money.

Millie earns hundreds of pounds a month selling second-hand items
Image:
Millie earns hundreds of pounds a month selling second hand stuff

Millie had a lucky escape, but a friend wasn’t so lucky: “My friend’s sister sold an iPhone and it was the same thing and she ended up not getting any money and she lost the phone.”

Use a verified site that handles the money for you to sell items (it’s much harder to do anything if you get scammed through Facebook Marketplace). Vinted and eBay will let you know when the seller has paid — Vinted won’t give you a shipping label until the money comes in — and hold the money for you until the item is posted.

Also watch out for overpayments. A buyer can pay more than the set price and then say they made a mistake and ask for a partial refund. The seller then refunds only to discover that the original payment has been cancelled.

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, be suspicious of anyone asking you to go outside the site’s payment system. If you use PayPal unless you know the person, don’t pay or sell using the friends and family feature – although you pay a fee, this will protect you if something goes wrong.

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