4 apps that make it easy to sell your stuff online

Originally Published: 

With public figures like Marie Kondo boasting the benefits of ridding your space of anything that longer brings you joy, to documentaries like Minimalism highlighting how eliminating material possessions can change your life, there’s never been a better time to get rid of all your stuff your stuff — and make money off of it.

While picking up a side gig, asking for a promotion or investing your money are all wise financial decisions to benefit you in the long term, sometimes you need a quick buck ASAP. Thankfully, there are tons of apps that allow users to sell their possessions — be they new or used — allowing users to set their own prices and choose with whom they do business.

“Not only do they help you make money by selling once-loved items, they also bring a great deal of speed and time-saving to what could otherwise be a time-consuming process,” said Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, personal finance expert at Mercari. “I also like apps for the convenience factor. With just a few clicks on your smart phone, you can sell anywhere.”

If you haven’t yet taken part in this sort of mobile garage sale, Jonathan Lowe, LetGo spokesperson, offered some handy tips for making your product attractive to buyers. First, you want to clean anything you’re about to post for sale — the camera will pick up on that dust and grime. Capture several angles in natural light on a solid background. Always, always be honest about any wear and tear. Buyers won’t mind a little scratch here and there, and you run the risk of receiving a negative review if they feel misled. Turn on your app’s notifications so you’re able to respond to prospective buyers quickly. And lastly, be sure to price your item according to what similar items sold for, according to Khalfani-Cox.

Here, four popular apps to turn your trash into someone else’s treasure.


1. LetGo

Let go of all the clutter in your home with this app that’s as easy to use as Instagram. It’s connected to your Facebook account, so you can vet each user. Take a photo of your item, and through unique image detection technology the app will generate a suggested tile (for example: brown wooden bedframe). Then, choose a category like Home and Garden or Electronics, and it’ll post to a main feed of images that users can browse through. If you notice your product’s view count is low, you can lower your price, take more photos or sweeten the deal with more goodies thrown in.

Life hack: If you need to get rid of old furniture and can’t afford a mover, list the item under the “free” section for someone else to grab.

2. Tradesy

Built “by and for women,” Tradesy is the marketplace for all things secondhand designer shoes, bags, clothes and jewelry. Simply upload your images from the app or mobile site, set your price and choose your method of shipment. Upon delivery of the item, you can choose to use that money as a credit toward the Tradesy website, or deposit it straight to your bank account. Refer a friend, and you get $10 to use on the website as soon as they make a purchase. And if you live in NYC, an on-demand Closet Concierge offers in-person Marie Kondo-esque services to advise on how to make your closet look even better and your sales even more profitable.

3. Mercari

The biggest retail app in Japan is also a big hit in the U.S. A benefit of the app is that meet-ups are prohibited for safety and efficiency. Once you post photos and a description of your item in virtually every category you can think of, select a shipping method (the prepaid flat-fee Mercari label is a popular option since shipping insurance of up to $200 is included). Use your payment to shop the website or cash out.

4. ThredUp

Sell clothes, jewelry, accessories and shoes on this platform that does the dirty work for you. You’ll send them your clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry and handbags, and they’ll take care of the pricing, photographing and listing of the items. Their experts also triple-check to ensure the product is listed accurately to reflect any pilling, wear-and-tear or missing buttons or straps making it as transparent a shopping process as possible.