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How to Make Money Selling on OfferUp: Tips, Tricks, & Hacks

OfferUp is a great marketplace to sell your stuff or things you found to resell. There are a lot of great tips for making money on OfferUp, you just have to know how to use the app to your advantage.

Unlike the LetGo app, OfferUp allows you to sell locally and offer to ship your items. This opens up your potential market even wider because you’ll have people from everywhere looking at your items.

If you want to learn how to make money selling on OfferUp, here are some great tips to help you get started.

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Prep Work Makes a Difference

Taking the time to cleanup your items before taking pictures and listing it on OfferUp can make a huge difference in the ability to sell the item. Make sure to note any flaws, stains, etc so that you can point them out in your listing for buyers to be aware of.

Use a little elbow grease to remove any smudges, stains, etc. Throw clothing in the laundry. You might be surprised a what a difference in value your item will bring just by cleaning it up a little. You can have the exact same item in the same condition as someone else out there but because you took the extra time to clean it up, you’ll make more money then they will.

Pictures are Money

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… but in the reselling world, good pictures mean more money! Taking a little extra thought when photographing your items for OfferUp can really help in selling your item faster and even for more money. Here are a few tips for taking great pictures.

Have a clean background. Find a clean background for your pictures. Just setting something on your counter and taking a picture isn’t a great idea because everything in the background distracts from the item you’re selling. Instead, find a TV tray, end table, or something that you can put up against a white wall. Set your item on it and take your pictures. If you plan to sell on OfferUp regularly, you could even invest in some poster board to use as a white background. Get two pieces, one for the bottom and one for the background. You could even get a set of white boards and a set of black boards to have a light and dark option.

Think about the lighting. Lighting makes all the difference. Try to take pictures in a room that has a lot of natural light or even take pictures outside. This will help your potential buyers see the item clearly and in more detail.

Make pictures crisp and up close. Make sure that the picture you post is clear and not fuzzy. If people can’t tell what the item looks like exactly because the picture isn’t clear, they won’t buy it. Also, make sure that you crop your item up close and remove any background that’s not necessary. For example, the person in the listing below is trying to sell a dress but you can’t tell what the dress looks like at all becasue the picture quality is so bad and it’s not cropped up close to be able to see the dress.

BONUS HACK: Items that are cropped long and skinny in portrait view instead of landscape get more real estate in the search results. Always make your pictures long and skinny so that they stay on the screen longer and stand out better to viewers.

Show every angle. OfferUp allows you to upload 5 photos for your item. Use all of them to show every angle of your item so that buyers can see exactly what you are selling. If there are any flaws to your item, show them in the photograph so that you don’t run into any problems down the road.

Be as Descriptive as Possible

When you fill out the title of your listing, use as many words to describe it as possible. If you’re selling a pair of Nike shoes, your title should NOT say “Nike Shoes”. Rather, you should say something like “Men’s Nike Running Shoes Size 11”. This way, if someone searches for “size 11 nike shoes” your listing will show up. Also, if there is another word that people might use to find your item, include it. For example, maybe buyers will use the word “sneakers” or “tennis shoes” so including those in the title never hurts.

Also, when writing your description, think about the questions that your potential buyers might ask about the item. Save time and answer those questions in the listing. This could be questions such as:

  1. Does the item work?

  2. Are there any flaws, stains, etc?

  3. Are there any accessories included?

Your description should include basic information such as the brand, model, size (measurements), color, etc. Use as many words as possible to describe the item.

Price Your Items with Offers in Mind

If you’re willing to take offers on your item, price the item a little higher than what you want to get out of it.

As a general rule of thumb, price your item 15% higher than what you really want for it and don’t be afraid to have odd number pricing. For example, if you want $50, list your item for $58… if you want $80, list the item for $92.

Also, make sure your pricing is somewhat reasonable. Yes, you want to shoot a little higher knowing the people are going to make offers, but don’t ask for an unreasonable amount of money. You’re going to waste a lot of time going back and forth with people because you priced the item too high to begin with! Start by doing a quick search within OfferUp to see what other people are selling your item for. You can feel comfortable asking for a little more than everyone else by having better pictures and a more detailed description.

Dealing with People

Selling on OfferUp means you’re going to have to be willing to answer questions, review offers, make counteroffers, and meet people to fulfill the transaction.

This can be a little frustrating and annoying sometimes. Before you decide to start selling on OfferUp, just know what you’re getting yourself into.

  1. People are going to offer you $20 for a $100 item. When you say the lowest you’ll take is $80, they’ll reply back and ask if you’ll take $40.

  2. People are going to agree to meet you and buy the item, only to not show up at all and leave you hanging.

  3. People are going to send you message after message, only to not end up buying the item after all.

It’s all just part of the process and you need to prepare yourself for how you will handle these people. Keep your cool and don’t let it get to you. If people get on your nerves, just brush it off and move on.

The Art of Negotiation

You have to know when to be firm and when to sell. Yes, buyers will give you low ball offers that are simply unreasonable. However, if you’re trying to make money, flipping items fast is key.

Let’s say you’re selling an item for $75. Someone offers you $25 and you counter at $60. The person comes back at $50 and now you have something to think about. Yes, you could hold out for $10 more (which could take you a few weeks depending on the item) or you sell it now, get it out of your house, and move on to other items.

Obviously this “quick flip” method isn’t going to work for everything. If you are selling expensive electronics or collectibles, you will want to be firm on your pricing. However, for other things, it’s just not worth holding out for top price when you could make a quick flip and move on to selling more items.

Also, when it comes to negotiation, you should negotiation everything BEFORE the meeting. Never negotiate in person. You buyer might think that since you went to the effort to meet them that you’ll still take a lower price just to be done with the transaction. However, hold them to the price you already agreed upon or move on. Don’t let buyers intimidate you into a lower price, especially if you already negotiated down from your original price.

BONUS HACK: When the day to meet your buyer has arrived, send them a message that says something like this “Looking forward to meeting you! Does today at 4pm at {location} for the agreed upon price of $50 still work for you?” Posing a question prompts the buyer to respond with a confirmation of the time, location, and price. It also helps prevent no-shows.

Be Wise & Vigilant

If there is just something about this person that kinda give you the heebie jeebies, either back out of the deal if it’s not too late or make sure to bring someone you trust with you to the meeting. Whatever you’re selling isn’t worth putting yourself in a bad situation.

Also, make sure to meet in a public place. I wouldn’t recommend your house because then that person knows your address, but if you can find a place, really close by like a grocery store parking lot, that would be the best option. Picking a location near your home (but don’t tell your buyer that) will make things less annoying if your buyer ends up being a no-show.

Keep an eye out for any strange behavior. Just listen to your gut, if something isn’t right. Make the transaction and leave as soon as possible.

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