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When you have a lot of things at home, there are probably many unnecessary things. An excellent way to eliminate some of these things is to sell them.
There are many ways to sell items. You will save space and earn some money! But in today’s age, selling online is often the way to go.
For instance, I recently cleaned my technology closet (yes, I am the kind of guy with a technology closet). And I realized that I had way too many things stored at home. I also realized that I had way too many servers. So I decided to sell online a few things.
I mostly use online websites to sell things. I am far from being a minimalist. But I am trying to reduce a bit the amount of burden I own. And if I can get some money in the process, it is a nice bonus!
In this article, I discuss what I am selling online in Switzerland. And how am I selling them?
How to sell things online in Switzerland?
My preferred way to sell items is to sell them online. There are other ways, of course, but I prefer using online selling. Some people like things like garage sales. But there are much less popular in Switzerland than in America. And a lot of people do not go to flea markets anymore. So online selling is working pretty well!
There are several options for selling items online in Switzerland. However, I believe that only three options are good:
- Facebook Marketplace
I have mainly been using the first two options. But Facebook Marketplace is working better and better in Switzerland. And a lot of people have had success with it.
Sell things online with Ricardo
The first service I am using to sell items online is Ricardo.
Ricardo is a popular auction-based website. You have two choices for sale. Either use auctions where you set a base price, and people can bid higher on it. Or you set a final price, and people do not have any choice. You can also set an auction with an instant buyout price.
The best thing about Ricardo is that the platform is excellent for selling items. Now, people can pay directly by credit card, and they receive the money at the end of the month. With this, you do not have to share your bank account for people to pay. And you will directly receive the buyer’s address if you deliver the goods to him. It is very straightforward to sell at Ricardo.
Unfortunately, this is a commercial offer, so you must pay some fees when you sell. The basic price is 9% of the final value when you sell. You do not have to pay anything if you do not sell your item. It is a great thing. However, 9% can be a lot of money if you sell a lot!
There are also many options you can use to promote your offers. There are options from 2 CHF to 40 CHF to ensure more people see your offer. I have never used any of them. I think it is too expensive. If you sell costly things, you may want to consider it. But generally, I have found that enough people find my listings.
If you are not ready to pay some fees, you should avoid Ricardo. You can set several options for paying and sending or letting the buyer pick the item. Generally, it works much better if you offer to send the item by mail. But for very large items, you can sometimes require the buyer to come to take them.
One tip I have for Ricardo is to translate your auction into German and French. Most Ricardo users are from the German part of Switzerland. You will have a much larger audience and a better chance to sell by publishing in both languages!
Sell things online with Anibis
The second website I am using is Anibis.
It is a simple classified advertisement website. It is like Craigslist, but much smaller! You publish your ad and wait for people to contact you. You can set a price or wait for offers. In most cases, people will pick the items up.
Overall, I have had much more success with Ricardo than with Anibis. That is the reason I am willing to pay Ricardo’s fees. One of the reasons is that the Swiss market is quite fragmented.
While Ricardo dominates the auctions, two websites share the advertisement market. There is Anibis and Tutti. Before, there also was OLX, but they merged with Tutti.
Another reason I prefer Ricardo is that the platform is for selling things. On Anibis, you can post ads of any kind. It means the platform has a minimal notion of delivery, for instance. On Ricardo, a user can press a single button and get its item. On Anibis, people have to converse by email to plan for buying something. I think Ricardo is much more suited to that.
I have started with Anibis and have not tried the other ones. But if you use them, you will be limited in the number of people you can reach. I do not think any of the two is better than the other now. After a short inspection, you should choose the one you like the most. I should probably try Tutti again since I have never tried it since they merged with OLX.
While it is free to publish a listing on Anibis, you can also access promotion options to make your offer seen by more people. Once again, I have never used that. If you are ready to spend some money, you are probably better off using Ricardo in the first place.
Sell things online with Facebook Marketplace
Another option that exists is Facebook Market Place.
It is very similar to Anibis. It works in the same way, providing classified advertisements. However, if you are already using Facebook, you do not have to create a new account to use it. It is directly available on Facebook.
Also, Facebook Marketplace is free! Since many people use Facebook, you can reach many people to sell your items.
Facebook Marketplace is great for selling things that people have to come to pick up at your house. It is not great if you intend to deliver stuff by post. But if you want people to come to pick it up, it is excellent.
Many people are using Facebook Marketplace to sell large furniture, for instance. I think this is the best website for selling furniture.
Remember that there are things you are not allowed to sell on Facebook Marketplace. For instance, you cannot sell animals, weapons, or adult products.
Also, be very careful that there are many scammers on Facebook Marketplace. They will send fake FedEx (or DHL or anything) couriers to scam you and take your object without paying you. You should never accept that.
What am I selling?
Over the last few years, I have sold many things. Some things are easy to sell. But some things are pretty challenging to sell.
The things I sold the most were technology items. I mainly sell computer pieces. I have sold hard disks, graphics cards, processors, RAM, and network appliances. But, I have also sold a few other things than technology. For instance, I have also sold a fridge, a coffee machine, and a game console.
In the end, I have successfully sold almost all the things I have tried to sell. I did not get as much for some items as I wanted. But overall, I was pretty happy with my selling. I am not a big seller. I may have sold maybe a hundred items in the last ten years. I have never flipped any item. But I do not want to have too many things at home that I do not use.
What am I not selling?
There are a few things I am not selling when I need to get rid of them.
Sometimes they are too hard to sell for the money you can get. And sometimes, it is just not worth it to sell some things.
First of all, I do not sell books. I have a hard time getting rid of books. I am mainly buying second-hand books (and cheap Kindle books). So when I want to get rid of one book, I give them away. Either I give them away to charity (Emmaüs). Or I use an exchange service to give them. At the university where I worked, they organized a book exchange each year. I took a lot of books and gave away a few of mine.
If you want to sell books, you can do it, of course. But it is difficult, and I think it is not worth the time. Most books will sell for very little, at least in Switzerland. If you have a nice collection of a series of books, you have much more chance to sell it.
I am also not selling clothes. Over the years, I discovered several times that I had many clothes I did not wear anymore. And they were still in good shape. It is not easy to sell used clothes yourself, and you often do not get much money back.
Since I know a lot of people may need them, I always give away my extra clothes to charity (Red Cross). Also, I wear most of my clothes until their end. So, in the end, I do not have many clothes to get rid of.
Finally, I do not sell DVDs and Blu-rays. They used to get a fair price out of a second-hand shop in Fribourg. But now, they give you 10 cents for each of them. It is ridiculous. At this price, I would give them away either to people I know or to Charity again.
If you have a nice collection, you may still be able to get something out of it. But it has become quite difficult to sell DVDs and Blu-rays. I would rather throw them in the trash than sell them for pennies.
My online selling strategy
Finally, we can talk about my online selling strategy.
My online selling strategy is straightforward. If I think it is possible to sell it for at least 10 CHF, I am starting with Ricardo. I put the offer up. I found out that there are several important things when selling:
- Try to sell with original packing. I always keep the original packing, so this is not an issue. It sells better with original packing and accessories.
- Write in two languages. I always write in German and French. You can even use Google Translate. In Ricardo, there are more Swiss German users than Swiss French.
- Always offer to send the packet by mail.
- Use good and large images.
- Always explain the state of the item in detail.
- Be honest about the object. Do not try to hide defects.
- Give as much information as you can about the item.
The most challenging thing to set is the price. I always look for similar auctions to see how much they usually go for. I typically set a low price for the auction. And a bit more than what I would think for the instant price. You do not have to set an instant price, of course. But some buyers much prefer an immediate buyout.
The risk with the instant price is that you put it lower than what it is worth. It will get sold in less than 30 minutes in those cases. I got this case when I sold an accessory for a Swisscom TV. In this case, I put an instant price of 100 CHF, which sold after 5 minutes. I did not check that the price for this brand-new item on Swisscom was 150 CHF. I could have put my instant price at 125 CHF, at least. But I was still thrilled to get 100 CHF and get it fast.
You do not have to use auctions, of course. You can set a fixed price and see if it will sell. I like auctions, a bit for the thrill of it! I got several cases where auctions were higher than I would have thought. But I also had cases when the start price did not move, and I ended up selling below market price.
There is something fundamental not to forget. When you set an auction with a low base price, you should be ready to sell for this low base price. I had a few items that sold for 1 CHF. Probably, I should have set the base price lower. But then, I still sold them for 1 CHF.
I always set the maximum duration for auctions as ten days. Sometimes the item did not sell in 10 days. If so, I put it back to sell for ten more days. For this second auction, sometimes, I set the price lower. It could simply be that you are competing with too many people. And it will sell one week later.
If it still did not sell in 20 days, I put it for sale on Anibis. I do not want to use more money to sell this item, so I use a free advertisement website. Even if you set the price to 10 CHF, some people will still try to lowball you. It is up to you to decide what to do!
There are two leading websites to sell things online in Switzerland. You can use Ricardo, an auction-based website. Or you can use Anibis. The first one has some fees while the second is free. But I have been much more successful with Ricardo than with Anibis.
So, I generally go with Ricardo even if I pay a small fee. I would rather have something sold for a small price rather than wait for several weeks before anybody buys it. But in the end, both strategies will work, and the best one will depend on what you want!
This is my strategy for selling things online. I sold about 300 CHF of computer stuff online in my best month. It takes time to prepare a good online offer if you want to do it right. But I think it is worth it. It saves you a lot of room and gives you some side hustle money!
Now that you have learned how to sell things online, you may want to learn how to buy things online in Switzerland.
What about you? What do you sell online? How do you sell it?
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