(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)
When you have a lot of things at home, there are probably many of these things that are not necessary. An excellent way to get rid of some of these things is to sell them.
You will save space and earn some money! There are many ways to sell items. But in today’s age, selling online is often the way to go.
For instance, recently, I did some ordering in my technology closet (yes, I am the kind of guy that has 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 am mostly using online websites to sell things. I am far from being a minimalist. It is easily seen by my technology closet that is still too full after a first purge. 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 post, I am going to talk about what I am selling online in Switzerland. And how am I selling them!
How to sell things online in Switzerland?
Let’s go the main part of the article, how to sell these things!
My preferred way to sell items is to sell online. There are other ways, of course, but I prefer using online selling. Some people prefer things like a garage sale. But there are much less popular in Switzerland than in America. And a lot of people are not going 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 really good:
- Facebook Marketplace
I have especially 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. It is a popular auction-based website. You have two choices for sale. Either you 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 if you want.
The best thing about Ricardo is that the platform is great for selling items. Now, people can even pay directly by credit card, and you 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 address of the buyer if you deliver the goods to him. It is very straightforward to sell at Ricardo.
Unfortunately, this a commercial offer, so you will have to pay some fees when you sell. The basic price is 9% of the final value when you sell. If you do not sell your item, you do not have to pay anything. It is a great thing. However, 9% can be a lot of money if you sell a lot of stuff!
There are also many options you can use to promote your offers. There are options from 2 CHF to 40 CHF to make sure that 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 out that enough people find my listings not to need additional promotion.
If you are not ready to pay some fees, you should avoid Ricardo. You can set several options for paying and several options for sending the item 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 it.
One tip I have for Ricardo is to translate your auction in German and French. Most Ricardo users are from the German part of Switzerland. By publishing in both languages, you will have a much larger audience and a better chance to sell!
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 of the 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 fees. One of the reasons is that the Swiss market is quite fragmented. While Ricardo is dominating the auctions, two main websites are sharing the advertisement market. There is Anibis. But there is also Tutti. Before, there also was OLX, but they merged with Tutti.
Another reason I prefer Ricardo is that the platform is made for selling things. On Anibis, you can post ads of any kind. It means the platform itself has very little 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 much more suited to that.
I have started with Anibis, and I 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 really better than the other now. You should choose the one that you like the most after a short inspection. I should probably try Tutti again since I never tried it since they merged with OLX.
While it is free to publish a listing on Anibis, you also have access to 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 inside Facebook.
Also, Facebook Marketplace is free! Since many people use Facebook, you can reach many people for selling 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 things by post. But if you want people to come to pick 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.
Keep in mind that there are things you are not allowed to sell on Facebook Marketplace. For instance, you cannot sell animals, weapons, or adult products.
What am I selling?
Over the last few years, I have sold many things. Some things are easy to sell. But some things are quite challenging to sell.
The things I sold the most is technology items. I mostly sell computer pieces. I have sold hard disks, graphics cards, processors, RAM, and even 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. For some items, I did not get as much as I would have wanted. But overall, I was quite 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 buying mostly 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 were organizing 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 found out several times that I had many clothes that I did not wear anymore. And they were still in good shape. It is not easy to sell used clothes by yourself, and you often do not get a lot of 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 am wearing most of my clothes until the end of their life. So, in the end, I do not have a ton of clothes to get rid of.
Finally, DVDs and Blurays. 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 instead give them away either to people I know or to Charity again. I would rather throw them in the trash than sell to them. 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 Blurays.
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 original packing, so this is not an issue for me. 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 most information as you can about the item.
The most challenging thing to set is the price. I generally 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, and it got sold after 5 minutes. I did not check that the price for this item brand new 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 got several times higher than I would have thought. But I also had cases when the start price did not move at all, 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, ten days. Sometimes the item did not sell in 10 days. If this is the case, 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 for selling 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 am generally going with Ricardo even if I have to pay a small fee. I would rather have something getting sold for a small price rather than having to 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. In my best month, I sold for about 300 CHF of computer stuff online. It takes some time to prepare a good offer online 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 learn how to sell things on the internet, 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?