This year, I’ve made it a point to minimize the stuff in my life. I thrive on simplicity, so the stuff I have is only what I need.
My rule is that everything must serve a purpose. For clothing, it must be worn regularly. If not, I sell it using an app that has given Craigslist a serious run for its money– OfferUp.
Just the sheer volume of people on the app makes it an easy way for you to sell your stuff — at the time of writing, the company has received millions of downloads and has hundreds of millions of listings.
If you have a lot of stuff to get rid of, think about adding OfferUp to your apps on your phone and give it a try. We found the site to be easy to use and a great way to make some extra cash for your unwanted items.
Ease of use
- Easy to use
- Free to use
- Set your own price
- Watch for scammers
- Bad pictures don’t sell items
- Shipping costs
In This Article
- What is OfferUp?
- How Does OfferUp Work?
- Steps to List Your Items for Sale
- The Disadvantage of OfferUp: Getting Paid After a Sale
- 3 Ways to Sell Your Items Fast
- 6 Ways to Stay Safe When Using OfferUp
- Alternatives to OfferUp
- My Experience with OfferUp Has Been Positive
What is OfferUp?
OfferUp is an easy-to-use, free app you can use to sell unwanted furniture, books, electronics, clothing and even cars. The app uses your phone’s location to show buyers what you’re selling.
I like that you can easily communicate with buyers and sellers via the app’s instant messaging feature. Overall, I appreciate how simple it is to use and list items for sale.
You can also utilize OfferUp to browse for good deals on used items for sale in your area.
What to Sell on OfferUp
I’ve used OfferUp over the past year to help get rid of unwanted furniture and snowboarding equipment.
When you first open the app, it uses your location to show you what other people in your area are selling.
It’s image-based, so you can scroll through in a Pinterest-like feed to browse for just about anything, including books, electronics, clothing, shoes, cars, furniture, sporting equipment, pet supplies and more.
(Note: OfferUp has a list of prohibited items, and if you don’t follow their terms and conditions, your listing will be taken down or it won’t show up.) I have an iPhone, and this is what the app’s homepage looks like when I first open it.
The app automatically filters items to its main page, so the first thing you see is all the things people located closest to you are selling.
You can set your location to show within a certain distance from a particular ZIP code.
OfferUp allows you to easily communicate in its messaging feature to coordinate with potential buyers or sellers, rather than having to email back and forth (Craigslist).
How Does OfferUp Work?
OfferUp is great because it facilitates communication for buying and selling. The chat has premade responses and questions so you can quickly message the buyer.
You have two choices when viewing an item: “Ask” or “Make offer”.
If buyers are interested in your item, they will message you, and you can communicate with them about the price. Once you both agree on the price, you can discuss when and where to meet.
The app uses your phone’s GPS to find out where you are but never gives the exact address to potential buyers. It only gives a general area of where your item is located based on your city and ZIP.
What is the Signup Process Like?
First, download the free app.
After it’s on your phone, you can sign up with your Facebook account or with an email address. If you set it up with your email address, you’ll be asked for a password. Once you log in, go to your profile and add in your photo.
(Note: There is no desktop version of OfferUp, so you’ll need to do all of your buying and selling from the app on your phone.)
I’d recommend that you “verify” your account, which tells other buyers and sellers that you’re “trusted.” To do this, go to your account and then follow the instructions. According to OfferUp, it may take several minutes for your account to be verified.
Once you’re logged in, you can snap some photos and list your item.
You can do a search for items by clicking on categories, such as:
For instance, if you’re selling your used collection of baking supplies, do a quick search to see prices for similar things. Then price your items accordingly.
Also, check on eBay to get an idea of what a larger market (vs. your local area) would pay for your items. Case in point: when I sold my Apple Watch a few years back, I discovered it was priced way higher on eBay than on OfferUp.
Steps to List Your Items for Sale
Here are our suggested ways to get ready to list your items.
1. Take really good photos
After you create your profile, open the app, and use your phone’s camera to take photos of your items. OfferUp will ask you for access to your camera, so accept it and snap away.
2. Be descriptive
I’ve been on OfferUp enough to know that many sellers don’t take enough photos, so it’s hard to get a full grasp of what the item looks like. As a buyer, I would gravitate to a listing with more information about a particular item than one that is completely blank.
A lot of sellers skimp out on the description, so use that to your advantage and write a description that tells buyers as much as possible about the item.
After you’ve set your category, be specific about things like size, condition and why you’ve decided to let it go.
Here are things to think about and include when writing your description.
- When did you purchase the item?
- Does it have a specific model number?
- Where did you get it?
- How often was the item used?
- What is the overall condition?
- Are there any defects or flaws that need to be mentioned?
Take at least 4-5 photos of your item and then post it.
Be sure to check out OfferUp’s help section for tips on how to sell things faster, too.
3. Set the price
Then give your item a price. You’ll give it a specific number and then check the box (or not check it) that says “Firm on price?”. If you don’t check it, that gives potential buyers the room to negotiate.
Plus, you can check a box that will share your listing on Facebook.
4. Change the location (optional)
You can also change your item’s location by going to the “Set location” tab and tapping on the edit button.
Tap “location” and change it to the new location. Then tap “Save location.”
Once you post your item, it may take several minutes for it to go live on the app. Once it’s up, you’ll get an email from OfferUp congratulating you on your listing.
Listings are sorted by factors such as distance, time and popularity.
If someone is interested in your listing, you will receive an alert notification in the app. From there, you can negotiate with potential buyers.
6. Rating Buyers and Sellers
One cool advantage of OfferUp is that you can rate buyers and sellers after a transaction. And you’re strongly encouraged to do so. This is a safety feature of OfferUp to help buyers and sellers feel more comfortable buying and selling to strangers.
You can look at a potential buyer or seller’s ratings to see if they’ve had good interactions in the past.
The Disadvantage of OfferUp: Getting Paid After a Sale
Payment between the buyer and seller isn’t central to the app, which means you’ll have to deal with cash. While the app is great for communication and ease of listing your items, it (like Craigslist) lacks a way for buyers to pay sellers electronically easily.
If there are any problems or disputes after the sale is made, it’s out of OfferUp’s hands. They don’t have any refund policies or a way to help with disputes or payment issues. However, there is some protection for purchases that are shipped to buyers.
See the OfferUp website for more details.
Most transactions between parties should go relatively smoothly. This is assuming all questions have been accurately answered, and the buyer understands what he/she is purchasing.
This is why it’s so important to have clear photos. For whatever reason, if you can’t convey the item accurately in the photos, you should write that in the description. Then reiterate it to the buyer.
Agree On the Final Price of the Item Before Meeting
Whenever I’ve bought or sold anything on OfferUp, I’ve always given or received a final price on the item before meeting in person.
Also, if you are shipping the item, payment will be collected through the OfferUp app. If you’re meeting in person, you and the buyer are responsible for working out payment terms.
If You Don’t Enjoy Haggling…
Unless there are some flaws you didn’t disclose beforehand, the buyer may show up and ask for another discount or try to negotiate a lower price.
Personally, I’m not the best haggler, so I make sure to write the final price of the item in a text message and ask them to bring cash.
I will usually text the buyer: “The final price of the item is $100. Please bring cash when we meet in person. Thank you!”
All of my transactions have gone smoothly, and no one has tried to negotiate a lower price after meeting and seeing the item in person. OfferUp advises buyers and sellers to stick to using cash to make the payment.
3 Ways to Sell Your Items Fast
Personally, the most important thing is to actually get rid of the item rather than trying to squeeze out a decent profit from the sale. If you’re in the same boat, these are some ways to sell your items quickly.
1. Price it competitively
Because my goal is to move the item quickly, I always price it slightly lower than my competition — 10 to 20 percent lower.
2. Respond to questions quickly
I also respond as fast as possible whenever someone asks a question. Turn on your app notifications so you can see when people are asking you questions.
3. Take awesome photos that are way better than your competition
The most frustrating thing when shopping online is bad photos. You know what I’m talking about! Bad photos are blurry, dark and mysterious. It doesn’t give you an accurate idea of what the item looks like or how big it is.
The best way to get rid of your item is to be very thorough about the photos and description so that buyers don’t skip to the next seller or ask you the same questions over and over.
Here are five easy tips to take better photos.
1. Take photos in the daytime
Make sure the space is brightly lit. Take photos when the sun is out, and you can clearly see the item. If you take the photo at night, make sure the room is brightly and evenly lit.
2. Cover all angles
I often wonder why many sellers stop at two photos when taking photos from your phone is easy! Take at least 4-5 photos of each of your items, and make sure each photo serves a purpose. Think about taking close-ups and shots from various angles (top, side, bottom), so you’re showing the item in its entirety.
3. Use flash, if necessary
If the item is black or dark, it might be hard to see details. In these instances, I turn on the flash on my phone so that you can see the details a little better. However, flash sometimes compromises the actual color of the item.
If you can’t seem to get an accurate photo, do the best you can (whether you use flash or not), but the most important thing is to give buyers a heads up in the description. (For example, if you’re selling a navy blue jacket that looks black in the photos.)
4. Give accurate sizes and measurements
Measure your items accurately. If it’s a smaller item like jewelry or earrings, use something that’s universally recognized (like a quarter or penny) and put it next to your item in the photo. It’s an easy way to give an accurate idea of the size, rather than simply saying it’s “tiny.”
5. Be truthful
Highlight any defects or parts of the item that are damaged. Be as transparent and upfront as possible, so the buyer knows exactly what they’re getting into.
The last thing you want is a surprised or unhappy customer who ends up leaving you a negative review.
6 Ways to Stay Safe When Using OfferUp
Because the buyer and customer are the ones who are responsible for the monetary transaction, there are a few things to know in order to stay safe.
1. Use the app’s messaging feature to talk to buyers
Keep all communication within the app. There’s no reason to give out your email, phone number or address.
When you’re ready to meet the buyer, make sure you coordinate it within the app’s chat feature.
2. Meet during the day
Meet at a secure, public location. I tend to use Starbucks or a place that’s easy to find with lots of people around.
3. Reiterate that the buyer needs to bring cash (unless otherwise agreed)
Cash really is the easiest form of payment, so stick to cash as your payment of choice. Don’t accept checks, money orders or wire transfers.
4. Vet the buyer
Check the buyer’s profile page to see if they have purchased or sold anything in the past with OfferUp, and check their ratings. I like to deal with verified people — they have a real photo of themselves and previous reviews from buying or selling on the app.
5. Don’t ignore red flags
Use your gut. There can be some flakes and probably scammers, too, so look out for odd messages and payment requests.
If it sounds like a scam, it probably is.
6. Don’t ever give out anything personal
Never give your personal financial information, account numbers or addresses. This is common sense when doing any online buying or selling.
Alternatives to OfferUp
If you have a lot of stuff to get rid of, my advice is to use OfferUp in tandem with other apps.
You can even post on good old Craigslist just to make sure you’ve covered lots of different ways to get eyeballs on your items. (However, I’m not a huge fan of Craigslist anymore, just because it feels so scammy. These are great alternatives to Craigslist.)
These are just a few apps and platforms you can use to help sell your stuff. Some are geared to certain items, like clothing or DVDs, while others are similar to OfferUp, where you can sell just about anything.
Use an app called Decluttr to sell your old CDs and DVDs. Decluttr uses the barcode located on the back of the DVD or CD cover to determine the price for you.
Then you ship your items for free, and you can receive payment practically the next day if you choose PayPal or direct deposit.
Use eBay to list smallish items, so the shipping doesn’t eat into the items’ final price. eBay is great because it helps you along the selling process and tells you what other people are selling your item for.
I am very familiar with eBay, and my two biggest tips are:
- For highly desirable items (brand name clothing, rare items), list it as an auction
- Offer free shipping to entice buyers
3. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook is a great way to get more eyeballs on your item, and Facebook Messenger makes it easy to communicate to buyers.
However, I tried listing a snowboard on Facebook, and I received a lot of messages with lowball offers. You just have to take this with a grain of salt and expect it to happen.
If you have a lot of designer clothing you want to get rid of, use Poshmark to help you do it.
Unlike OfferUp, it’s not a location-based app, so once you sell your item, you need to ship it. I wrote a lengthy review about Poshmark and why it’s a solid app to use for designer clothing.
4. Trove Market
Trove Market is similar to Etsy in that they focus on “unique treasures” that have to do with decorating your home.
It might be a great place to list some of your vintage or antique furniture for local buyers to find. You can also ship items online (given that they are on the small side). Trove also allows buyers and sellers to make transactions with credit cards.
You can use Dealo to buy and sell from your phone. The app works similarly to Craigslist, except you can sell internationally, in addition to locally.
Shpock is a UK-based company that offers a free app for iPhone and Android users to buy and sell locally.
The 5miles app is free and connects buyers and sellers within a 5-mile area.
Mercari is great for buying and selling electronics and gadgets and allows you to share on your social media to get more eyeballs on your listing.
9. Varage Sale
Varage Sale is another locally-focused app that lets you connect with other local people in your neighborhood.
My Experience with OfferUp Has Been Positive
I first used OfferUp last year when I bought a used (but pretty awesome) K2 snowboard. After riding it once, I realized it was too long, making it difficult to turn, so I put it back up on OfferUp.
After a month, I started losing hope that it would sell since spring was quickly approaching and the season was just about over. However, a buyer contacted me, and it was sold the very next day!
I also used OfferUp to get rid of my couch, dresser and coffee table. I posted a few of these items in the “free” category to quickly get rid of them and have them picked up by the buyers.
As an aside, LetGo was recently acquired by OfferUp. So if you’re looking for Letgo, the site will automatically reroute you to OfferUp.
If you have a lot of stuff to get rid of, think about adding OfferUp to your apps on your phone and give it a try.
Listing on multiple apps casts a wider net but try to stick to apps where the communication is done directly through the app itself. This saves time and makes it so much easier for buyers and sellers to talk.