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Unwanted Christmas gifts - how to sell them online

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 26, 2013


Unwanted Christmas gifts can be sold online

Comments (1)

AFTER the exchanging of presents on Christmas Day there are inevitably a few gifts that may not have been on the top of your wish list that you don’t really want.

Rather than leaving the presents sitting at the back of a cupboard, more and more people are taking to internet sites such as eBay and Amazon to sell their unwanted gifts to someone who does want them.

According to eBay there are around 100,000 unwanted Christmas presents sold on the site each year.

Depending on what you are trying to sell certain sites are more suited to certain items that others.

For selling clothes, eBay is the better option while Amazon is where you should head to to flog CD’s and DVD’s

Online classified sites like Gumtree are other ways to advertise your unwanted items.

Here are a few tips for selling things on eBay:

• Search or browse through similar items and completed listings on eBay to see how other sellers describe similar items and what categories they typically list similar items in.

• Take a digital photo of your item - make sure it is clear, and upload extra pictures if necessary.

• Calculate postage and packaging costs - buyers want to know up-front the total cost of what they're buying, and you don't want to end up out of pocket.

• Click the Sell button at the top of any eBay page, and this will take you to the Sell page. Enter the name of what you are selling in the yellow search box and click "Sell It". You will now be guided through the listing process.

• If you are not registered on eBay, you will be asked to register. If you haven't sold before, you will be asked to create a Seller's Account.

• Make sure you deliver - both in the literal and the figurative sense. Track your sales in the ‘My eBay’ section so you know where you are.

• Send your buyer an invoice by email (PayPal prepares this for you automatically if you use it), and once you have received payment post and pack your item well, and dispatch within the time you committed.

• Make sure you deliver great customer service too - email buyers to let them know you have dispatched their item and include tracking or insurance details, if relevant. Follow up on any questions or concerns they have, and don't forget to leave fair and accurate feedback.

• Experienced eBay members can also sell your item on your behalf if you just don’t have the time.

• Trading Assistants can sell your stuff for you, and some will even pick the stuff up from your home.

Gumtree urge users of their site to follow these simple steps for a safe and successful selling experience:

• Keep things local by meeting face to face with the buyer to exchange items and money at the same time. Never send items upfront in advance of receiving payment. If you are using a secure payment method, please check that the credit amount is showing as cleared funds on your balance.

• For your personal safety, meet in a ‘lighted’ public place and always take someone with you, or at least tell a friend where you’re going.

• Use your common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

• Be aware of top scam warning signs, and if in doubt about a buyer either contact the Gumtree team or simply find another buyer.

Gloucestershire police have issued this advice for those looking to sell items online:

• Use a computer that you know is secure i.e. has up to date anti-virus software and a firewall installed.

• Beware of using internet cafes or public computers for financial transactions.

• Only shop at secure websites - check that the unbroken padlock symbol is showing before sending your card details and that beginning of the retailers internet address has changed from http to https (which indicates a secure site).

• Deal with companies or individuals you know by reputation or experience. If you aren't familiar with the company, do your research. Find out their address and phone number. Do not conduct business with a company that doesn't list a physical address or telephone number on its Web site.

• Keep a record of any transaction you make - preferably print it out. Understand what you are paying for, know the merchant's refund policy and delivery conditions and have the merchant's postal address.

• Look for a privacy policy. Be sure that you are comfortable with how the company collects, protects, and uses your personal information before you submit any details. Responsible marketers have an "opt-out" policy, which allows you to choose whether your information is shared with third parties.

• Ensure the business has a fair and clear process for submitting complaints and/or cancelling orders.

• Remember, unlike secure order forms on a Web site, e-mail messages are not private. Do not send confidential personal or financial information by e-mail.

• Talk to your children about online activities. Instruct them to keep their personal information private unless you approve.

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  • raidermanuk  |  December 26 2013, 2:28PM

    Anyone who buys me a present knows to keep the receipt. If I don't want the item I tell them! They return it to the shop for a 100% refund on the understanding that they then don't go out and buy me a replacement. Open to abuse but it works quite well really!

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