7 Surprising Things You Can Sell Online

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What to Sell Online for Cash

Sell online
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Thanks to the internet, long gone are the days of schlepping your stuff out to the front yard, tacking some signs up and hoping it doesn’t rain so that people will come buy your unwanted things. Now you have so many options for selling your stuff online.

And there is so much to sell! No longer are you limited to selling the kinds of things you would find at an old-fashioned yard sale.  Here are 7 surprising things you can sell online to bring in some extra cash. 

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Your Family’s and Your Clothes

Mother and daughter picking out clothes in bedroom
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Once the centerpiece of yard sales, selling clothes isn’t just easier with the help of the internet, it is more lucrative. In the old days you had to price things low because of the limited size of the customer base of yard sale enthusiasts, who also were likely a thrifty bunch. Now if you have nice stuff, you can get good prices for it online.

Because children grow out of clothes so quickly, parents frequently both buy and sell their clothes online. But there is no reason to limit yourself to just selling your kids out-grown items. ThredUp, one of the first retailers buying and selling used clothing online, began as a way to sell children’s clothing, but now it has expanded to women’s clothing and accessories. The way it works is you order a “CleanOut Bag,” pack it up with your defect-free, top brand-name items and send it off using  a pre-paid label. ThredUp will determine the value of your items and pays you via PayPal or a pre-paid Visa. There is no guarantee that your items will be accepted, and there is a fee to have your items returned. However, the company does have an earnings estimator on the site, so you can determine if your items are likely to be accepted.

If all that sounds risky, there are other models for selling clothes online and other companies.

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look at the sunset
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If you love to take pictures (and you’re good at it), you can make money by selling photos online. In many ways the Internet is the great leveler of opportunity. It doesn’t matter so much what your credentials are, as much as how good your work is.

There are dozens of online stock photography agencies where you can upload your pictures, videos or illustrations and be paid every time someone downloads one. Or, consider breaking into the business of real estate photography with one of the online companies that offer this service to agents. It’s not terribly lucrative but it will allow you to build a portfolio which can be leveraged into more work with a realtor in your local market.

If you are an artist at heart, sell prints of your work, but let an online company do all the tiresome work of printing, framing and shipping it to your customers.

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Your Wedding Items

wedding dress
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If you had large or even medium-size wedding, you likely spent a lot of money on things that you never expected to buy or to use again. So now that it is just one big happy memory, do you still need the candle holders and the aisle runner to remember it by?

If not, you can use the internet to sell these things online to other brides and ship them off by using a service like Tradesy (which takes a commission) or posting them on Ebay. Another way to use the internet is to sell stuff locally by way of online classifieds on neighborhood pages like Nextdoor or on Facebook and Craigslist. When buyers can pick up the items and not pay for shipping, your stuff may fetch a higher price.

Of course,  the wedding dress is the big ticket item. If you’re not feeling too sentimental about selling it, there are lots of places to sell your wedding dress online. You may do better selling it online rather than locally because you will have a larger pool of potential buyers.  Also it is better to sell it soon after the wedding while it is still in style than to wait several years. Here are places to sell your wedding dress online:

In addition to these places, you could try selling the dress using local online yard sales or swap meet sites on social media. Many brides scour these sites for bargains, especially for all the accessories. You’re less likely to find another bride in your local area who is just your size and who wants your dress. But if you do, it could save you the commission.

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Your Opinion

Scoring tests online. Getty/Bubaone

You know what they say about opinions right? Everyone’s got one. That being the case, your opinion is probably not one of the more valuable things you can sell. However, opinions are free to come by, so why not make a little money off yours in your spare time.

Selling your opinion by taking surveys online has been a money-making opportunity on the Internet for nearly as long as it has existed. Now, with money-making cell phone apps it is easier than ever to make money with surveys when you have a little time to kill; for instance when you are waiting to pick up your child at school or on public transit.

What’s you’re really selling is the point of view of someone in your demographic group. When you sign up to fill out surveys you will have to give a lot of information about yourself: location, education, interests, buying habits, age, gender, etc. You will then be matched with surveys about products and services that are being targeted to people like you. So how many surveys you receive depends on how many marketers are interested in appealing to people like you and how many others that fit your demographics are doing surveys.

Keep in mind, though, some of the pitfalls of taking surveys: Surveys don’t always pay in cash. Sometimes they pay in gift cards or coupons. Sometimes they pay in reward points. There are usually earning thresholds to receive payments. Online surveys also have the potential to be scams. To avoid these work at home scams, do not give your credit card or bank account number in any survey. Do not pay for opportunities or lists of survey companies. These are always signals of a scam.

Places to Take Online Surveys:

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Your Expertise

Smiling woman using laptop at table
Hero Images / Getty Images

A lot more valuable than your opinion is your expertise. And there are many different ways to sell your expertise. If you have specialized knowledge of just about any subject, there is certainly someone out there willing to pay for it. The question is how to market and monetize your knowledge.

You can:

These all take an investment of time and possibly money to pay off in the long run. However, if you want a quick start to selling your expertise, try testing websites or answering questions at sites like PrestoExperts or Createpool.

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Your Hair

Back view of ombre hairstyle
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The market for human hair is a big business, and the internet makes it easy for nearly anyone who has the desired hair type to sell their hair.

So what is the desired hair type? It should be long, thick and healthy. The minimum length is 6 inches, but the longer the better. Weight is a key factor in value; however it cannot be accurately measured until the hair is cut, so thickness, measured by the circumference of the hair when banded, can be a good gauge for the thickness. A 1- or 1.5-inch pony tail would be considered thin. As for the health, the ideal is “virgin hair,” which is hair that has never been colored, straightened, chemically treated or even blown dry.  If you are a smoker that can decrease the value of your hair. The color isn’t as important factor, but less common the natural hair color (e.g. blond and red) the more valuable the hair.

How much is hair worth? The minimum you might expect for virgin hair is about $10 per inch. Non-virgin hair might bring as little as $5 per inch or there may just be no market for it. The places to sell hair online are marketplaces, so sellers buy ads for their hair and buyers contact them. Typically the marketplaces don’t take a commission but read the terms of service carefully. Here are some of the online hair marketplaces:

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Breast Milk

Breast milk in bottles next to ice cooler
Jamie Grill / Getty Images

What’s old is new. Once again the internet allows a new spin on an old practice. Before formula was invented, women who could not nurse their children could hire a wet nurse to provide breast milk for their child. It’s not done quite the same way anymore, but now with breast pumps and the internet there is a market for breast milk. Lactating women can pump and freeze and ship out their breast milk and be paid for it. 

Here are some places to sell breast milk online: