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The DOs and DON’Ts of Online Selling

Any college student knows that the paychecks from minimum wage work study jobs do not last awhile, even though they are helpful. And getting a part time job while working as a full-time student is very difficult, if not impossible. An easy way to earn some money that requires very little time is to sell items online. This also helps you to get rid of things you don’t use anymore!

I’ve been using the Poshmark app for 2 years and the Mercari app for 1 year and have made almost $800 total. For items that were just taking up space, that’s not too bad! I mostly sell clothing and accessories. Each app has pros and cons, but the following list of do’s and don’t’s applies to any place online that you might sell items!



1) DO take lots of good pictures!

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take great pictures! Making sure there is enough light and showing the whole item in the picture are more important than styling every piece. Of course, the more creative and artistic you can get with your photos the more allure they will draw from customers but sticking to the basics works is less time consuming and works just fine too!


2) DON’T overprice items.

That homecoming dress you wore once…and spilled punch all over? Probably not worth the $50 you paid for it anymore. The designer sunglasses you splurged on, then left in a drawer all summer? Get rid of them! Keep in mind how much you originally paid for items but realize that their value has greatly depreciated since you removed the tags from them.


3) DO take time to describe the condition of your items.

Think about all the questions you might have if you were buying something before seeing it in person. Is it working? Are there any stains, rips, or defects? What size is it? Does it fit true to size or does it run small/big? When was the item purchased? How long was it used for? Answering these questions leaves little doubt in a buyer’s mind that you are being transparent with them.

Image: Giphy


4) DON’T ignore messages from customers.

If someone has a question about an item, respond to them! You’re much more likely to be successful if buyers know that you are transparent and willing to offer some customer service. If they ask for a measurement or new picture, often times that is the deciding factor between in making a sale.

Image: Giphy


5) DO list items for more than you’re willing to sell.

Mercari and Poshmark both have features that allow you to make an offer to buyers. By pricing an item for a little more than you anticipate selling it for, you can use the power of price drops to lure buyers into a good deal.


6) DON’T accept lowball offers.

Don’t always accept the first offer that comes your way if it’s much less than what you originally listed the item for. If you know your item can sell for more than what you were offered, don’t accept the offer just for some fast cash! Waiting to sell at a higher price will be more rewarding in the end.

Image: Giphy


7) DO look for deals to re-sell.

Thrift stores are hit or miss, but if you can land a top for $2 and resell it for $6, BAM, you just made a 300% profit! An extra $4 doesn’t sound like much but hey that’s a coffee at Starbucks. Sometimes clearance racks at the mall have even bigger discounts than thrift stores. Plus, new-with-tags items almost always sell for much more than pre-owned ones.

Image: Giphy




Zelie Hummer

St Vincent '20

Saint Vincent College 2020 ~ Chemistry Major, Creative Writing Minor Hello! I'm Zelie and I love writing for HerCampus! Being able to give a voice to my opinions and thoughts and have them published is amazing. I really enjoy my major and going to college at SVC. But I would be nowhere without the support of my faith, family, and my friends! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my articles:)  "Keep your face always towards the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you." ~Walt Whitman
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