he side-effect of a post-lockdown social life being in sight? We (finally) have a deadline to finish decluttering. That new year aim to Marie Kondo your life sounded simple in January, but spring is around the corner and the prospect of letting friends into your garden again is creeping up fast.
Helpfully, you don’t have to wait until the charity shops re-open to give your wardrobe, garage and garden a spring-clean. A wave of second-hand selling apps are having a moment and helping us all earn a bit of lockdown pocket-money. eBay sales skyrocketed 30 per cent between March and June last year and everyone including your mum has spent this lockdown discovering the wonders Facebook Marketplace (the real question is whether she’s really sold more than she’s bought).
So which app to use? From second-hand designer fashion to free swaps with your neighbours, these are the thriftiest recycling apps for making some quick cash from your (wonderfully decluttered) bedroom.
The clothes apps:
USP: The Instagram aesthetic.
Launched in 2011, Depop is the perfect fashion marketplace whatever your style, boasting over 21 million users and selling all types of second-hand clothes. Think of it as a hybrid between eBay and Instagram. It’s become a social-selling platform – it’s young, hip and mostly about your followers.
Users can follow their favourite accounts, use the explore page to see trending items, and add hashtags in their posts to gain more visibility (like Instagram). It’s easy to navigate for first-time users. Just create an account and list your items for free. You can add up to four photos, give a brief description about the product (size, condition etc.) and decide on an attractive price tag. Sell it, ship it, and receive your money before doing it all over again with your next dress.
Depop takes 10 per cent of the profit for each item sold.
USP: Social selling – invite a friend to join and receive £5 when they list their first three items.
A year younger than Depop, Vinted (founded in 2012) is another great online marketplace to sell, buy and swap clothing and accessories. Its 37 million members are drawn in by its zero selling fees, the option to sell things as a bundle and the fact Vinted sorts everything including the shipping label.
Once your live listing has been sold, all you need to do is print the pre-paid shipping label and take it to you nearest drop off point within five days. You will then be paid once the buyer receives their package. List, sell, post, and look forward to pay day.
The designer one:
Hardly Ever Worn It (HEWI)
USP: Become a VIP and let HEWI do all the work for you (once items are sold you will be paid monthly, minus their 35 per cent commission, and the choice to donate some to a charity of your choice).
Founded in 2012, Hardly Ever Worn It features luxury fashion and designer clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and kids. Fashion lovers, head here if you have anything, from Dior to Prada, to sell at a heavily discounted price.
Create a free profile, post your second-hand item with an approximate date of when you originally purchased it, and wait for the HEWI team to approve the listing. Other members will then view it, buy it and you’ll be paid. HEWI takes 18 per cent commission.
The everything ones:
USP: Free listings each month – use this perk to upload items with no insertion fees every couple of weeks.
eBay is no newbie on the second-hand selling scene – it’s been around since the Nineties and has almost 200 million users. Easy to upload and add descriptions on your products, you can sell just about anything on eBay, from sports kit to makeup.
There are two options when selling your items – either ‘Buy it now’ (a fixed price) or an auction-style format where buyers can bid up to a cut-off date before someone wins – one for the adrenaline junkies. There is an insertion fee of usually 35p per listing and eBay will also take a final value fee of 10 per cent from your sale.
USP: The rating system – see what star rating (ranging 1-5) each seller has based on previous sales.
Since its establishment in 2000, Gumtree has become one of the largest websites in the UK, selling all kinds of everyday items and even larger scale goods including vehicles and properties.
It is the perfect platform for buyers to hunt out a bargain, so upload your items for free and gain some extra cash on the side. For the more experienced sellers, pay a little extra to increase the visibility of your advertised item to potential buyers – this varies from £5.40 to £7.49, depending on which option you choose.
Join Preloved for free, then build up to a premium membership with more perks for £15 a year. Launched in 1998, this second-hand selling platform now has over 500 categories to list your items under, be it household goods, children’s toys or clothing and footwear.
With no listing or selling fees (unless you choose to opt in for more benefits), it’s the perfect place to start whilst topping up on a little pocket money and reducing excess landfill.
USP: Contact-free delivery service.
‘When you’re done, sell it on’ – Shpock is a quick and easy-to-use app set up in 2014. Free to be part of, with no selling fees, put up your used furniture, electronics or clothing and communicate with the other 12 million members.
You can opt-in for additional charges, starting from just 69p, to add more visibility to your items and gain wider promotion. Once a sale has been agreed, it is down to the seller and buyer to set up delivery logistics and payment. Another environmentally friendly way to get rid of your things.
The furniture one:
USP: Filtering by location – no need for the hassle of wrapping or postage, the buyer will come straight to your door.
Tap on the ‘Marketplace’ icon at the bottom of your Facebook app and discover items for sale in your local community. Here you can list what you have to sell, from home and garden furniture and appliances to electronics, antiques, musical instruments and even properties.
All you need to do is choose a category for your item, give a brief summary of it with a photo and price, specify collection or delivery and wait for someone to make an offer. Buyers can filter items by location, price and category (so make yours as specific as possible), then they will contact you over Messenger directly. An easy and effective way to pass on your unwanted things without the need for postage.
The tech one:
USP: Free delivery on all sales.
Since 2007, Music Magpie has made a name for itself in the second-hand selling world, becoming the UK’s number one mobile recycling service with its focus on all things tech. The difference here is you don’t deal with buyers directly – you sell your things to Music Magpie itself and then they deal with selling them through their site.
An easy and efficient way to declutter and get cash for your unwanted electronics – including phones, tablets, old DVDs and CDs. Simply key in your product info into their website, they’ll value it (based on model, age etc.) and give you a price.
Box it up and send it off for free to them and get paid the same day Music Magpie receives your items. From a buyer’s point of view, all the refurbished and second-hand tech on their site is certified and goes through a rigorous 70-point quality check before being sold. They also offer a free 12-month warranty on all items.
The local one:
USP: All users are verified by address.
The Nextdoor app is a great way to connect with your neighbourhood – exchange news, recommendations and concerns about your local area, as well as being an effective platform to list your unwanted items to sell on to fellow neighbours.
Founded in 2008, it now has over 270,000 neighbourhoods globally. Post anything from old sofas to bicycles, along with descriptions and photos, choosing which neighbours can view the listing and settle on a price. If someone is interested, they can privately message you and pick up arrangements can be made. With all neighbours verified and nearby, this is a super easy (and free) friendly service, bringing a community feel and saving on any waste.
The free one:
USP: The feel-good factor – there’s a community feel and it’s totally free.
Not so fussed on making cash, but still want to recycle and rehome your things? Post it in your local group on Freecycle (there are over 5,000) and pass it on for free to one of your fellow nine million members.
This non-profit network, launched in 2003, covers all categories – from furniture to kids’ crafts and is moderated by local volunteers. Membership, listings, selling and buying – it’s all free- just make your own arrangements on how to get items to your local groups, find a lovely new home for your stuff and keep them out of landfills.