The cost of living is through the roof, and wages can’t keep up. With mortgage and rental rates reaching record highs this fall across Toronto, more and more people are trying to find other ways to supplement their incomes — whether that’s through the gig economy, part-time jobs, side hustles, or, as we’ll discuss here, selling things we no longer need in the second-hand economy.
However, making top dollar on pre-owned goods means finding the right buyer, especially if you’ve got an item with a naturally high resale value.
Where Should You Begin?
First, you’ve probably posted your second-hand goods on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, and VarageSale, right? These are four of the most common places to sell new and gently used items to a local buyer here in Toronto (or the Greater Toronto Area) or someone across the province or country.
Explore your options on these popular venues, but remember to narrow down on a niche- or product-specific site as you go — otherwise, you may be spinning your wheels.
Selling Gold and Silver Jewellery
We’re living through uncertain times: climbing interest rates, an underperforming dollar, and other forms of instability (such as pandemics and wars) can mean precious metals skyrocket in price. If you’ve got authentic gold and silver jewellery, you could be sitting on hundreds or even thousands in extra cash.
Skip the pawn shops, classified ads, and the more generic online marketplaces for your jewellery — it definitely pays to deal with expert staff who know precisely what they’re looking for. Finding the best Toronto silver buyers means getting in touch with professionals who advertise their prices, are transparent about their processes, and will give you a completely free evaluation to establish what you have. Look for brick-and-mortar locations with positive customer reviews, years in the business, and expert networks at their fingertips.
Cameras, wearable tech, laptops, smartphones, tablets, headphones, graphic cards, video games — the list goes on. If you’ve got electronics in excellent working order, you can always earn extra money.
But check out online marketplaces specializing in electronics to cut the hassles and find a buyer in the Toronto area who’s looking for your exact sale item. These sites include:
- Gazelle (this is excellent for used smartphones and tablets);
- Swappa (use this for phones, laptops, computers — you name it);
- Decluttr (this site has tons of excellent customer reviews and even video endorsements); and
- BuyBackWorld (here’s another massive site that helps sellers find homes for all kinds of refurbished tech).
Most special platforms offer clear instructions for posting, describing, and shipping your goods. The majority come with anti-fraud guarantees, price protection, and other perks, like the option to sell in bulk.
If you don’t want to post your electronic gear online, you can also engage with brands and sellers of electronics instead. Search for buy-back and trade-in programs from manufacturers and retail outlets, especially if you’re comfortable receiving store credit instead of cash.
Selling Clothes, Shoes, and Handbags
Super-slick threads, high-end and luxury brands, and the right retro looks can fetch amazing prices in the second-hand economy, just so long as your garments are authentic, clean, and in good condition. Beyond eBay, Kjiji, or Facebook, try a site like thredUP in particular — they describe themselves as “an online thrift store for your closet, your wallet, and the planet.”
Buyers will naturally like to touch and try on clothing and shoes, so make sure you head to resell shops in your local community, such as vintage depots and consignment spots, for that tactile, analog connection. In particular, head to Plato’s Closet, which pays cash “for gently used items that are in current style and in great condition.” Or check out Extoggery, which can help you sell your used clothing on consignment.
Here are two more tips for selling clothes and making a decent profit while you’re at it. First, try to time your arrival with seasonal changes (for example, bring in your sweaters and coats as the weather turns cold, and save the Hawaiian shirts for spring). Second, try to capitalize on trends (for example, secretary skirts, blazers and topcoats are all hot commodities this fall for women).
Online marketplaces will help you turn unwanted consumer products into fast cash. But doing so quickly, reliably, and for a fair return usually means narrowing your search and using a product-specific platform popular in Toronto — or, in the case of gold and silver jewellery, finding a brick-and-mortar specialist buyer who can guide you at every step of the way.