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Analysis / Ecommerce

How Students Can Make Money By Selling Unwanted Items

Students Selling

Going to university is more expensive today than at any other time. The cost of tuition fees for each academic year is typically around the £9,000 mark in England. For a 3-year undergraduate degree, leaving with a debt of over £27,000 for fees alone is a huge amount to pay off. Factoring in maintenance loans to cover the cost of living sees that debt soar further.

According to the IFS, student debt levels in the UK are rising to over £50,000 after graduation. With that in mind, students are having to make the most of what money they do have and earn a little to pay for essentials on campus. Getting a part-time job is one way of covering costs, but what if that isn’t enough?

An alternative way of raising funds to pay for food, textbooks, stationery, gadgets and the like is to sell unwanted items. Cash-strapped students who need a few quid to pay for whatever bill is due can make this work. All it takes is knowing what to sell, where to sell and who to sell it to.

What To Sell?

Thinking about what to sell is the first step. If you’re a student who has a lot of old textbooks that won’t be needed for the rest of your course, consider getting rid of them. There may be students in the years below who might find your old textbooks better value than a brand new copy from a bookshop. A 2016 study found that students spend over £600 on new textbooks.

When selling textbooks, it’s best to do so as quickly as possible. In subjects such as law and technology, much of what’s inside can become outdated in just a few years, so act rapidly. The same principle applies to gadgets such as old smartphones and laptops. Other items you could sell include clothes, crockery and soft furnishings.

Preparing For Sale

The next step is preparing your unwanted items for a new buyer. Make sure that whatever you sell is in good condition. Try not to doodle in your textbooks, clean your clothes and, if you have an old smartphone you don’t want, restore it to factory settings.

If you have a buyer, you need to package it safely and securely and prepare it for delivery. After getting the buyer’s address, choose someone who provides a parcel delivery service. The product you are selling must be in packaging that keeps it safe in transit. If you must, buy some bubble wrap and either some polystyrene or shredded paper to keep fragile items from breaking.

The Big Sell

Actually selling your product is the most difficult part of the process. Fortunately, there are a lot of places to sell. You could choose an online shopping platform like Gumtree or eBay, or advertise in a local paper. Another way of selling could be to put posters up around the Halls of Residence or Student Union building.

Try advertising on different channels to boost your chances of making money. Write an accurate product description to let buyers know about what they are getting. Before selling, look at how much similar products are sold for, then set a realistic price. If no one is interested, lower the asking price a little.

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Zak Goldberg is a Law and Business Graduate from the University of Leeds, currently plying his trade writing freelance articles to gain exposure.