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Having an early spring clean? Use your Apple device to make cash from your stash

As we head into the new year, it’s common to take stock of what you own. Often, there’s too much stuff – but some of it has value.

This feature looks at using your iPhone to make money from things you no longer need and that would otherwise gather dust.

Get the right price

Not everything is worth selling. If something is worth little, you’ll waste time and money going to the effort of selling and shipping it. After fees, you might even lose money. Give such items away.

Check what you might sell against online prices, but be wary of chancers. Out of print books will command ludicrous prices on Amazon, but they are not realistic. Instead, search for items on eBay and filter by completed auctions to see what things actually sell for.

Find all the pieces

The more complete something is, the greater the potential for a higher sale price. Incomplete kit will sell, but the value increases if you include all parts, instructions and packaging.

For example, an old iPad has value as-is, but is worth more in the original box, or at least with a charging cable and plug. If you’re unsure what a product once included when complete, use Safari to search for it online.

Snap your stash

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to shoot photos of what you have for sale – but do make an effort to ensure your items look tempting.

Shoot on plain backgrounds, without clutter and in good light. If relevant, shoot from multiple angles – for example, showing the ports on an amp or computer. If an item is damaged, be honest and take a photo of that part, so a buyer doesn’t have a nasty surprise. Use Snapseed to crop and tune your pics.

Research shipping costs

A blunder people make when selling online is forgetting about shipping costs. If offering free shipping, that will eat into profits. Even if not, charge an appropriate amount.

Use scales to weigh your items – and account for packaging. Use postal/courier service apps and/or Safari to research postage costs prior to listing items. If you’re organized, use a Numbers spreadsheet to store shipping costs for various weights so you can quickly refer to them.

Start listing your items

With each item, figure out the best place to sell. A good default is eBay, which makes it a cinch to upload items using your iPhone and offers flexibility regarding auction types and selling terms. Alternatives for local sales include Facebook (depicted), Craigslist and VarageSale.

Research fees for any platform you use, and do not start any auction-based sale at a figure below what you want to sell for. Remember you can usually list for free multiple times, and so start high and reduce sale prices later if you need to.

Ship with care

Package items in a manner that will ensure they’ll arrive in the condition you’d want to receive something yourself. Get proof of postage – and insure high-value items. Most sales platforms side with a buyer when it comes to damage and loss. Be on time when shipping.

Also consider risk versus income for expensive items prone to scams. Apple won’t give you as much as you’d get on eBay for a fairly recent iPhone, say, but the transaction is as safe and trustworthy as it’s possible to be.

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