5 expert tips for selling unwanted items on Gumtree

Declutter your home and make some spare cash in the process.
Photo: Kristina Soljo /

Whether you’re moving house or you’ve just had a Marie Condo declutter and purged your home of unwanted items – selling online is a great way to make some extra cash.

Aussie comedian and design enthusiast Tim Ross has joined forces with Gumtree to share his top tips for successfully selling items on the site.

Known for his love of mid-century modernism, Tim has picked up a few eclectic and unique pieces in his time – so he knows which items are sure to catch the attention of buyers, and which items won’t.

Tim Ross at his mid-century style home with wife Michelle and sons Bugsy and Bobby.

(Credit: Photo: Michael Naumoff / Styling: Sarah Ellison /

1. Do your research

When selling an item on Gumtree, the first thing you’ll need to do is set a price. “Make sure you dedicate time to research what’s out there to help understand the average price of similar items,” says Tim.

You may have paid top dollar for your washing machine when it was brand new, but if there are several identical items already for sale at a bargain price, you can’t expect to have much luck if you list it above the average sale price. On the flip side, you don’t want to underprice an item that is currently in-demand.

Research can also help you discover the underutilised items in your house that are worth selling. Gumtree, for example, has a ‘top trending searches’ page which will let you see exactly what users are looking for.

Check listings for similar items to come up with a fair and competitive price.

(Credit: Photo: Abbie Melle /

2. Presentation is everything

If you’re selling an item that looks a bit tired and dusty, Tim recommends giving it a bit of love before you post it for sale online. “Often an old wooden table or chairs just need a good wash and a polish with any wood oil or polish you have around the house. One good trick for plastic items is to clean them with Brasso. Sounds weird, but it works a treat,” he says.

Once you’ve given the item a quick wipe down and some TLC, the next phase is to take good, clear photos. Position the item in a space that is well-lit (preferably with natural light) and hold the camera straight and steady for a shot that is in focus. Photos taken indoors can often look dark, so consider bumping up the brightness using Photoshop or your smartphone’s in-built editing software.

“We’ve all got great cameras on our phones these days, there’s no excuses,” says Tim. “The last thing you want is people constantly messaging you and asking for more pictures.”

Another way to make your item stand out from the rest is to style it beautifully. If you’re selling a dining table, consider placing a bowl of fresh fruit on it for a simple but effective way to add interest. It may seem like an unnecessary step, but a little bit of styling can help the buyer envision the piece in their own home.

Taking clear photos of the item for sale is essential, says Tim.

(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo /

3. Be patient

Sometimes selling second hand items takes time.

Be patient with the process – all you need is one buyer to come along and snap it up. If you want the item gone, consider lowering the price or throwing in free delivery (if this is within your capabilities).

Styling objects can help your listing stand out from the crowd.

(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo /

4. Provide as much description as possible

“The more descriptive the better is my rule of thumb with selling things and it will help you reach more people,” says Tim.

“For example, if you’re selling a sofa, include the designer, the style and the colour so if someone is looking for a ‘green’ sofa or a ‘3-seater’ sofa, it will come up.”

Be sure to clean all items you’re selling before they’re picked up by the buyer.

(Credit: Photo: Dave Wheeler /

4. Practice safe trading

“There has never been a more important times to practice safe trading. To ensure you are keeping yourself and those you come in contact with safe, try to clean your item before dropping them off. It’s great if you can leave an item somewhere safe for someone to pick up.

For small items use a courier service like Sendle. You just need to ask the seller to pack the item into a box for you and then email them the cover sheet to stick on the box. Then they leave it out for the courier to grab it. It’s also a great way to buy things interstate and it means the seller doesn’t have to worry about a trip to the post office.”


Take care to practice social distancing when trading items on Gumtree. Use contactless methods of payment and pickup where possible. For more tips on using Gumtree safely, check out Gumtree’s Safe Trading guidelines. Always comply with health guidelines as set out by your state’s health authority when selling used goods online.

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