Few people are fortunate enough to stumble upon unclaimed property. Most buy property for themselves and/or inherit property from elsewhere. Inherited property usually comes from parental figures, but other benefactors might include spouses, elders, siblings, or other extended relatives. Many people assume that inheriting property and other valuable possessions would be nothing but a boon. That isn’t always the case, though. Complexities could be lingering behind the scenes.
Virginia Wallace at The Guardian responded to a sibling worried about the power wielded by one of her brothers when it came to the house they inherited from their mother. Family quarrels do happen when a house is left to more than one person, but not always. The core takeaway is simply that you should never assume how things will unfold, especially when it relates to valuable assets.
People also inherit unwanted property. That could be because the possessions inherited are relatively worthless or because the heirs want to avoid spending the time and effort to relinquish them. Fortunately, ridding yourself of unwanted belongings, inherited or otherwise, has become easier. Thank the internet for that. Visiting the public dump and hosting yard sales were once two of the easiest methods of giving up things. Anyone with personal experience knows neither is especially appealing, and only the latter could net you a quick buck. You might try visiting a pawn shop because it requires minimal effort. Pawn shops can sometimes prove lucrative, but the outcome depends on the items being pawned.
The widespread advent of e-commerce changed the game for almost everyone. Years ago, staff writers at The Economist shared their thoughts about how e-commerce would shape the future of consumer behavior. Empowerment was one key aspect. The authors explicitly discuss how advanced research lets people make more informed buying decisions. Those same implications can be applied to online selling, too. Retail sales were once reserved almost exclusively for traditional businesses. Now anyone with an internet connection could promote and sell items with relative ease.
Anyone undecided about what to do with unwanted property should contemplate their options. Devon Delfino at NerdWallet published an informative piece explaining how to sell stuff online. She highlights several important considerations but the most critical is likely her second pointer — choosing the right venues. She suggests relying on existing platforms rather than building your own website (but sometimes both are necessary). Of course, the items you want to sell can often influence your options. The trick is finding the best fit.
Smaller possessions like kitchenware, clothing or jewelry can probably be sold using recognizable platforms such as eBay, Etsy, etc. Larger assets such as automobiles might instead be sold with something like the Auto Auction Mall. Using those channels or something similar prevents you from having to put together a business infrastructure from scratch. Most of the background work is done for you.
While selling things online is easy, the practice has its risks. Anyone considering the endeavor has to appreciate the pitfalls, too. Adam Dachis at Lifehacker put the risks into context. He offers some pragmatic advice on how to avoid being scammed online. His recommendations are intuitive enough to remember (get to know the buyer/seller, avoid counterfeit money, etc.). As with all behavior online, it’s better to be safe than sorry.