Selling local is a relatively new and fairly legitimate way to make a little money on the side. For me, there are two huge positives to the process.
The Benefits of Using Local Selling Apps (a.k.a. The Pluses)
First off, there are two ways to pay when you sell locally. Cash or trade. I like both options. When it comes to cash, who doesn’t like cash? It’s the easiest way to get paid and one of the most reliable.
As for a trade, if I can swing it, awesome. If I need a bike for my six-year-old, I may be able to swap it for my old coffee maker. Then I’m getting rid of something I don’t want and getting something I need. Double bonus!
The other thing I like about the apps is I don’t have to worry about packing or shipping. Shipping something that weighs 10 pounds is expensive, handing it off to someone doesn’t cost a dime.
The instant gratification of selling something off is great. I cleared something out of my house and I also made some cash. Two birds, meet one stone.
However, there are drawbacks to these apps.
The Downsides of Using Local Selling Apps (a.k.a. The Minuses)
The biggest problem for me is other people. These apps simply act as a way to connect with people who want your item. Meeting with a person and selling your item is up to you.
I’ve talked to people who say they will pick up an item and then never show up. I’ve had people ask me to give them a cheaper price and then ask me to deliver them too! For every 10 nice people, you run into one or two jerks. Trouble is, you can’t screen for jerks.
The other problem I’ve run into is arranging a time to meet with someone. You’re trying to mesh two schedules together and it can be a pain. If you’re a parent, I’m positive you know what I’m talking about.
There are a lot of other little concerns, but for me the last issue is safety. There are nefarious people out there and while I have yet to run into one, I am aware that each meeting can be dangerous. I take precautions and only meet in public places and during daylight. Sometimes I’ll even take my husband with me on an exchange.
Which App or Website is Best for Local Sales?
Basically, the pros and cons apply to all the apps and websites I tried out. In terms of app offerings, there’s very little to distinguish LetGo from OfferUp from 5Miles from Craigslist.
Let me note that this is all based on my personal experience and if you’ve had a different experience, I’d love to hear it below in the comments.
So here they are, local selling apps ranked from best to worst in my opinion.
This app tops my list for three reasons.
One, it’s easy to post. I snap a few photos, put in a few details about the item and set a price. It’s four easy steps.
Two, the quantity and quality of users in my area. I tend to get more serious buyers here than the other apps. They’re also more reliable. No use wasting my time.
Three, communication. Its messaging system makes it easy to communicate with potential buyers. It’s like text messaging through the app.
This one was tight, but I ranked Craigslist second over LetGo because of the seriousness of the buyers.
Of all of the options, Craigslist has the most serious buyers which is big for me because I hate people who waste my time. I have two kids and a busy schedule, I don’t need to mess around with some semi-serious buyer. I like Craigslist because when someone emails you, they’re usually serious about buying.
As for posting, it’s much more difficult. There is no Craigslist app to list items for sale, which means you have to do it through the website. That means sitting at a computer or staring at the small screen of your cellphone.
When it comes to communication, it’s tough because it happens through email or you have to be willing to give out your cellphone number. There’s a lot less anonymity than with other selling options.
Of all the apps I’ve found the people on LetGo are the worst. They’re rude and demanding and have the attention span of gnats. This is also true of the people on OfferUp, but I feel like it’s worse on LetGo.
I had a guy contact me, get my address, promise to come by and never show up. I actually messaged him and asked him if he was still coming and he said yes. He still never showed!
Posting on LetGo is meant to be easy, but its simplicity is what makes it difficult. I like to add more than just a photo and a price, but initially listing on LetGo, that’s all you can do. You have to navigate into the listing and edit it in order to include all the information you need. It’s simplicity actually means more work for me in the end.
Communication on LetGo is much like communication on OfferUp. There’s an in-app message system that allows you to communicate instead of sharing personal information like email address and cell phone number.
I tried to sell on 5Miles a few times, but there’s just not enough traffic to help. I never received responses to my posts, which means I never sold anything or even communicated with anyone. So I can’t evaluate communications.
Posting isn’t too bad. It’s a little easier than LetGo, comparable to OfferUp. Like the other two apps, it’s a simple take a few photos, add a description, set a price. I didn’t have any problems.
The Bottom Line
All four selling methods are definitely something you can use to clean house and make some cash on the side. You can do it with kids just as easily without, which is a big plus in its favor.
I took amount of time spent into account in ranking all of these methods. As a mom, there’s no greater commodity than time.
(Note: If you have an app you want me to review and possibly add to the list, drop me a comment below.)