Second-Hand Market in Dubai: 5 Top Tips to turn your cast offs into CASH

Time to clear out those things you NEVER use and exchange them for CASH!

Monica Kapila

Published: Updated:

Time to clear out those things you NEVER use and exchange them for CASH. “One man’s old is another man’s gold.”

The second-hand Dubai community is growing as we speak and its population craves consumption in all shapes and sizes, you can buy and sell plants, board games, shoes, lamps, and books; the list goes on.

How would you get rid of household items you no longer needed but didn’t want to throw away or donate? Sell them on Facebook in the group ‘Second Hand Dubai’ could be the answer.

Maybe you’ve thought about a garage sale, taking a table on a community market day, or advertising on the now well-known Dubizzle. But what if you wanted to shift something quickly so you could buy some new pots for your garden, have a cleaner looking study or make space for things other than baby toys and equipment? You want to do it quickly and effectively.

I recommend dipping your toe into the Second Hand Dubai market place on Facebook. I’ve tried this strategy recently and it works surprisingly well! I’ve sold a large potted plant and pot, some table lamps, books and an armchair, all via the Second Hand Dubai Facebook market place. You do need to have a Facebook account to take advantage of this growing trend.

I understand Facebook accounts are not for everyone so the tips below are general, but hopefully helpful when you have some second-hand items you want to sell to people who live near you.

Tip 1

Choose Online or Offline
Online options include Dubizzle Dubai which you will need to register with using an email and password; for a first time visit you will need your mobile phone with you. This is the link on how to place an advert.
‘Social Commerce’ has been the latest buzzword in the last few months with Facebook announcing its ‘Buy’ button in July and Twitter following suit just this week. If you have a Facebook fan page then searching for the growing list of Facebook sites/groups inviting you to sell your unwanted items may give you a quick result. Some Facebook groups are private/closed which means you have to ask to join while others are open.

Decide carefully which groups to join; look at the number of likes, the location, how quickly second-hand items are sold and the comments section to assess the feedback. You don’t need to have a Pay Pal account if you keep to local groups as you can ask cash on delivery. Also think about the time that you post your item for sale; ideally when you are free to respond and when others are awake.

Offline opportunities to sell your second-hand items include notices on local supermarket boards which usually cost you money. But think about notice boards at your kid’s school or your local community hub.
Many Dubai communities have Market days that are generally well promoted that involve you paying a nominal amount for a table/stall. This link leads you to the ‘Where & When’ page in the Dubai Flea Market site The downside of course is you have to lug all your things there and possibly back home again. There is nothing stopping you from having a garage sale at home although promotion may be your challenge.

Tip 2

Follow the rules
The rules about what and how to post items online are usually in a “pinned post” at the top of any online Facebook site. Too often people don’t read them and so delay or jeopardize their sale. Site admin people do make the effort to carefully set these rules for the benefit of all users, so take a minute to read them and then FOLLOW THEM!

Tip 3

Set a realistic price
You may have paid a huge amount of money for your item barely a month ago and it may have been hardly used, yet it is still ‘Second-Hand’. Be realistic about the price you want to achieve if you really want to make that sale. Something I read a while ago, that has stayed with me, is that I was to buy nothing second-hand that was more than a third its original price. I now shop with that in mind. Maybe that reasoning applies to selling items too.

A good starting point as reference is any on-line auction/second-hand website, browse through listings to see similar items advertised. Also note any comments or feedback on the site, a keen interest in an item may be clear. Watching how quickly similar items are sold may also give you a clue to your items value. Price according to what you read.

Tip 4

Take appealing pictures
Set the stage to make your item appealing, be mindful of your surroundings. A wrinkle free light colored cloth provides a less distracting backdrop. Make sure you take pictures in a good light, ideally natural light, near a window or a white wall reflecting the light. Shoot outside in the early morning or late afternoon for making something look really reflective of its true state. Be conscious that good digital pictures show every spot of grime so although this may seem obvious, “give the item a good clean.”

Take plenty of pictures with your clothes on! Watch out for reflections of yourself appearing in the picture. Take up close for relevant details, a label (a child safety label perhaps), model number or a special feature as well as any defects. Then zoom out for a complete picture from different angles. It may also be helpful to add a coin to the stage to show relative size on small items.

You can often group similar items such as children’s toys and books into a collage presentation so you have one picture. This is not the time to use special effects in a photo editing program, although Photoshop can help in cleaning up a photo if you had to use artificial light when taking the picture.

Remember a picture speaks a thousand words and was never more true than when trying to sell something second-hand. Do describe any major flaws that cannot be seen easily.

Tip 5

Set aside chunks of time
If you have a few items to sell split the relevant tasks related to advertising your stash up into bite sized pieces.

Collect all the items you want to sell into one area and make sure they are clean and in working order.

Think about whether a charity or a friend would benefit from you gifting the item to them. Then be certain you or a member of the family is not going to miss the item!

Consider putting the items into groups that suggest they could be sold together or photographed together.

Prepare an area to set the stage for the photo session; a table and a freshly pressed cloth outside or by a window
Book the greatest amount of uninterrupted time to concentrate on quality photo taking.

Upload your photos to your computer.

Prepare your description
Gather all your information and prepare your advertisement for online exposure or for your local notice board.

If you’re like me you end up fitting things in and multi tasking a bit too much, so do your self a favour and set aside some time to focus on what you need to do and get it done in multiple sessions. You’ll get it done faster!


Flea Markets in Dubai
Dubai Baby Bazaar

Facebook Groups

Remember you can post items you own for sale on Facebook groups, but you may have to join the group first. Which ever community you live in there is sure to be a Facebook group to support you.

Buy It Sell It Swap it
Preloved Dubai
Dubai Second hand clothing

Arabian Ranches Souq Market and a variety of other community market places.

Finally, do let people know when your items are sold if you want to build a good reputation. If you really need some space fast then you could always try Take My Junk UAE Check the volume on your computer before clicking this link, you may want to switch it off. Although informative the commercial is on a sound loop so you can end up listening to it several times. They also offer to quote you a price for your junk.

This article was originally published on DoinDubai.com.