A bit in the hand is worth two in the bush. The price of bitcoin is volatile, so selling bitcoin can be an important part of consolidating your investment.
You could potentially buy low and sell high to enjoy higher returns compared with just holding. If you’re not sure that the price of bitcoin will keep increasing indefinitely, it can be well worth cashing out part of your investment to make sure you get your money’s worth.
This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
Where and how to sell bitcoin in the United States
Selling bitcoin is generally just as easy as buying. You just need to consider how to get the best price and what kind of trade you want.
All of the following options let you sell bitcoin in different ways and at different prices.
The option that gives you the best price will vary depending on who’s buying there at the time plus what price you ask for and whether someone accepts it.
As a general rule of thumb your three choices are:
Selling to a broker.A quick, convenient, safe and reliable way to turn your bitcoin into fiat currency. The downside is that you’ll generally often be selling below market rates, and you can probably get a significantly better price elsewhere.
Selling on an exchange.Set your own prices and see if anyone wants to buy from your listing. Platform features like limit orders can offer you more reliable returns, and exchanges are often the best way to directly trade bitcoin for other cryptocurrencies.
Selling peer-to-peer.The best possible prices might come from selling peer-to-peer. This is because you can offer buyers some additional benefits such as more convenience, the ability to pay with cash or PayPal and anything else you can think of.
What to consider when selling
There are three main factors to consider when selling your bitcoin. Reviewing these will help you find the right place to do business and rule out the options that don’t work for you.
What kind of currency you want.If you want to sell bitcoin for other cryptocurrencies like ETH, you probably want to go to an exchange that supports both and trade them directly. If you’re after US dollars or any other type of fiat currency, you’ll have to consider the payment method.
What payment method you’ll accept.You might be able to get paid directly when selling peer-to-peer or using some brokers, but exchanges will typically see the money deposited to your account on the platform first. From there, it will need to be withdrawn. Here you should consider the withdrawal options offered by different platforms and any currency exchange or transfer fees that may be incurred.
How fast you want to sell.Do you want to sell as quickly as possible, or are you willing to take your time? This can affect the kind of sale price you set.
How to set your prices
You should look at current bitcoin prices to get a sense of how much you should ask. You can use those as a general baseline.
However, it’s important to know that prices can vary between exchanges. Each exchange will have its own current market price, based on the price at which bitcoinarecurrently being bought and sold on that particular exchange.
The current market rate, such as the one shown below, is based on the average prices currently being found across many different major exchanges. This means some exchanges tend to have people buying at higher prices than others.
It can also vary by country. In places where bitcoin is less widely available, bitcoin is often traded at above-market rates.
You should use the average market rates as a guide only and set your prices based on the rates used at whichever exchange you’re trading on.
Historical Rate chart of BTC and USD
Updated: 18 Feb 2018 06:56:23 UTC
Selling to a broker.For exampleCoinbase. You cannot choose prices.Instead,the brokers list the rate at which they are currently buying.
Selling on an exchange.For exampleBitfinex. Each exchange has its own prices at which bitcoin is currently being bought and sold. These rates vary between exchanges. You’ll need to have something in a similar price range for that exchange.
Selling peer-to-peer.For exampleLocalBitcoins. Look at the current sell offers and list something similar, depending on what else you’re bringing to the table, such as being in a convenient location or accepting cash payments.
Selling strategies: How to get the best price for bitcoin
Set lower prices to sell faster and easier or higher prices to get more money. Remember, you’re competing with the other sellers on that platform and will need to make a compelling offer.
The available selling strategies depend on what kind of platform you’re selling on, and the fees and costs that may be involved.
Often you’ll be able to get the best prices selling peer-to-peer, but this isn’t always an option. There might be no buyers around, it might be too much hassle or you might want to sell more bitcoin than anyone wants to buy.
Exchanges can be a reliable way to sell or trade almost any amount of bitcoin at a reasonable price for almost any kind of fiat or cryptocurrency.
Broker selling strategies
There are no real strategies other than comparing the prices and benefits being offered by different brokers.
Selling to brokers can be convenient, but will typically net you below-market rates.
Peer-to-peer selling strategies
Using the other listings and current market rates as a baseline, set your prices in line with other benefits you can offer.
You may be able to charge premium prices for accepting cash, being convenient or being the only seller in your local area.
It’s important to note that peer-to-peer trading sites often give their users a reputation score to highlight those who have made more goodtradesand to weed out the scammers.
This is an important metric, so you can generally expect more options as your reputation on a site increases.
Exchange selling strategies
The ideal strategy depends on the exchange. Different exchanges might let you place different types of sell orders.
You might have the option to:
Place a sell order at your own price.Set a price and put your bitcoin on the market for sale at that price. If it’s competitive, you can often sell fast, but if it’s too high, then it might not sell at all.
Place a sell order at currenttickerprices.The ticker prices show the market value of bitcoin on that particular exchange. You’ll often be able to sell instantly at currenttickerprices.
Place a limit order.Choose a specific price, and when the market reaches that price, your order can be automatically executed.
Selling fees and costs to watch for
In allcases, you should also consider how fees impact your bottom line.
Naturally, lower fees are better, but in manycasesit’s going to be worth accepting higher fees in exchange for lower costs elsewhere or other benefits.
You’ll need to add them up to see how much money you’ll actually end up with once the transaction’s concluded.
Commissions.These are usually a small percent of the trade value. The exact commission fee can vary widely depending on the situation.
Money exchange costs.If you want to get paid in US dollars, it’s ideal to find a buyer who wants to pay in US dollars. This lets you avoid losing profits to money exchange costs.
Transfer/withdrawal fees.Transfer and withdrawal fees are the cost of moving currency between accounts. They can vary widely depending on the currencies being transferred and the method of transfer.
Small commission fees are usually charged on peer-to-peer platforms and exchanges, while exchange fees will be incurred whenever you need to convert currencies. Transfer or withdrawal fees might be incurred whenever you need to move funds.
Common transfer methods and their fees
Choosing the right transfer method can save you a lot of money, although the options available will vary depending on where you sell.
Cash and vouchers.No transfer fees, but only an option if selling peer-to-peer.
Cryptocurrency wallet transfer.Transferring cryptocurrencies between wallets. Typically only nominal transfer fees.
Local bank transfer.A transfer of US dollars to your bank account. Typically very low or no fees.
International bank transfer.Wire and SWIFT international bank transfers can move funds between currencies and bank accountsworldwide,but can involve high fees of $20 to $30 plus currency exchange costs on top of that.
Consider how the fees are charged and plan accordingly.
Frequently asked questions
To get cash for your bitcoin, you can trade peer-to-peer. You might also be able to get cash for bitcoin at a bitcoin ATM.
Because the usual market rates of bitcoin can vary between countries, you might be able to sell at higher prices to buyers from specific countries.
If an exchange is only usable in a certain country, then you might be able to find buyers from that country on that exchange. However, they’re also browsing overseas listings, so it might not be the moneymaker you imagine.
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