Woman opening merchandise bought online and looking at credit card.

If you’re looking to sell your stuff online, you should add WTS to your vocabulary. Here’s what this acronym is and how to use it to unload your stuff.

Want to Sell

WTS stands for “want to sell.” People online use this acronym to sell items to prospective buyers through online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. It’s synonymous with other selling acronyms such as FS or “for sale.”

You can usually add WTS at the start of your post or listing title, followed by the item you’re trying to sell. For example, if you’re trying to sell your MacBook, you might type “WTS: MacBook Pro 2020 M1 512GB, EUC.” Ideally, you’ll want to place as many essential details into this title as possible, including the product name and an idea of the condition. Shortened terms like WTS and EUC help you allocate more real estate towards describing the item.

WTS might also mean “what the s***,” an alternative expletive to WTF. However, this acronym is pretty uncommon compared to WTF and is strictly for casual environments like direct messages or chat groups. WTS might also stand for “what’s the status?” You can use this definition when you want to follow up on the status of a particular project or activity. However, this acronym has largely been phased out of the internet as well.

The History of WTS

Unlike other online selling acronyms we’ve covered, WTS comes from the world of gaming. Players of Massively Multiplayer Online games, or MMOs for short, used it to trade items among themselves, letting them offload unnecessary items in exchange for in-game currency. The first entry for WTS on Urban Dictionary dates back to 2005 and reads “WTS = Want To Sell (Used largely in MMO’s).”

WTS later made its way to online marketplaces and classifieds websites like Craigslist. While its use has dipped in recent years since marketplaces have their tags for “for sale” posts, WTS is still widely used in niche forums and exchanges. These communities are typically message boards such as online forums or Reddit and frequently employ acronyms like WTS and WTB to help users navigate through listings. Some of the items sold through these sites are watches, rare comic books, and collectible cards.

Nowadays, you can sell pretty much anything on the internet, whether it’s furniture, appliances, or used tech. However, you can get more value from your products if you take care of them properly. You can do a few things to prepare your item for reselling.

RELATED: How to Prepare a Computer, Tablet, or Phone Before Selling It

Selling In-Game Items

Woman playing World of Warcraft on a desktop PC.
Daniel Krason/Shutterstock.com

Starting in MMOs, WTS was popular alongside the acronyms WTB and WTT, which stand for “want to buy” and “want to trade,” respectively. These acronyms are central to the in-game economy of many titles like Diablo, World of Warcraft, and EVE Online. While WTT and WTS are pretty similar, WTS means that you’d like to exchange one of your items for in-game currency. On the other hand, WTT implies that you’d like to trade for other items or a combination of items and money.

Early games used simple systems like peer-to-peer exchanges to facilitate trades. However, as the economy became more complex, the in-game trading systems became more robust. Players often used WTS in areas called “trading posts,” which were essentially in-game bulletin boards intended to facilitate transactions. Additionally, users could set up shops from which other players could simply approach and purchase items for a set price.

In some cases, players facilitated these WTS and WTB exchanges outside the game itself. Upon the release of the Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing; New Horizons, a virtual economy surrounding the game began to form. Fans built countless Discord servers and websites such as Nookazon to handle transactions between players, with thousands of WTS and WTB posts being created daily during the game’s peak. Instead of a direct exchange system, players would visit each other’s islands and drop currency or items.


How to Use WTS

If you’re a seller, using WTS is pretty straightforward. Simply use it at the start of your post title, followed by a product description and any additional information that fits. Here are a few examples of WTS in action:

  • “WTS: Samsung Galaxy S20, 128GB, GUC, Bought April 2020.”
  • “WTS: 2011 Toyota Camry.”
  • “WTS: Mint condition NIP Superman vs. Lex Luthor #4.”

You’ll be a pro at selling your stuff before you know it!

Profile Photo for Vann Vicente Vann Vicente
Vann Vicente has been a technology writer for four years, with a focus on explainers geared towards average consumers. He also works as a digital marketer for a regional e-commerce website. He's invested in internet culture, social media, and how people interact with the web.
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