You know when you have a bunch of stuff laying around the house “just incase” you ever need it? Chances are you haven’t used it in years, and it’s simply taking up space in your life rather than space in your wallet. This last October, when Daniel and I sold all of our stuff to travel the world, we realized just how much crap we kept for no real reason. We had to ask ourselves “Do you really need this?” Using the tips below allowed us to pay off $70,000 of debt and save thousands of dollars for our trip that’s in less than three months! You probably won’t be doing something as drastic, but it never hurts to free up some space. Keep what you love and use, while making money at the same time. Ready to learn how to sell your stuff?
Here’s what we learned in our sale:
Take some seriously great pictures
When you’re on the buying side, think about the aspects of a listing that make you want to click it. Usually, we will all choose the product that is either most relevant to what we’re searching, or the item with the nicest picture. You don’t need a professional camera to capture the right photo, just position your item clearly, and make sure you have good lighting!
Sell what’s in the current season
If you’re not in a hurry to sell an item, and would rather have a greater return, wait until the appropriate season to sell. For example: Selling an old sweater right before summer probably isn’t going to do as well as selling a swimsuit. People want what they need in the moment.
Apps like Poshmark and Mercari, give sellers the opportunity to post their items in an online boutique, broadening their selling horizon to people far beyond city limits. These apps do take a small commission for facilitating the transaction, but offer a very user-friendly interface. OfferUp is an app that is useful for facilitating local transactions and takes no commission. It’s my favorite, and most used among the three.
Use Social Media
Posting your items on social spaces such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will allow your item to reach a greater spectrum of people. Facebook also usually has local group pages where you can post your items for free, as well as purchase/trade locally. This method is what allowed us to sell ALL of the furniture in our 1,200 sq ft apartment in one day!
That old CD Player you’ve had for 10 years is not going to sell if you put a $20 price tag on it. For older items, you’re looking at about a 10-25% return on your items, and for newer ones anywhere from 45%-50%. Selling personal things is difficult because as humans we attach sentimental value to our items that outsiders will not see. You have to decide whether selling that item is worth it to you.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
I know that selling your unwanted stuff isn’t a business for you, but especially with apps like OfferUp and Poshmark where your buyers can leave you seller ratings, you want to ensure every interaction ends positively so they can give you a good rating. I’ve had people over time just follow my listings because they want to buy specifically from me.
Use Your Friends
Your friends can be used in two ways: as the people who spread by word of mouth, or “sharing on Facebook”, and as buyers themselves! You don’t know what your friends might be looking for, and you could have the perfect item. You’re welcome for the couches, Kendall! ;P
Host a Community Garage Sale
You will get a larger crowd at your yard sale if you make it bigger by making it a community event. With the added variety and traffic, people will be coming from all over town to check out your things, as well as those of your neighbors.
Sell to a consignment shop
This is probably the fastest of all of the tips provided on here, but it’s also the path of least return. Consignment shops will usually offer you the bare minimum price so they can reap higher returns. However, if what you need is immediate space or cash, this is going to be your best option.
Sell to an online thrift store
Websites like Swap.com, thredUP, and The Attic all offer the ability to ship your gently used clothes to them, and in return they will offer you a undetermined sum of cash based on the appraised worth of your stuff. Much like my brick and mortar suggestion above, if you need cash quickly, or don’t want to go through the hassle of selling this is a good option. However, if what you’re looking at is making a solid profit to renovate a room, I wouldn’t go this route.
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