What To Do With Your Stuff. Part 3: Sell
Who doesn’t want to make a bit of extra cash? I believe the majority of households hold enough unwanted items to pay for a holiday.
And the benefits are far reaching. By selling your items, you are potentially helping someone in need, obtain a bargain. The second hand retail industry in Britain is booming. And it is raising quality of life for millions of people.
Only, it isn’t as simple or easy as it should be. You need to know how and where to sell. A benchmark for pricing. And whether it’s truly worth the hassle.
The most common mistake I see people make? Pricing their item too high.
It’s worth remembering that goods are worth what people will pay for them. And that’s not always what feels like a fair second hand price. Generally speaking it isn’t worth close to what you paid for it – nowhere near! Even if it is “brand new in box” (collectibles aside of course)
Commonly, I see people holding onto things purely because they paid a lot of money for them. They know they won’t get that back so they feel they will ‘lose’ the money if they sell for a loss. I have to remind them (in as sensitive a way as possible) that the money they spent has already gone. The last thing they should be doing is holding on to the item so that the guilt is a constant reminder. Yes, the money has been spent – but it is only a waste if they don’t learn from their mistake. Better to let it go, move on and take note for future.
Anything earned back is simply a bonus.
Those who successfully sell their clutter do not start from the place of wanting to make money. Their aim is to clear their clutter. Money making is merely a by product.
Of course, we all want to get the best return from our possessions. If you have debt to pay off, it’s certainly worth spending a little longer on ensuring the highest resale price. But remember, your time is one of your most precious commodities. Don’t get too bogged down with it all. Or with that elusive figure.
An item sold for slightly less gives a better return than any item left unsold.
Here I list my go-to avenues for easy selling:
1) Ebay – this outlet works better for lighter items due to postage costs (which the buyer pays but can still drive down your resale price) If you have anything collectable, designer or a “cult” product, you’ll do well. Search for recently ended auctions to see the value of your item and price accordingly. Also think creatively: if you have a number of similar items and you come across a professional Ebay seller who specialises in a particular area i.e. handbags, send them a message to see whether they would be interested in buying the job lot.
2) ASOS is quickly becoming the front runner for selling quality clothes. You’re likely to gain a better return here than on Ebay for such goods. The key points here are to put time into taking quality photos and follow the rules to the letter.
3) In larger towns and cities, keep an eye out for “clothes for cash” outlets and agencies. Dress agencies will hand over instant cash for quality pieces and you will be saved the cost and hassle of postage. For cheaper clothes, look for outlets that will give you cash per kg of weight. It won’t be much but it’s quick, easy and will allow you to pass on large quantities of unwanted clothes in one go.
I’m a big believer in supporting local businesses. If we want our little area of the world to thrive, we must use the resources available within it. If you’re here in Yorkshire, I can highly recommend the Pre-Loved Designer Sale which returns this October. The owner will give you cash for your clothes and accessories (from high end high street to designer) whether you have one or 50 items. And if you’re looking for a luxury item at a bargain price, there are many to be had here due to fashion houses and celebrities doing their own spot of decluttering especially for this event!
4) When it comes to a wider range of items, Gumtree used to be the answer to the question of where to sell locally, but now the rise of Facebook Groups make it so easy to reach a large pool of buyers. Any local area will have a Facebook group which you can join online by searching for you area.
Ensure you join one which has a high number of members, preferably with a geographical area very close to you. Listing your item with a photo couldn’t be easier if you have a smart phone or tablet. Crucially price your item realistically ( a good rule of thumb is to check what such items sell for on Ebay) The result is no postage costs and the buyer will pick up from your home. Local Facebook selling groups are quickly becoming a front runner for everything from clothes to electronics. There are also no fees and you gain the satisfaction of helping someone out within your local area.
5) Car Boot Sales are realistically the easiest way to sell the lower value, “random” items you declutter from your home. Car Boot Junction makes it easy to search for the closest sales to you. The environment can actually be quite exhilarating – if you’ve never experienced one, I’d recommend it for the life experience alone!. But do keep in check the amount of time you devote to them.
Ultimately, remember the golden rules of car booting: take plenty of change, keep pricing simple and try not to come home with anything (at the end of the day, donate to the seasoned car booters or drop off at a charity shop on the way home)
6) Some organisations make it so easy for you to sell your clutter, they’re practically doing it for you. Take full advantage! Vintage Cash Cow is one that I can highly recommend. They buy a range of vintage items, including jewellery, coins, watches and medals (not clothes) You will receive a postal pack containing everything you need to send in your items with zero fees. Should they not accept any item, they simply return it. Click here if you think you own items that fit the bill. Other such an avenue is Music Magpie, which is perfect for electronics, CDs, DVDs and books.
7) Don’t forget the traditional route of a card in supermarket/post office window or a newspaper ad. Many people prefer to use these methods so you could be cutting out a large section of society should you exclude them. If you have a quality piece of furniture, white goods or electronics, this may be the best way to sell these items.
8) Auction houses and antique shops are probably the best port of call for high value items and you can benefit from the advice of experts in these fields. Most will advise you for free so it’s worth setting aside some time to take decent photos, gathering information and making contact via email.
When To Give Up
Unless an item is very specialist, if there is no initial interest, it’s unlikely to sell. You may have priced your item too high or there may simply not be the demand. Consider dropping the price but if that isn’t the issue, it’s probably time to admit defeat and donate to charity.
Selling your decluttered goods can be enjoyable and fun. Afterwards, I recommend being mindful about what you do with the money. Whether it’s paying off debt, putting into savings, giving a gift, buying a quality experience or making an intentional purchase – give yourself a pat on the back that the cash isn’t still sitting in the back of a cupboard instead.
This concludes my three part blog series about “what to do with your stuff”
Thank you so much for reading!
A Tidy Mind
PS: Recently one of my clients used my service for free! How? She bought a few decluttering sessions to work on her very large wardrobe. With guidance and coaching she was able to decide what truly added value without becoming overwhelmed. I advised on how to sell her unwanted clothes and she made almost enough to cover my fee. Check out the a a tidy mind packages here.