Regardless of how much stuff we have, we can all benefit from decluttering our lives and homes. According to Psychology Today and Web MD, people tend to feel like life is out of control when they surround themselves with more things than they can manage. The mess causes stress. If you’re not taking care of the clutter in your home, you may not be taking care of yourself either.
The things or objects we have in our life can bring joy or help in living a happy life. By getting into the energy flow of releasing the items that you no longer need or use may free you up to attract those items which may better serve you. Plus, you even earn extra cash in the process.
Below are several ways to help you in your purging journey.
Pricing Your Items
Before trying to sell your items you will want to do a bit of research to see what the price of an available similar item – both new and used prices. We have listed shopping sites to compare prices below.
The condition of the item matters. A general rule is that well maintained used items will typically sell for 25% to 50% of its original value. Antiques and collectibles will vary in pricing based on timing (seasons) and market interest.
Yard sales are cash in hand immediately, if you have many items to purge and want to sell quickly, a yard sale is a good option. However, it takes a bit of preparation. Some cities require that you have a permit to run a garage sale. Check with a clerk at your city or town hall to find out if you need one.
You will want to pick a date – Saturday mornings are most popular. Friday and Sunday are viable options too. Weather can be a big factor on a successful yard sale. If possible, select a date when the weather is moderate.
Make sure you have plenty of ones and fives in order to provide change. Be sure to keep any extra money in the house during the garage sale. You don’t want too much of cash outside.
There are many local sites you can advertise your yard sale such as your local paper, Craigslist, NextDoor, and Facebook Marketplace. Post the listing a few days prior to the sale to get optimal exposure. At a minimum you will want to create or buy signs to put along the street and at nearby intersections.
Selling Individual Items Online
Here are a few of the major online auction and sales sites. Some sites charge fees and others are free.
EBay lets you auction and sell a wide range of goods. You will most likely be shipping the item, and that may reduce your profits. We have found that smaller or lighter items work best on this site, especially collectables.
For most items, you pay eBay 10% of the final sale price of the item. This includes shipping costs but not taxes.
You can also upgrade and promote your eBay listing in various ways for extra fees. We recommend to stick with the no fee listing to keep cost down. Be sure to include quality pictures of the item, including any manufacture labels for authenticity.
We use “Buy It Now”, which is a fixed price, and add a “Best Offer” options. The “Buy It Now” is the highest price that you have valued the item. For the Best Offer, include an “Automatically decline offers lower than” the price that you would be willing to sell the item. This will help minimize people trying to low ball you and you can counter offer when someone you now know has an interest in the item.
Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, Letgo, and Craigslist
These websites and apps don’t take a cut of your sales. Yet you are responsible for connecting with your buyer, meeting up in person and making the exchange. It’s definitely a different style than the online auctions and sales. If you’re not comfortable handling all the logistics yourself and then meeting up with a stranger, you should probably stick to online only.
These sites are excellent for selling larger, heavier items (such as furniture) locally so there isn’t the expense of trying to ship them.
Depending on what you’re selling, you can arrange to meet your buyer in a public place (local police station, library, post office or grocery store are good places for such sales) or have a friend hang around while you make the sale.
Simplicity is the key here: no packing, shipping or fees. But unlike many online-only sales sites, these marketplaces don’t have any guarantees or protections if your buyer turns out to be a flake.
Be sure to agree to a price before arranging pickup. If during pickup they try to renegotiate (assuming nothing has changed), stick to your original price and walk away if necessary. Most people will stick with the price they originally agreed since they made the effort to meet you.
From recent experience, Facebook Marketplace and NextDoor have had excellent results. Craigslist is one of the oldest sites and has a good following. Letgo is an up and coming app with an easy interface.
Dealing With Items That Don’t Sell
It is likely you will have items that did not sell. With less effort you can just put it all on the curb with a free sign. Another option is taking the leftover items to a local charity that has a thrift store. Search for non-profit thrift stores in your area.
Make an itemized list of everything you have with its original value. Once you drop it at a donation center, ask for a receipt. File this away to use for a tax deduction for charitable donations on your income taxes.