We had an email from a reader wanting to know how best to dispose of unwanted items. She wrote, “I can sort my stuff but don’t know how to sell on line or what other resources are available. I give lots to charity”.
A lot of people do the hard work of making the decision to let things go only to have the unwanted items sitting in their hallway or spare room for months because they don’t know how best to dispose of them. Friends, neighbours and people on television shows brag about the money they earned selling their old wares. The contents of those bags and boxes might just help fund your next holiday. Plus, you paid good money for those things, they just seem too good to give away!
If you’re thinking about selling online to score “money for nothing”, you have a choice of the mass market websites such as eBay and Gumtree or the local swap and sell sites such as Facebook Marketplace. Each has its pros and cons, but all require you to commit time to the following tasks:
- Research the realistic price
- Take photographs and write a detailed description of the item
- List the product
- Respond to enquiries from potential buyers
- Facilitate the transaction and organise postage or pick-up.
Garage sales, and second-hand markets let you sell a big volume of stuff quickly, but they require organisation and shoppers expect to pick things up for a bargain.
For large items and antiques, second hand dealers and auction rooms can offer quick and efficient sales, but you need to understand what is currently in demand. Many of our clients who invested in expensive antiques in the 1980’s have been left devastated when their quality furniture has been passed over in favour of industrial chic pieces.
What you do depends on two things:
- What you’ve got and the condition it’s in.
- How much time you are willing to commit to the sales process.
So, here is Angela’s answer to our reader…
Giving lots to charity is a great thing. My personal philosophy is that the stuff is better off out of the house than sitting around waiting to be sold. The selling process can be a giant stumbling block. Many times, the hours put into making a sale does not reflect in the price achieved. Recently I helped a client with rooms full of stuffed animals to sell at handful of them at auction. She received the sum of $180, but had spent years procrastinating, and then at least 5 hours in getting them ready for auction. And there were still hundreds of toys left to deal with. She came to the decision to donate them all to a worthy charity. Within days of making that decision, she was able to use her rooms again.
If you are keen to get some cash for your unwanted goods, then make the job of selling them a priority. Otherwise, that stuff that you think is “money for nothing” will continue to be clutter!