alternative non renewable income selling your stuff

September 10th, 2007

Alternative Non-Renewable Income: Selling Your Stuff

Day 10 of NCN’s 33 Days series is a subject I have been talking about and putting into practice for the past several months now – selling your stuff. This is a subject very near and dear to my heart. There are several benefits to putting this tip into practice:

  • Most of us have way too much stuff.
  • Most of us could use some more money.
  • One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Something that has next to no retail value and we don’t want or need might be very valuable to someone else because they have a want or need for it.

I have sold things through a few different sources, and the most useful tips I have picked up are:

  • Identify your target market. I run all my textbooks through online buyback sources (like the Bookbuyer link on my sidebar) because I’m not going to be selling a textbook at a yard sale for much of anything. Anything heavy and bulky is better off on Craigslist than EBay, usually. A specialty item (like my son’s XW Stride Rite shoes) are better off on Ebay than Craigslist so it reaches more potential customers. Look for a consignment sale you might be able to sell outgrown clothes in.
  • Be willing to haggle if appropriate. Especially at a yard sale, people love to feel like they are making you give them an even better bargain than they are already getting. I marked all my big items for about 25% more than I expected to sell them for and then marked the ones that hadn’t sold in a few hours down a notch (with the original price clearly crossed out but still there), or took a lower offer on them (still within what I expected to sell them for). All the big items (including two air conditioners, a stroller/car seat combo, and hammock) sold at our yard sale before the end.
  • Price well. You know what you *paid* for something, but that isn’t what it is worth now. It may be hard to let go of something you paid $30 for and get $5 but that may be what you’ll get. Do research online and see what used items like yours go for before setting a minimum auction bid or a price waaaay above market value.

I’ve made several hundred dollars over the past few months selling unneeded and unused stuff we had. And I hope to make several hundred more in the next few months through a yard sale and a number of online sales. I have set a goal of $100 of alternative income a month to go directly to paying down our credit card through simplifying our lives and letting go of stuff. Yes, it is non-renewable income in that eventually we’ll run out of stuff to sell…. eventually. Like a lot of people, we have a *lot* of stuff. Hopefully by then we are long out of debt.

~J

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6 Responses to “Alternative Non-Renewable Income: Selling Your Stuff”

  1. I really enjoyed this post. I also have way too much stuff! I sell my stuff to make a little extra income (my emergency fund could use some help), but mainly to rid myself of the excessive posessions (who really needs 4 unopened bottles of the same perfume?).

  2. Yes! Yes to declutter! yes to selling multiples (my vice is lotion). You go girl!

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