Many of us have way too much stuff. Until we start cleaning out closets and the garage, attic or basement, we might not even realize just what we have that we’re no longer using.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been cleaning out my closets and garage to get rid of everything I possibly can. I’ve made so much money from this endeavor that I effectively get paid for cleaning out drawers, closets and other storage space.
Recently, I cleaned out a drawer and found a 20-year-old old lapel pin I received for free from a casino in Las Vegas and sold it on eBay for $9.99. One of the things I found in box of old tech odds and ends was a game controller which I sold for about $6.
In my pots and pans cupboard, I found a Perfect Pancake pan which I never use and sold it for $7. In my younger daughter’s room, I found a nice Christmas sweater that she’d outgrown and sold it for $9.99.
These are just a few of the items I’ve found lately in closets, drawers and boxes around my house and garage. Not everything sells quickly or at all. However, I try to watch out for these mistakes that tend to discourage buyers.
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Few or Poor Photos
EBay lets you include up to 12 photos with your listing, and you should always have at least two or three great photos. Use a quality digital camera or a high-end smartphone that takes outstanding photos.
Take a bunch of photos from every angle to ensure that you have several to upload. Photos can really make the sale. Buyers see the photo first, then the title, before they even decide to view the whole listing.
Wrong Timing to Sell Your Stuff
You probably wouldn’t list Christmas decorations for sale in May or Halloween costumes in January. Likewise, try to list light jackets in March-April or September-October and heavier coats in November-December.
Toys are probably best saved until November-December. Formal wear such as dresses and shoes move more quickly in the spring (for proms and graduations) or fall/winter (for Christmas and New Year’s parties).
Too Expensive to Ship
I found a box in our garage the other day that seemed heavy – probably 10 or 20 pounds – and was addressed to my husband. I knew just from looking at the postage, $7.07, that it was shipped a very long time ago, since it would cost several times that amount to ship such a box today.
In most cases, it’s very difficult to sell an item that’ll cost a fortune to ship. If you’re on the east coast and your buyer is on the west coast, it’ll likely cost more than $10 to ship a two-pound package.
For large and/or heavy items, consider listing them on Craigslist if you live in or near a large enough city that it’s available.
Nobody Wants It
It’s important to search eBay for completed sales of items like the one you’d like to list. Conduct a search for an item like yours, then select “completed” on the left, and the appropriate condition – “used” or “new.”
Make note of the green prices, which are sales, and the black prices, which indicate unsold listings. If you see a lot of black prices, you may want to consider holding off on your listing and perhaps trying again at another time.
The Price Isn’t Right
If your research looks promising, with a fair number of sales at decent prices, make sure you set your price in the neighborhood of what similar items sold for. Look for the most similar listings in terms of age, condition and other variables.
Hungry for More?
Want to sell your stuff and make some extra money without a yard sale? Be sure to check out my book, Cash In Your Closets: The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Excess Stuff Online.
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