How to sell your STUFF!

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One favorite saying of mine and Bubba's is not to say “We can't afford it”, but instead to say “HOW can we afford it?” (more on this saying soon). One of the ways we've been able to get all the fun “extras” in our life is by selling our unwanted stuff, and using it to buy wanted stuff!
My determined husband once made a quick $350 in one weekend, to put toward something he wanted for a long time but couldn't afford. Here are a bunch of my favorite tips for selling your stuff and bringing home the bacon:

How to sell your stuff:

sell online

Yes, those are euros. Gotta make due with free stock photography…

Got an old cell phone lying around that you just don't need any more? Wedding dress? Clothes? Books? Furniture that doesn't fit in your space?

Many of us simply throw things out to clear space, or get rid of things that we don't need any more. Sometimes we'll even donate these to thrift stores. Have you ever considered selling your stuff? It's a great way to make some extra cash, and it's not always as hard as people think. Think about it…even if it's only $5, fives can certainly add up over time!

My husband and I are big “stuff-sellers”. Here are some tips that we've learned over the years:

  • Don't try to sell junk. Make sure what you're trying to sell is in good condition, or at least has good “bones” and lots of potential – otherwise you'll waste your time trying to sell something nobody wants. Think twice if it's excessively stained, broken, or unusable. You wouldn't want to buy junk, would you? However…
  • Slightly battered is ok. Don't be afraid to sell things that are a little worn! Just be VERY honest in your description when selling the items. You'd be surprised at what people will buy for a good price. On the flip side, there is nothing more frustrating than driving somewhere to check out an item that is stained or busted and they failed to tell me in the ad. Just be upfront about it and you won't waste anyone's time – including yours.
  • Wash/clean the items as best as you can before you sell them. Image makes a huge difference.
  • Allow for texting. When selling your stuff online, you will get more responses if you allow for texting rather than just emails and calls alone. It's quicker for you too.
  • Want to hide your true phone number? Use the Burner App. It's free and it works great, my husband and I have used it before. It gives you a fake number to send and receive texts from, then after however many days (you can designate) the number is “burned” and is no longer available to people.
  • Post your items in multiple places. Don't just stick to Craigslist or a Facebook yard sale group, post in multiple places to reach a broader audience.  
  • Re-post your ad every few days. The good sites get really congested, so make sure to keep your ad fresh.
  • Switch up the ad slightly each time. What you think is the perfect ad might not resonate with people, so re-word it slightly each time as well, you'll notice that some get better responses than others. Also, try to post them at different times of day/days of the week to allow for variety in the audience your reaching.
  • Post your ads over the weekend. Saturdays and Sundays are big days for people to go hunting for items, so make sure you're posting during the week and especially on the weekends as well.
  • The more pictures, the better! Post as many pictures as the site will allow. Especially with big items like wedding dresses or cars. Be sure to take detailed pictures of dents, stains, holes, etc. This way people will know you are being honest about the condition of your items, and you know that when people call you they are truly interested! It is best to use your own pictures and not manufacturers' pictures, you will get less responses with manufactured photos.
  • Be flexible on price. You might even want to post your initial price at the high-point of the price you are looking for (but not too high!) and put OBO (or best offer).
  • Price it competitively. Remember, it's sitting around collecting dust! Gathering SOMETHING for it is better than NOTHING, so really, be aggressive with your pricing so it sells fast and saves you time. Don't aim high thinking people will talk you down to 50% of what you list it for.
  • Look at other similar ads to get a good starting price. Being too high won't sell your stuff (obviously), and being the cheapest means you may not get as much as you can for your items. Pricing varies depending on the time of year, etc. so look at your competition before posting your ad.
  • SAFETY TIPS: Don't have people come to your house to look at an item you are selling. Meet them at a gas station, your work, a church parking lot, etc. You can also set up a secondary email account if you don't want people to have your personal email. See the above bullet point about “burning” your phone number.
  • Get creative. Think outside the box! We sold our car on a local classifieds site once. The guy could only get a loan for a certain amount, which was $500 less than what we wanted for it. My husband learned that he works construction, so we settled on a trade for him to do some remodeling in our house to work off the remaining $500. However…though we were glad to sell the car because it was costing us $500/month, he never fulfilled his end of the bargain and bailed  – we never got our construction. So do this cautiously!
  • If you can't sell it or donate it find a creative way to reuse it!  If you donate it, be sure to get a tax slip so you can write it off in your taxes.

Good places to sell your stuff:

  • Facebook (they have featured ads or you can simply post something on your profile. “Facebook Garage Sales” are also huge right now. Search for your city with “garage sale” or “yard sale” after. It's a GREAT way to find/sell stuff.)
  • Newspaper classifieds
  • Ebay
  • Craigslist
  • Local classified sites, like KSL.com for Utah/Idaho. Many popular news stations have their own classified pages online, these are pretty popular locally. Search online to find yours.
  • Plato's Closet  , uptown cheapskate, and is a store that buys gently used clothes/shoes/purses/jewelry. Just be sure they aren't too old (they can be pretty picky about this), and make sure they are in great condition.
  • Amazon. This is a great place to sell used books! (Text books too, you collage kids!)
  • Kid to Kid is a store like Plato's closet. They buy gently used kids items – everything from movies/toys/rocking chairs, to clothes/hats/shoes, etc.
  • Pawn shop. These won't give you very much money, but it's quick and easy.
  • Have a yard sale! Don't have enough stuff to throw your own? Combine with family, friends, or your neighbors. The bigger, the better. Check out my tips on throwing the perfect yard sale.

Great things to sell (what I've personally had success with):

  • Used books/text books/cook books
  • Wedding dress
  • Car
  • Furniture that you've replaced (couches, book shelf, TV stand)
  • Appliances that you've replaced (small {hand mixer, blender etc}  and large {fridge, dishwasher, etc})
  • Baby items: crib, swing, clothes, changing table, stroller, sling, hiking pack, etc.
  • Bikes, rollerblades, skateboards, scooters, etc.
  • Electronics (old TV's, cell phones, stereos, games/DVD's, gaming units {wii, nintendo, etc}, computers, camera)
  • Basically…anything!
Give it a try. Like I said, even if you only get $3 here, $20 there…it really ads up.
Good luck, and happy savings to you!
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Comments

  1. I am a big seller in ebay I used to sell on criagslist and I used to be an admin on a Fb page it was too much drama but I did find an app http://www.VarageSale.com I am in Philadelphia and we have a great group of people. Our page is just for our local area but they are all over the world. It is sort of like ebay but better because there is no shipping and no fees. There are so many in the US now. It started in Canada if you want to check out my page send me a message and I will add you. I really think this app will be the next big thing like craigslist. I sell lots of small items $2.00 and $3.00 but when you meet 20 people to swap your items you bought and sold on the page you could make $80 in one night. Yesterday listed a bookcase for $40 and it sold in 5 minutes. And it was out of my house the next day. I cleaned out my kitchen and whatever I haven’t used I sold. My house looks neater and I have the $$$ to put towards something else.

  2. The first’s weeks of this month I was doing so good on my Buget and then this week happened I went over $43.86 and you can’t imagen how disappointed I feed and over welmed I feel I really don’t know how this happened (well yea I spent to much) do you have any advise please help I need help our financails aren’t getting better and I’m lossing sleep please help!!!!!!!!

  3. Hi, you gave me great ideas about selling my stuff. I actually had a lot of reading books and textbooks from junior high, where is the best place to sell those?

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