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In Part 1 of How To Sell All Of Your Stuff we gave our top tips for getting started. Now in Part 2 we share our favourite selling methods.
METHODS FOR SELLING YOUR STUFF
Set Up A Stuff Blog
This is my biggest tip for selling your stuff – utilise your networks. After selling things for months on ebay, I advertised some of the bulky items to my friends. I decided the easiest way was to set up a blog. We used a subdomain of Simon’s website but it is very easy to set up a free blog on Blogger or WordPress . It doesn’t need to look fancy, just list each item you want to sell with a detailed description, photo and price (include the original price too to show them how much they are saving). I then emailed the link to the website along with a list of the things for sale to my friends and colleagues, and encouraged them to forward it on to their networks. We also posted it on facebook.
It worked amazingly well!
We sold almost everything we listed, and it was so much easier than ebay – we didn’t have to post items or pay fees. It helped that we kept prices low (usually no more than half the purchase price), and that our friends forwarded the email to their contacts so we reached a much wider network. We even managed to find great tenants for our house this way. A few months later we did the same thing again, adding new items and reducing prices of things that hadn’t sold (in our ‘January Sale’). This worked just as well and our Stuff Website became our most profitable selling tool.
I would recommend that you start selling your belongings with this method. Focus on big items that you can’t post and high value things such as electronics, although it also works well for heavy but low value items that you need to get rid of (such as books). Anything that doesn’t sell you can then try on ebay and the other methods we’ll discuss in Part 3.
Best for: everything and everyone, especially those with large friendship and work networks.
Ebay is the classic method for selling things online and the one I used most, although if I were to do it again I would start with the Stuff Blog. You can sell anything here but I found electronics, photography equipment, CDs (if new or unusual), art supplies and anything signed, rare or limited edition sold well. It’s an auction format where it can be difficult to tell what will sell so give everything a go. Sometimes things go for annoyingly little (like 99p for Helly Hansen snowboard trousers) but you can get some surprises – we were amazed to sell a limited edition Doors in the 21st Century CD for over £50!
Here are my top tips for selling on ebay.
- List your items on Sunday afternoon or evening for a 7 day listing to reach the maximum viewers. Most of the bids take place near the end of the auction, so choose a time when people will be online. Thursday is also a good day to list.
- Search for completed listings in the advanced search to find out what price you are likely to get.
- Start your item at 99p with no reserve if you can risk it. You avoid ebay listings fees and the final bid is likely to be higher. The market tends to set a fair price.
- Batch your tasks to save time. Listing on ebay is time consuming, especially when you first start. You can save time by being organised. Choose what you are going to sell, take the photos, resize and crop them if necessary (a photoshop action saved me lots of time), then calculate the postage costs. You’ll then be ready to start listing.
- Copy and paste item descriptions from manufacturers websites .
- Make your listing descriptions as detailed as possible, be honest about the condition, and include great photos.
- Include extra photos for free (ebay charges for more than one) by uploading them to Photobucket and copying and pasting the html into your listing.
- Save up packaging materials to reduce your costs. I used newspaper and cheap white printer paper for books, CDs, DVDs etc.
- Dispatch your sold items quickly and leave feedback for the buyer.
For more ebay selling tips, check out Money Saving Expert. Thanks to Amy, our friend who recently moved to Australia for her ebay advice.
Fees: Ebay charge a listing fee if the starting price is more than 99p and if it sells they’ll take a 10% cut. You’ll also pay Paypal fees of 3.4%, but this is the easiest and quickest way to be paid.
Best for: anything you can’t sell to your networks especially electronics, rare and branded items.
In the third and final part of How To Sell All Of Your Stuff we share more methods for selling and let you know how much we earned.
Forgot to mention, I sold all my stuff before leaving the country on craigslist and to people I knew (by word of mouth.) Craigslist.org was wonderful. I met some nice people who bought my stuff this way too.
Stuff Blog, best idea ever, I would never have thought of it, I am selling right now on eBay and it is so slow and time consuming that it is driving me crazy (we have a 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, 1 lounge, 1 dinning room, conservatory house we lived in for 12 years + please a garage full of crap… imagine). I am on my way to create that “Stuff Blog”. We have 10 months to go… Thanks ever so much for sharing.
Good luck with it, it worked so well for us -much easier than ebay!
Great tips! I sold all my belongings before setting out for a never ending journey but kept a storage unit for things I could not part with – photographs and negatives from my photography career but you know here I am in Thailand thinking I’d rather not pay $68 a month to house these items. I am inspired to sell my photographs and artifacts when I get back to California on a stuff blog to my networks – fabulous idea! I don’t know when that will be as I love being a professional vagabond. BTW if you want to check out my app in the itunes store Vagabond Travel Photography Mag the link is here – latest issue is on India with the Dalai Lama photos I shot of him this summer. Happy to give you a free code for it. Great work on your site – really enjoy it!
Do not buy books anymore, instead of that, buy electronical books and put them e.g. into your amazon kindle. It is true that buying a Kindle is the investment but it will pay off in the end. That Kindle can save up to 1000 books or so. You save space and you can bring your whole library with you all around the world.
Agreed! we love our Kindle.
Man, as you can tell I was having similar thoughts and googled selling all your stuff and you guys obviously came up….lol
I’ve been thinking about this at age 35, and it makes sense…
The borrower is slave to the lender….
If I can add my two cents, you all should YouTube Dave Ramsey– financial peace university …. You guys fit the profile and I love it…..
I need to strategies on how to do all this between my two jobs, school and mortgage….. Time to just stop and say fuck all this shit and dump it off my back and hit the reset button debt free with no stress and enormous amounts of options….. With cash in the bank and a ton of talent…. Btw,,, great page, did you make it?
Thank you so much for this helpful series! We are going to try the “stuff blog” to sell all of our possessions. My husband and I are moving to India and can’t take much with us. This helped us so much!
Good luck with it Suzanne.