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In Part 1 of How To Sell All Of Your Stuff we gave our top tips for getting started, and in Part 2 we shared two of our favourite methods for selling – setting up a blog and ebay. In this third and final post here are some more ways we used to sell our possessions, and how much we earned from each of them.
Ebay isn’t a great place to sell books and I had much more luck on Amazon Marketplace. It is also much quicker to list items on Amazon than on Ebay as you don’t need to upload photos or descriptions.
Just type in the ISBN or name, select your product and click ‘Sell Yours Here’. You select the item condition, make a note about the condition (optional), choose a price and that’s it. It’s easy to list multiple items very quickly. Your items are then listed on the Amazon website for two months and could sell at any time.
You can’t make a profit from all books – the latest paperbacks are often sold ridiculously cheaply by other sellers. The best books to sell are lightweight, specialised subjects and textbooks. The more expensive it is to buy new the better. Amazon is also great for selling CDs and DVDs. In fact you can sell anything that Amazon sells.
If it’s been a while and your items aren’t selling then ‘View your current inventory’ in your seller account and check that you are offering the lowest price in the Marketplace. If not you can reduce ‘Your price’ and make it the lowest price – this works well even if you only undercut the competition by 1p, but it can trigger a race to the bottom with other sellers.
Fees: The fees are high (17.35% + 86p) but the postage allowance is quite generous for lighter books, so you can make some of the fee back here.
Best for: Selling books and for quick listings.
Car Boot/ Garage Sale
We did one car boot sale the summer before we left. We didn’t make very much money and it was a very early morning start, but it was a good way to get rid of cheap items that are hard to sell online such as clothes and books. If you have a front garden then a garage sale would be a better option – and you wouldn’t have to pay the car boot fees.
I considered holding a House Sale Party for friends and selling off the final bits and pieces. We didn’t have time to organise this in the end, but when we did have friends round many of them bought some books.
Fees: £8-10 at car boot sales, free for your own garage/house sale.
Best for: Low value items that you can’t sell online.
Music Magpie is a UK website that will buy your old CDs, DVDs and games. You will make more by listing CDs individually on Ebay but as we had over 500 CDs to sell I couldn’t face listing them all individually. The beauty of Music Magpie is that you can quickly sell hundreds of CDs. All you have to do is type in the barcode and they’ll tell you how much they’ll pay. It isn’t much – from 30p to £3 per CD (you’ll get more for unusual albums), but it’s great if you want to get rid of your entire CD collection in one big swoop.
Fees: Free but you don’t earn much per CD.
Best for: Selling CDs quickly.
Mobile Phone Recycling
We found a broken mobile phone in a drawer and managed to get some money for it from a mobile phone recycling company. We used Money Saving Expert’s Mobile Valuer tool (no longer available) to find out which recycling company would pay the most. You can sell working or broken mobiles and it’s very easy to do. You could also sell mobiles on Ebay, and may earn more.
Best for: Selling mobile phones easily.
Gumtree and Craigslist are free community listing sites for specific cities. They are particularly good for listing large items like furniture, as you are selling to people in your area. You can attract time wasters though, and you need to keep prices low. We tried listing two items on Gumtree but they didn’t sell. We were happy to leave them in the house for our tenants so we didn’t price them low enough.
Best for: Furniture and heavy items you can’t post.
Second Hand Book Shops/ Stalls
Books can be very difficult to sell. After selling what you can on Amazon, Ebay and to friends, you could try selling the rest to a local second hand book shop or stall. We couldn’t find anyone to take them, so ended up giving them to the charity shop.
Best for: Getting rid of books at the end.
HOW MUCH WE EARNED
The primary focus of selling all our stuff was to lighten our load as we set off travelling with two small backpacks, but the earnings were a happy side effect. We made a decent amount towards our travel fund (well, after we’d paid for the car and boiler breaking down just before we left). Here’s a breakdown of how much we earned by each selling method.
|Mobile Phone Recycling||£32|
|Car Boot Sale||£21|
You can see that selling to our networks was more profitable than any other method and took far less time than ebay.
Great tips, thank you! My husband and I have been downsizing over the last year, moved cross country from 1200 square feet (with attic and garage) to 830 (with neither) in June, planning another move to a smaller place once our lease is up… he’s going to university for nursing, I through an apprenticeship for welding. We came to the conclusion a couple days ago that we’d love nothing more than to wander the world together when our educations are complete. Our jobs are very portable, our family ties loose… so why not? We’ve already done much of what you’ve suggested budget and stuff ridding wise (we were thinking we’d build a tiny house and travel continentally before the world travelling idea hit us recently ), but your site has really made me feel like we can do this- we can take it all the way. It doesn’t have to just be a dream. Thank you.
Good luck with it Tess, it sounds like you are in a great position to travel!
Wow that is serious cash, I am planning to do car boot sale during summer before we leave; I did 3 car boots sales over 12 years in the UK and each time sold for about £70; so worth doing. Thanks for the breakdown…
I remember doing a car boot sale once and only once,I can honestly say I found it more hassle than it was worth. I am all for recylcing mainly from an environmental point of view and have been realiy impressed with the way mobile phone recycling seems to have taken off. Not only is it great for the environment but can make you a bit of cash along the way
Yeah, we really didn’t make hardly any money but we got rid of a lot of stuff.
this is all so inspiring, thought I had travelled, nothing compared to you two….thank you for the advice on selling stuff- it’s just brilliant…
Glad you found it helpful Jackie and thanks for commenting.
.-= Erin´s last blog ..10 Travel Bloggers Who Inspired Us =-.
Wow you really made some money. I am impressed, especially with eBay.
I’d also add kijiji to the list for North Americans, like Craigslist but it’s owned by eBay.
Thanks, it took quite a bit of work but it was worth it in the end. eBay can be a great moneymaker – thanks for the tip about Kijiji.