Last time I elaborated the benefits of being a minimalist and why you may choose to be one. (If you haven’t already read my previous blog and would like to find out why you should be a minimalist, give my previous post a read).
It’s easy to understand the benefits of being a minimalist but how do you go from where you are to becoming a minimalist? Does that mean you’re going to have to throw out everything you own? Of course not, there are other options available such as selling items online.
Well, you don’t have to throw everything away, in most scenarios you will be able to turn your unwanted and unnecessary items into the pretty penny, reduce baggage, reduce moving bill! You should note that there isn’t one best way, it all depends on how much time and patience you’ve got on your hands as well as the item in question. Let me outline some of the most efficient and/or profitable ways in which you can rid of your items.
eBay is the king of everything! The level of exposure you get from eBay will be unrivalled.
eBay service is suitable for selling items online – any size, any price. I feel like I understand eBay quite well, as I have over 600 Transactions under my belt.
- Relatively easy to set up
- Big market: Insane level of exposure of your item’s listing
- Straight forward, less time consuming compared to other listing services
- If the prices are right, items will go, quickly
- You can include many details
- Can be a bit tricky to set up at the start selling items online
- Heavily favours buyers (we will get into this a bit further in the future). When there is a dispute eBay will almost always side with a buyer.
- Fees, Paypal as a payment method is required as an accepted payment method. This means that fees can easily be around 12-13% as an individual seller.
- You’ll need a bit of elbow grease, to make your listing stand out.
- Requires a moderate time listing your items (photos are required), also packing and sending items can be a hassle for some.
A garage sale is going to be either a pleasant fun experience! Or…. a horrible, “Gee I wish I hadn’t” Experience. It’s pretty much equivalent to setting up your own shop, for a day or two!. It can help you move many of your unwanted items if done well. At the very least, you will be giving up your weekends, cleaning up, and selling items, for a quick turn over.
- Fun! It can be a lot of fun! …. If you’re into this sort of thing that is….
- No fees – no one will charge you fees for selling your used items in your garage.
- Sell it and forget about it.
- Cash now, worry later. You get paid in cash, no waiting period for payments.
- Useful for small stuff that you can’t sell otherwise (toys, clothes) – especially before moving your family with kids
- What you save in fees, you have to give in labour. I did mention that it’s much like setting up a shop. A shop has to have a clerk at the checkout. Granted that you will be at home in your environment, never the less you can’t really go for a nap at any time just because you feel like it.
- Security – You are opening up a part of your home to strangers. They will get to see what you are selling and what you aren’t selling. So if you live in a rough neighbourhood, maybe this isn’t the best option for you.
- Expect a lot of haggling. There are those people who go around garage sales, buying items and reselling for profit. These people bargain really hard and if you aren’t familiar with bargaining procedure… you may be making more money off selling online, without having to give up your weekends.
Local classified can be your local community magazines they are in the form of online or physical distribution. Definitely a great way to move some of your larger items and furniture, as the listing is viewed locally. Cost may vary.
- Targeting local market, usually no need to pack and send items.
- Probably more suitable for getting rid of large goods.
- Usually no % based fees items sold.
- Limited exposure, limited opportunities for items being sold
- You would have to manually organise pick up or shipping.
Your online classified can be a real lifesaver. It really depends on the individual classified service, but usually offers a great level of exposure while costing nothing (This is the case for Gumtree, definitely number one online classified) Another well-known service would be Facebook Marketplace.
- Free (Should be free, if it isn’t….. Maybe time to find another service)
- Moderate to a great level of exposure. In the case of Gumtree, you will sell your item, fairly quickly.
- Local exposure. These services are great at locally filtering listings, unlike eBay, you won’t have to pack and send items (Even though it can be arranged)
- Time and effort consuming – Facebook Marketplace can be very very very time-consuming. You will have tons… and I mean tons of low ball offers, and inconsiderate time wasters.
- Buyer’s market – items are usually sold at a very low price and even then it may take a while to sell compared to eBay.
- Security concerns, you are most likely giving out your home/work address to a stranger, I have never been a big fan of this.
- You’ll have to organise your own pick up/pack and send options.
Second hand dealership
Second-hand goods dealerships are great if time and effort matter the most for you. You are essentially getting the dealership to do your hard work of selling your goods for you. It usually just takes one visit, and you’ll be leaving with a handful of cash. If your time and effort is important this definitely is an option for you.
- Close to no effort: Unlike listing items, you won’t have to clean, take photos, pack and send items. You also won’t need to deal with 50 different lowball offers, absolutely chewing through your time.
- Quick cash: Forget signing up for PayPal, eBay account, or having to organise a pickup or drop off date. You get cash then and there.
- No need to give a warranty – you sell items as is. Services like eBay ensure buyer protection. Say a mobile phone that you sent stopped functioning 3 weeks after the shipment. The chances are eBay would want you to give a full refund. Second-hand dealerships will take the risk in your place
- You will get less – Yes less. You must decide whether you want to spend hours and days trying to sell an item or whether to grab quick cash and forget about it. If you have the time and the patience you will get a little bit more selling privately.
Give it away!!
When all fails! Just give it away to your family and friends who need it more than you!.
Your family and friends will appreciate it!
Whatever method you choose, make sure you consider your availability of time and effort. It’s not worth getting another $20 for your unused treadmill if you have to answer 50+ lowball offers. If you have plenty of time, perhaps you can list your item and wait until it gets sold. At the end of the day, the option you choose has to be right for you.