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 Post subject: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:35 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:01 am
Posts: 3
Anyone have good tips for getting the most money from selling your own stuff? Here's my story:

I decided to sell some stuff at my mom's garage sale. Actually sold an ancient digital camera, but not fine china or silverplate (which I didn't REALLY expect to sell) nor a nice, never-worn Coldwater Creek blouse and pair of good work shoes that I really thought would move (and I did research prices ahead of time, plus I was willing to negotiate).

I took the blouse and shoes to a consignment shop. Despite the fact that I had worn the shoes only about three times (they were great condition), they didn't accept the shoes. They took the blouse. Later, I went through additional clothes I have with my mom. She suggested I dry clean the clothes before I take them to the consignment shop. I did. The cost was $41.66. (I wish I could remember how many items I had, but I can't) with a coupon. That didn't include another $44 I spent to clean a leather jacket, which I also wish to sell (but haven't consigned yet). They rejected two pieces (one is a Jessica McClintock two piece evening outfit from the late 1980s, can't recall the other right now) and took the rest. The winter season is over, and I have earned a total of $9 from all the clothes I consigned, meaning that unless I can sell the two rejected pieces (and the shoes), for about $33, I will have made a net loss on selling my stuff (and we still haven't factored in what I need to make off the leather jacket).

I have also looked into selling my china and silverplate to Replacements, but they won't take my silverplate at all and won't take all of my china. What they will give me for the china they will take isn't very much. I suppose for these items I could try eBay, but I don't really trust that that will work out. I know there are unscrupulous buyers and very little protection for sellers. I've thought a "you pick it up and pay with cash" Craigslist listing might work better, though even that makes me a little nervous.

So, what tips do people have for actually selling stuff so that it is worth it? If I'm going to get a couple of dollars for a piece of china, it really isn't worth it to me. If I'm going to lose money on selling nice, presentable clothes, that is ridiculous. I should have just donated it uncleaned to Goodwill at that point. I had the idea that I would beef up a seriously depleted emergency fund, but instead, I'm wasting time and money.


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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:19 pm
Posts: 1
I've had great success with craig's list. I haven't tried to sell clothes or shoes, but I've sold furniture, bikes, electronics, etc.

Goodwill asks that you clean clothes before donating them (I don't believe they will clean them, they just toss them if they get items in unsellable condition), so I wouldn't worry about the funds spent on dry cleaning.

I think ebay is probably the best place for clothes/shoes.


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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:42 pm
Posts: 34
Location: SW Florida
I have done a lot of selling on eBay (for the things that went for any decent amount of money). The rest we usually donate...

To echo the above comment though, I have heard awesome things about Craigslist. People have sold cars and furniture in under 4 hours...

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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:33 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:57 am
Posts: 1
i'm getting ready to do some major unloading as well. we are going to have a rummage sale to get rid of odds and ends, but i have a number of items that i think i would be best off going a more specialized route. if anyone has any ideas for these particular items, any help is appreciated:

  • stand-up wine cooler (cedar, 256 bottle capacity, about the size of a refrigerator. retails over $2k new, but cooling unit needs to be repaired or replaced)
  • 600+ bottles of wine, cellar-stored (about 1/3 of the collection is vintage port, ranging from the 1960's to the late 1990's. the other 2/3 is a variety of red table wine from the 1990's. some of it is past it's prime, but some of it is definitely still good) This collection is worth thousands of dollars, so it is important to me to not get ripped off.
  • older video game systems with games (N64, super nintendo, original playstation, original xbox, game cube)
  • two big aluminum sailboat "poles" (i think they are called "booms" or "masts". not sure. all i know is they are in my garage and i want them out.)
  • nice solid wood entertainment center/armoire. this thing was $1100 new, but it is designed for a 36" tube television. as such, it would only fit a rather small widescreen lcd television. not sure what this does to the value. it would still be fine to use as an armoire.

thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5372
goose wrote:
i'm getting ready to do some major unloading as well. we are going to have a rummage sale to get rid of odds and ends, but i have a number of items that i think i would be best off going a more specialized route. if anyone has any ideas for these particular items, any help is appreciated:

  • stand-up wine cooler (cedar, 256 bottle capacity, about the size of a refrigerator. retails over $2k new, but cooling unit needs to be repaired or replaced)
  • 600+ bottles of wine, cellar-stored (about 1/3 of the collection is vintage port, ranging from the 1960's to the late 1990's. the other 2/3 is a variety of red table wine from the 1990's. some of it is past it's prime, but some of it is definitely still good) This collection is worth thousands of dollars, so it is important to me to not get ripped off.
  • older video game systems with games (N64, super nintendo, original playstation, original xbox, game cube)
  • two big aluminum sailboat "poles" (i think they are called "booms" or "masts". not sure. all i know is they are in my garage and i want them out.)
  • nice solid wood entertainment center/armoire. this thing was $1100 new, but it is designed for a 36" tube television. as such, it would only fit a rather small widescreen lcd television. not sure what this does to the value. it would still be fine to use as an armoire.

thanks


Most of those things will need to be sold locally since they are hard to ship. I'd put an ad in teh newspaper.

The wine might be a special case. If there is anything even remotely interesting to conneseus than you might sell it all as a lot for $5 a bottle or something (I'm not into wine so I have no idea what a good price is. You want something that is cheap enough to discourage picking through but expensive enough to make it worth your effort. If you price each bottle separately you'll likely sell the few good ones and be stuck with teh rest.)


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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:26 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:19 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Cheyenne, WY, USA
Let me offer a completely different view - don't sell any of your stuff. Here is why I suggest considering hanging onto it:

1) Selling several items is probably a way of compensating for spending on other items, and the best thing to do is stop spending and enjoy what you have.
2) It can cost something to sell it. You've experienced that.
3) What you're getting in terms of return on investment of your time probably isn't nearly what you could get for working that same time at gainful employment.
4) Eventually, you run out of stuff, and still have a need for money, so fix what is causing you to have a need for money.
5) Having things allows you to barter for other things.
6) Sometimes having your own things is far more comforting than having extra money simply because things are tangible and have staying power, whereas money tends to be spent.

Selling your stuff makes sense if you're trying to make more room in your life. But then, so does giving it away.

Stop and think why you purchased the items to begin with, and make certain the "selling" isn't just part of a consumer-oriented cycle that you're going to repeat.

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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:52 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:52 am
Posts: 114
I think I'm with Clair on this. I think you've spent way too much on trying to sell the clothes, OP - in terms of both time and money. Going forward, this is what I'd do with clothes:
-Try to sell them at a garage sale. Unless it's a really, really good piece (like an authentic Coach purse that's never been used), you won't make much more than a few dollars on it. People go to garage sales expecting to spend maybe $5, tops, for a brand-new item.

-Craigslist is good, too. You could probably command a higher price going this route. If you don't want someone to meet you at your home (and I don't blame you), then arrange to meet at a neutral place, like a coffee shop.

-If that doesn't work, I'd just bag it up and bring it to a Goodwill-type place and get the tax write-off. When I get rid of things, I do it because I want/need the space I'll gain by getting rid of the stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:22 am
Posts: 1
I'm not sure if you have plans on selling on Amazon but I've had incredible success on there over the past 3 years.

I have sold hundreds of CD's, DVD's, games, books that I accumulated over the years.

I'd suggest setting a pricepoint (2.99 minimum for me to cover my time, amazon fees, etc. otherwise it's not worth it).


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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:53 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 448
Location: USA
I have a ton of children's clothes that I've accumulated, both things my children have worn, and bags of stuff that other people have given me over the years. I'm talking like 10 garbage bags full of clothes, much of it barely worn. I decided against having a garage sale (husband vetoed). I contacted a non for profit which has an annual clothes sale but they didn't want the clothes this early. It's sitting in my hallway. So this coming week is going to be "christmas" where we are going through it, figuring out of all the people we know who have babies or children their ages and genders and dividing them up into bags to give to these families. My husband works at a restaurant and knows many new families with limited incomes so I think this will be a good thing. I know myself that I appreciated the hand me down clothes I received for my children, because many times it was nicer stuff (brand wise) than things I would buy for them.


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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:35 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:29 pm
Posts: 1616
Location: Seattle, WA
Why did your husband veto a yard sale? Just curious.


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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:58 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1159
Blueberry Scone wrote:
-If that doesn't work, I'd just bag it up and bring it to a Goodwill-type place and get the tax write-off. When I get rid of things, I do it because I want/need the space I'll gain by getting rid of the stuff.


This is what we do. We don't do garage sales since they're a pain in the butt & you don't make a whole lot of money from them. You'd be surprised at the amount of tax write off you'll get for your junk!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:57 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:39 am
Posts: 2
Hello - I was in the same mode you are in a few months ago. I was trying to sell things, but it was a ton of work and effort and had little return rate.

So i researched donations and have now donated over 1K clothes (20 years of stuff), and well over 1500 books. Clothes go to Salvation Army, and I track each piece and put in the the guideline amount (from Salvation Army website) of the value. So this is a win for me on tax deduction, and the salvation army wins as some of the clothes were NWT or hardly worn etc. (Changes in job resulting in changes in dress code for work, then back to suits etc. resulted in a ton of clothes, never mind going from size 6 to 10.)
The Books I donate to a "Literacy America" bookstore, where its a non profit, they sell the books and use the funds to teach people to read. Since I find reading to be a real pleasure, this feels great to me, and people are really benefiting from this. I have cleaned out the books after moving. Last year I donated the first 1000 books, this year the second. Another tax deduction and the reuse of the books is terrific. Next year im donating my old VCR tap collection, some books on tape etc.
This all requires some tracking, yes, and my tax return will have a list attached with all my non cash donations listed out, but its no more work than the attempted selling etc., and frankly I feel like its all getting reused well.
(For those interested - I track by catagory
Clothes - type of garment, color, size, condition, name (Ann Taylor, Brooks bros, etc,), work, gym or casual, the suggested amount
Books - Author, title, size (small, med, large), type (hard, soft or paperback), condition. In notes I include if its a first edition, has dustjacket etc. I put the amount the used bookstore sells the book for as the amount.

various other things I have also donated to the bookstore (some office supplies and the like), and then the rest I have cleaned out on freecycle. No tax deduction there and no money, but no real hassel either. I have had some success selling large groups of music CDs on craigslist, for $2 each, "must take all" type thing. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 448
Location: USA
Sorry Stannius. Hubby vetoed them because the last 2 yard sales we made respectively $50 and $75, for multiple hours of both preparing and then a weekend day sitting there. He didn't want to spend the weekend like that.

It's possible since we had the motherload of clothes (much that I had forgotten about) we could have made a decent amount, or maybe not

We ended up going through the clothes, making different bags for 5 different families. It was actually kind of fun, and honored the "pay it forward" ethos that the clothes were given to us.

It's amazing how fast children outgrow clothes! It seems especially that we have a perrennial socks and shoes situation in our house.


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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:29 pm
Posts: 1616
Location: Seattle, WA
I was curious because I have considered the idea of having a yard sale recently. Part of the problem is that it can be hard to get enough dollars for your time. It's at least a whole weekend day and probably a day's worth of prep time or more. And also, personally I find that trying to build a big enough pile of stuff to make it worthwhile is difficult. Such a pile takes up rather a lot of space, which doesn't make much sense since the stuff was already in your house, but that's the way it is. And for my wife and I it takes a long time to add stuff to that pile, so it would have to sit there a while to build up. And furthermore, somehow it seems like an empty "take to the thrift store" box exerts a bit of gravitational pull, which subtly encourages us to find stuff to put in there. Since for us the goal is not to make money, rather to declutter, even that small effect is important.


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 Post subject: Re: Selling stuff
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:57 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:59 am
Posts: 74
I have just started to de-clutter my flat because I am moving out. I didn’t realise how much stuff I have accumulated and horded away until now. So far I sold a box of college books back to the university. I have sold a few electronically games and old VCR’s and TV’s at yard sales. I am still cleaning and de-cluttering. I hope to make some money selling my unwanted stuff and have an easier move without taking so many items. Win-Win situation.


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