It’s hard for me to believe, the time has gone by so fast, but the little lady is five months old next week. Which means that she is getting close to going into her own room.
Which means it’s time to clear out the spare room / office.
As we declutter we are either donating or selling what is currently in the room: desks and office chairs, a computer, books, my wedding dress and formal dresses that I have had since high school and college.
We’ve had mixed success – it takes a bit of work to sell your second hand goods but the spare cash can make it worth it. The side benefit (or downside, depending on your experience) to selling (and buying) second hand goods is the people that you meet – it’s a much more intimate and interesting experience than shopping in a store.
Here are 10 ways to sell your second hand stuff.
1. Local classifieds
Until I joined our local Facebook buy, swap and sell page, the local classifieds was my preferred way to sell used items, particularly bulky ones. You don’t have to worry about postage or delivery, listing is usually free for items under a certain dollar amount and your item is usually listed both online and in the local print paper. A lot of people still read the local paper on a Saturday to bag a bargain.
2. Garage Sale
If you have a lot of stuff to sell, a garage sale makes it quick and easy. We have had a garage sale in the past and despite a tropical thunderstorm, managed to get rid of a fair bit of stuff and make a few hundred dollars. Check out the article on how to hold a garage sale for more info.
An alternative to a garage sale if you have quite a few items to sell is to set up a stall at your local markets or to keep an eye out for school or church car-boot sales. The downside is there is a fee involved and you might not sell what you have on offer.
4. local Second hand dealer
For single items or specialty items, you can take your goods to your local Cash Converters or pawn shop. You probably won’t get as much as selling your items yourself because the dealer will want to make a profit.
My brother worked in a Cash Converters a few years ago (it’s where we bought our stereo) and I remember him saying that people often had over inflated ideas of what their items are worth (or CC had low purchase prices) – this is good to keep in mind.
Gumtree is one of the most popular online places to list your second hand goods. It’s free to list your items – if you want ‘extras’ like keeping your ad on top of the page then you have to pay for those. Gumtree makes it easy to buy and sell locally, which saves the hassle of postage.
An alternative that is similar to Gumtree is Quicksales.
6. trading post
The Trading Post has always been a popular way to buy and sell second hand items. In true The Castle style, my grandfather would always buy the Trading Post each week to read up on what other people were selling – now we can do it online.
Like many local classifieds, it is free to list items under $500 on the Trading Post.
A lot of people have a lot of success selling their second-hand stuff on eBay – I’m not one of them. The upside to eBay is that your potential audience is quite large. The downside is that you have to pay upfront to list your items – even if they don’t sell. If they do sell, then you have to pay extra. And then there’s working out the postage. If anyone has tips on this, I would love to hear them in the comments. I’m always worried I wont cover the postage properly.
Not just for bragging to friends, Facebook can be a good way to sell your unwanted gear. You have two options here: you can join a local buy swap and sell group or page and list your stuff, or you can make your own page and promote that page. I successfully sold my wedding dress through our local buy, swap and sell group, and it is my favourite way to sell second hand things at the moment (although I list in several places at once, like on Gumtree, Facebook and in the local paper).
9. Fishpond and other online book sellers
Fishpond is not only for buying new books – like Amazon, you can list books to sell as well, either individually, setting your own price, or you can pack up a box of books and they will pick it up and sell it on your behalf – taking a lot of the hassle out of selling your books!
There are no fees for listing your books, Fishpond take a 10% commission on any books sold.
10. other specialty websites
An alternative to listing things on a general website like Gumtree is to sell items through a specialty website. For instance, textbooks can be traded through websites like the Textbook Exchange, baby gear through Kidspot, wedding dresses through a multitude of wedding dress sites and of course, cars can be bought and sold through sites like Cars Guide.
The lead up to Christmas is a good time to be selling your unwanted clutter – you can make some extra cash leading into the silly season. What’s more, depending on what you’re selling and the condition, your unwanted clutter might make a perfect Christmas gift for someone else!
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Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.
Disclosure: Links to merchants within this post may be affiliate links.