Cash from Your Clutter
Every once in a while, when you are decluttering, you come may across a few items that you feel are too good to simply put in the 'donate' bag, but are they worth selling and what is the best way to sell?
Make It Worth Your While
While it's always good to clear some space and make money at the same time - selling your unwanted items can be very time-consuming.
You have to make sure the effort is worth the return, or it's a false economy. What you make in money may not be worth the investment in selling it.
WHAT'S IT WORTH?
You must be realistic about what your unwanted items are worth. Just because something was expensive or is old doesn't mean that it will sell for a lot.
Always do your research first. A good starting point to gauge the potential value of your items is to do a search on eBay for how much similar items have sold for. You can do this by clicking on the 'Advanced Search', entering your item description and then click 'Sold Listings'. It tells you what things are actually selling for, rather than what sellers are trying to get. Someone can advertise a dress for £60, but the reality might be that it eventually sold for only £6.
Fashion can sell, but it's really only the quality designer or rare collections that sell well. You can still make some money from good quality recent items from high street retailers such as Zara, H&M and Whistlers, but your profits may be disappointingly small.
Most people, in their mind, want to get back half the price they brought something for, but in reality goods are rarely worth more than a quarter of the purchase price. For clothes, be prepared to sell for as little as 10% of what you paid for them.
Valuables and Collectors Items
When it comes to selling valuables, you should always be careful and get proper valuations first before deciding the best place to sell and what to price it at. If you think your item might be worth serious money, it's safest to get a second opinion. Sometimes local auction house, independent art valuers and even museums will help out, or point you in the direction of a relevant specialist.
WHERE TO SELL
It's important to choose the right platform for the type of possession/s you want to sell.
Higher Value Items You Don't Mind Posting.
If you have a few more expensive items, you will get the biggest audience and chance of a higher price selling on online auction sites such as eBay. You will pay listing and sales fees, so make sure you are clear on what these are and consider them when deciding whether it's worth listing. (You may still have to pay fees even if your item doesn't sell).
Middle Value and Collection Only Items
Try local sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Facebook selling groups, Gumtree or apps such as Schpock.
If you have bundles of baby clothes and toys to sell, there are often local Mum's groups on Facebook that you can join that will give you the best target audience for your items. There are also specific groups for fashion brands such as Boden, Mint Velvet and Whistles or Lego.
These sites are usually free to sell on, so if you accept cash on collection, all of the sale price is yours.
Lower Value Items
Car boot sales are a great way to sell lots of things which you don't mind selling cheaply, but I wouldn't recommend it for valuables or sentimental items as you are unlikely to get a reasonable price.
For items with a specific audience, look for specialist outlets, like the NCT's 'Nearly New' sales - some charge commission, others charge a set fee for a table or rail, but those proceeds go to a good cause.
For more details about places you can sell specific items, visit the declutter directory;
HOW TO INCREASE YOU CHANCES OF MAKING A GOOD SALE
Timing is important
Everything has a season, so target customers when they are primed. You're not going to get the best price for that expensive winter coat if you are trying to sell it during a heatwave in July. Box it up in and put storage until the winter. If you want to sell toys, could you wait until November when people are looking to buy Christmas presents? When are people looking for paddling pools or prom dresses?
Condition is Everything
Make sure that whatever you are selling is clean, in good repair/working order and with all parts present (screws, attachments, buttons, leads) and include original packaging, manuals or certificates of authenticity if possible. Items in their original packaging are always worth more.
Take good quality photos.
Taking good photos is vital when selling online. Potential buyers aren't able to interact with the item - see it up close, touch it, handle it and examinie it thoroughly. The only method they have to evaluate a potential purchase is your description and the photos. Think of all the times you've scrolled straight past something or dismissed it because you can't see it properly.
Invest a bit of time taking photographs in good light from lots of different angles, and include 'close ups' of any important features or small parts.
With clothes, make sure the item isn't creased and put it on a nice coathanger. Then hang it on a picture hook on your wall or against a blank background. Do not put it on the floor or your bed. Items must look loved.
In today's climate, people are weary of incomplete descriptions because it feels as though the seller may be trying to pull something over them. Be honest and upfront about the age of the item, it's features and any imperfections
Whether selling online or in person, always describe items accurately and honestly. it will only lead to stress later if you don't.
Make it easy for the buyer, and for yourself
Anticipate any questions they might have and include the items in the description - What would you want to know if you were buying then item? People don't want to have to contact you to find out what size something is or if the attachments come with it. You will save yourself a lot of time and effort by being upfront as you will receive less 'clarification' messages from potential buyers. The more information the better.
Also, don't be afraid to be a bit colourful by adding some personality to your pitch, so that your item stands out from the rest.
Remember the goal is not just to make money; it's also to make the process as easy as possible for yourself!
If you are planning to sell an item where safety may be a factor (such as a child's car seat, or a car-related device) always make sure that it is working as new and nothing is missing or broken. It's also a good idea to do a Google search to make sure that the product hasn't been recalled or had any safety warnings applied to it - especially if it's been stored in a loft or garage for a while. If in doubt about any safety aspect of an item - throw it out.
enlist some help if needed
If you've not already mastered selling online, could you ask a friend who's into selling online to sell on your behalf and then share the profits? It's easy to make mistakes on eBay if you don't know what you're doing. I've known people who have accidentally listed expensive items as 'Buy It Now' listings and have sold at £0.99 😳
KEEP ORGANISED at home
Keep 'Sale' items in a dedicated space, and make sure you have packaging and postage materials to hand.
You can end up with bags of clothing and household items cluttering up your home for weeks on end while you wait for a sale.
Give yourself a deadline for which items must be sold, once that time is up and they haven't sold - donate them instead.