On Saturday, our neighborhood had a community garage sale. It was advertised in the local paper and a banner was placed on the street leading into the community. But the weather was overcast and drizzly. Needless to say traffic was light. Some of the older residents did set up but used the time to catch up with each other. The younger households did not set up as we continued with our regularly scheduled errands.
Many grew up seeing yard/garage sale signs as soon as the weather started to warm up. We all know the expression of one’s mans trash is another man’s treasure. We all too have seen the stories about the valuable flea market finds. But today, the swap meets to get rid of stuff and to remove the clutter from our lives is at our fingertips. Now don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy an afternoon walking through a yard/garage sale, flea market or an antique market but if I am looking to unload my personal “StuffMart”, the internet would be my go-to platform.
The name Linda Lightman is an inspiration in the consignment community. She turned her passion for shopping into a business that now makes her $25 million per year and employs over 100 people. She has been quoted to say, the average household has over $3,000 worth of things lying around ready to be sold. We must now have you thinking about all those impulse purchases, things you won’t wear to another social event, the lawn mower you no have use for or vacuum cleaner because you have hardwood floors. In addition to the closets, garages, attics, toy bins and basements are all potential places in the house that can generate some cash. We offer some tips to make money right from your own inventory!
1. If it is truly trash, then trash it. If stained, broken or damaged and there is nothing unique about the items, online may not be the place to get rid of that item. Don’t get the online reputation of selling junk.
2. Do your research. Know the market value and demand of items you are looking to unload. Be sure to distinguish between real value and sentimental value when pricing.
3. A picture is worth a thousand words. Take clear, well lit pictures of the items. Take pictures from different angles, close ups and focus on any particular detail you need to highlight.
4. Provide sufficient detail so potential buyers have enough information to make a decision on getting items. For example: give size, dimensions, brand and identify any issues like a same stratch.
5. Decide which online selling site may work best. There are hundreds of sites but the usual suspects may not get you the sale. Some sites may be better known for moving particular item types. A few examples are: (i) Tradesy good for women’s fashion (ii) Craigslist good for household items and (iii) Swappa good for smartphone and tablets.
6. For items not being sent through the mail, it is important to select a safe location to conclude the transaction. Remember the online “friend” willing to buy your stuff is generally a complete stranger.