Selling Your Stuff
If you’re trying to get some extra cash from your unwanted items, you have options in how to do so, from selling them yourself to hiring someone to sell them for you.
Selling things yourself means that you can avoid fees and commissions charged by sites like eBay, or an auction house. That is, if you are okay with taking the time to manage the sales, and have patience to store things until they sell (if selling online). A garage sale is a great one time push, if you have many things to sell, or have multiple families interested in co-hosting.
How you decide to sell your items is a matter of personal preference, and current needs (time vs money). So, here are a few suggestions on how to sell your stuff, and tips for being successful.
Social Networking Sites:
PROS: Convenient way to reach out to neighbors. More personal than Craigslist, where buyers are anonymous. Free to use. No commission paid for selling an item. Post items from the convenience of home. Set your own price.
CONS: Meet with potential buyers, and sometimes load and haul items to
TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Use Facebook groups to sell, rather than the general marketplace. Many towns & cities have groups set up specifically for buying, selling, and advertising garage sales.
PROS: Great way to meet neighbors. Instant cash for your goods. One time event to sell many items without having to haul them too far.
CONS: Time commitment to preparing & hosting. Items may not sell for as much as they might online (collectibles).
TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Advertise well!! Use social media sites like Facebook, Next Door, and Craigslist to advertise sale at least one week ahead of time. Include photos and brand names of items being sold. Make big, bold signs to set out the morning of to guide customers to your sale- BE VISIBLE. Avoid piggybacking off large events- lots of people in town, means lots of people stopping by a garage sale, right? Not really. During large events, folks are generally focused on that event, not finding other things to do. Find out what events are going on in town, and plan around them.
PROS: National, or international audience. Sometimes brings more money, especially for collectible items.
CONS: Time to handle shipping, eBay & PayPal fees (though minimal), takes time to photograph & post items, must have a place to store the items, they may not sell right away.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Be very descriptive in your posts! Let buyers know EXACTLY what you are selling, and its complete current condition. Take note of every little mark of wear on your item, and include that in your description. This will help avoid returns and conflict. Have items packed for shipping once their posted to save time when they sell. Print shipping labels at home to avoid lines at the Post Office.
PROS: No need to negotiate deals, price, or manage sales. Lots of options around the cities for clothing, home decor, and furniture. Some places offer pick up, or pay cash outright.
CONS: Higher fees (usually 50%-60%). Often have to haul items yourself. High rate of rejection. Many places limit the number of items per appointment- so you may not be able to take everything you have all at once. Usually have to wait a while for things to sell.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Do your research to find the shop who will most likely be able to sell your item- many shops are highly specialized (bridal gowns, vintage, boutique brands, furniture only, etc.. ). Call or email different shops before hauling your stuff around.
PROS: Saves a lot of time. Items will sell. Timely payment. No handling of shipping or delivery.
CONS: Fees associated. Have to drop items off or pay for pick up. No say in the price.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Call or email photos and information of items ahead of time, to see if the auction house is interested. Clean all items, and make sure they are in working order. Best for higher end, and higher value items.
RECOMMENDED: Luther Auctions in North St. Paul. Weekly auctions, easy drop off, pick up available, fair fees, and locally owned.