The No Spend Challenge – Day 15: Sell Stuff!

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Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

This is the Fifteenth day of The No Spend Challenge. To read all posts in order start with Day One. Read a summary of the challenge and view all 31 days in a list format here.  

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Welcome to Day 15! Our challenge today is to focus on selling stuff we don’t need or use anymore! So excited!

First start by looking around your house and take inventory of what you have. Then take a good, long, honest look at your stuff and determine what you’re ready to part with. Then choose one of the 5 options below and get to selling your stuff!

A. Selling on Craigslist

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When to use Craigslist: Craigslist is a good option for selling furniture, toys, larger items, etc. that you would rather not ship. The positive is that it’s free to list your items. Depending on where you live it may be more popular than other locations.

Tips for Selling on Craigslist:

1. Write a good description. Mention the brand name and condition of the item. Be specific so as to attract buyers. If you’re unsure about what to write or how to price your item(s) look up similar items.

2. Choose the right category for the item. Being specific this will help buyers find your item.

3. Take some good pictures. Try to use indirect daylight and no flash to get the best quality pictures. Take pictures from a variety of angles. Ensure the background is not distracting.

4. Pricing and bargaining. Do some research to see what similar items typically go for. Decide what your lowest acceptable offer will be then increase the price by 20%. This leaves room for bargaining and the buyer feeling like they got a discount on the item.

5. Don’t be afraid to say no. Determine beforehand what is your lowest offer acceptable. If an offer is too low determine if the asking price is more important or simply getting rid of the item.

6. Don’t list your item too many times. If you don’t follow Craigslist rules you risk all your listings being removed. Check the rules for your region but typically you can post an item every 7-10 days.

7. Bundle items. A lot of time you can sell toys or clothing a lot easier if it’s all bundled together rather than trying to sell things individually.

8. Be careful. If you’re meeting up with someone to deliver items take precautions by making the meeting location a public location.

Need some help getting started with posting on Craigslist? Need further tips? Check out 10 tips from Life Edited on selling on Craigslist.

B. Selling on Facebook

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When to use Facebook: Facebook is free and really easy to use. Might even be a good idea to try Facebook first. There are local selling groups in your area. Join some of the local groups. If you can’t find any good local groups ask around online or ask your friends what they use. See the same above tips for selling on Craiglist. 

Here’s a couple selling Facebook groups I’d recommend:

Sell Everything But The Kids – Dave Ramsey Inspired Group

Buy, Sell, Trade River Oaks/Sansom Park/Lake Worth

Doing a simple search on Facebook would be helpful to find groups in your area.

See also this link for keyword search “selling things” or this link for keyword search “sell”.

Check out Motivated Mum’s article for 10 more tips to selling on Facebook groups.

 

C. Selling on eBay

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When to use eBay: eBay is probably the best resource to use when selling popular or valuable items that are in excellent condition yet may be hard to find. On the positive side it’s free to list items on eBay. On the negative side you’ll have to pay a commission if and when your item(s) sell. Many people recommend selling items that can ship and fit in a USPS flat rate box. Typically it’s more difficult to sell anyting on eBay without an established reputation. If you’ve never sold on eBay before this may not be the best option.

Tips for Selling on eBay:

1. Write a good description. Mention the brand name and condition of the item. Be specific so as to attract buyers. If you’re unsure about what to write or how to price your item(s) look up similar items.

2. Choose the right category for the item. Being specific this will help buyers find your item.

3. Take some good pictures. Try to use indirect daylight and no flash to get the best quality pictures. Take pictures from a variety of angles. Ensure the background is not distracting.

4. Make sure your item fits in the USPS flat rate box. Always a good idea to keep a few of these on hand. These boxes are free at the post office.

5. Charge the USPS flat rate fee for shipping. This reduces surprises at the end and there’s less room for shipping questions.

6. Wait for payment before shipping. Never ship an item before you have the payment in hand. It’s possible to send buyers a reminder to pay as well.

7. Ship your items as soon as possible. eBay makes this process pretty easy as you can print off the label at home. Try to ship as soon as you can.

8. Answer questions quickly and provide feedback. When your auction is live answer any questions that may come in. A good idea would be to write a positive note on your buyer’s feedback page.

Are you ready? Here’s how to get started with Ebay today!

D. Sell Through Consignment Stores

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When to sell through Consignment Stores: When you want to make more money than if you’d sell through a yard sale but don’t want to take the effort to sell on Facebook, Craigslist, or in person. This may be a great option for you if you have a lot of kid’s clothes, toys, and items you no longer use.

 

Here’s a few consignment stores or events I’d recommend. Can you guess what season of life we’re in? 

Just Between Friends


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Rhea Lana

 

Shop-kids-resale

Kid to Kid

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Once Upon a Child

 Tips for Consignment Store Selling:

1. Gather information. Talk to friends or family who have used the consignment store or done one of the events. Get the tips on what to do and what not to do. Write down items and prices that you see that might be similar to products you might sell. Do a Google search to find reviews of the store or event. What are you allowed to bring to the store or event? Are kids or babies allowed? What about strollers?

2. Determine if the store is a good fit for your products. Check the store or event out. Go with a friend. What items do you see on the shelves? What items are people buying in the checkout lanes? Is the store or event well organized? Is there good security in place to ensure items are not stolen?

3. Price items appropriately. Again, getting help from a friend or family member might come in handy. Also grab your list you made when you went to the store or event for a frame of reference. Make sure the tags are printed off correctly and taped or tagged to the items so that they won’t easily fall off.

 4. Only offer good quality items. Poor quality items will typically be rejected or will not sell. Check for stains or tears on clothes. If toys are damaged or missing pieces perhaps the trash can is a better option.

5. Get the terms in writing. What percentage of the sale goes to the store and what do you retain? Do you retain 60% of the revenue and the store retains 40%? Is it possible to increase your percentage? Can you volunteer for setup in order get better deals or get to the jump on regular customers by getting a pass to shop early? Ask if there are any “administration fees” in addition to the percentage cut. Be wary of stores or events that do not give out the information with pricing for your items. If you aren’t satisfied with one event or store try another one.

6. Learn the Back-End System. Again I know I keep saying this… But it’s a good idea to have a friend or family member show you the ropes. Familiarize yourself with the inventory system, sales records, and ask questions. Check to see if the store or event offers information on FAQ – frequently asked questions.

7. Retrieve any goods that don’t sell. Not selling your products is bad enough. Not getting back your items may in fact be worse. Determine if the location is worth it to travel back to retrieve your items. If the store is too far away then perhaps donating the items to charity might be a better option.

Want further tips on consignment selling? Check out these tips from Money Crashers.

E. Have a Yard or Garage Sale

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When to throw a yard or garage sale: If you have a TON of stuff to sell and you live in a good neighborhood for yard or garage sales then this might be a good option for you. And by good I’d say living in a house that is close to a main street, that generates a lot of drive-by traffic, and you are fairly good at posting sings… I would recommend trying Facebook, Craigslist, and eBay before opting for either a yard or garage sale. That said, probably doesn’t hurt to have either a yard or garage sale once a year. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure as the saying goes.  

Tips for Yard and Garage Sale Selling:

1. Team Up. Convince your neighbors, friends, and to go in together on a yard or garage sale.

2. Promote your sale. Post on Pinterest, Facebook, Craigslist, and Twitter for free advertisement. If you want to spend a little money take out a classified ad. Don’t foreget to put up a ton of signs all over your neighborhood with clear directions on how to find your house. My wife’s MOPS (Moms of Pre-Schoolers) group put an advertisement on Craigslist that generated people from all over the Dallas & Fort Worth Metroplex. It went something like this:

ONE DAY only – Garage Sale – 4/18/15
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 we will be having a GINORMOUS one-day only garage sale starting at 7am. To say this is going to be big is kind of like calling the state of Texas a fairly large state…

Find a MOPs group near you or check out the MOPs my wife participates in.

3. Get organized. Use or borrow tables to hold your stuff. Price everything the days before the sale. Make sure to label your items clearly. Go by the bank or credit union the day before so you have plenty of change available. If you have electronics be sure to have batteries or an electrical outlet available for testing purposes.

 4. Be open to bargaining. People will want to make offers and come away with “good deals”. Stand by your prices early on in the morning and become more flexible in the afternoon as the day progresses.

5. Have a plan in place for items that are left over. Don’t put stuff in boxes and clutter up your garage or storage unit again! Try to list remaining items on Craigslist, Facebook, eBay, a Consignment store or deliver them to a charity.

Interested in more tips on yard or garage selling? Read a full out report from the Yard Sale Queen.

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Which of these is right for you? What do you plan on selling today or this week?

{Click here to go to day 16

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About Jonathan Key 112 Articles
Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

6 Comments

    • Yes, you should definitely go for it Steve! Facebook I think is one of the best mediums for selling for sure. You can find some good buys on Craigslist and yard sales though too! Were you thinking of selling anything in the near future? Thanks for stopping by.

  1. I really thing that we as a whole society can do so much better with re-using items by both selling and purchasing good quality used goods rather than buying new.

  2. While originally, a 30 Day No-Spend Challenge was to drastically curb impulse buys, mindless shopping and consumerism, a Fiscal Fast requires you to not only stop shopping, but mainly, use what you have for 30 days. For 30 days, you do not buy anything that isn t necessary to live.

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