How Decluttering Can Pay Off, Literally! | Organizing Made Fun: How Decluttering Can Pay Off, Literally!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How Decluttering Can Pay Off, Literally!

Lately, I have been hit by the decluttering bug. And by hit, I mean HIT hard. I am pretty good about decluttering, honestly, but about once or twice a year I just start to go a little nuts around the house. Just ask my husband! What I do is I imagine that we are going to be moving across the country! I give myself a deadline - say 2 months - and I start going room by room through every closet, cupboard and shelf! I think about whether I've used the item in the last six months, or even a year. Why am I keeping it? 

Well, some of the stuff that I realized I didn't use was pretty nice. Not nice enough to keep, but hard to just throw out or donate! I decided to start selling it on Facebook buy/sell groups and marketplace. But, there is a trick to selling on there - somewhat of a learning curve, so I thought I'd share some of my secrets to sell off clutter successfully and quickly. 

Before I begin with the selling, please note that if your clutter is just JUNK or trinkets, don't bother selling it. I see all kinds of weird stuff on the buy/sell groups that people are trying to sell - like tons of little junky trinkets and old, worn out things are NOT what will sell well. Those should be thrown away or donated to charity!

Next, join groups on Facebook that are local and specific to you. For instance, I am in a local moms buy/sell group so they are looking for many of the items that I sell. They are mostly reliable and not scam-type people - trusted moms. I am also a part of two city buy/sell groups. This way, when I post an item, I expect them to pick up at my home or in our city - that is part of the rules of the group. Personally, I prefer porch pick up of just about all my items. I don't have to be home and it's just way easier for this introvert! It is KEY to find the right groups to sell your items in because this will definitely determine how well you sell the item - if you are selling tools and are posting them in a Moms Buy/Sell group, they probably won't go very well. 

It's also key to price your item right! Let me be honest, these are people looking for garage sale prices! So, don't overprice your item. 

Here are a few important tips when selling on Facebook groups: 

1. Measurements - always post as much information as you can about the item you are selling, which includes the measurements. You want to have minimal questions from people, so when you post all possible information they can quickly decide if they want it or if it's not the right size for them. 

2. Photos - Take photos in natural light - always in the daytime. Make sure there is nothing else in the background that is weird {trash, kids, or other odd thing}. It's best if you can take a photo with a regular camera, but if you have a good camera on your cell phone that will be okay too. If your camera phone is fuzzy, be sure to use a camera or someone else's camera phone. Stage the photo, if possible. It makes the item look nice and desirable and will attract more attention when you post.

3. Clean or fixed - If you're selling an item, clean it. Don't put "it just needs a cleaning" unless you're giving it away for FREE. Always clean YOUR dirt off the item! It will sell faster and possibly for more money. Always clean the item before you take photos. 

4. Own transportation/pick up - When selling a large item, specify in your listing whether or not you are willing to deliver it to those interested. I am not. As you can see above, when I sold our large playhouse, I specified that they had to get a large, flatbed truck. I understood that would cost a lot extra money, so I priced the playhouse well to sell. It worked and sold fairly quickly!

5. Sell quality things - Don't sell things that are junk to you. It's one thing when it's useful but you just don't use it. It's another thing if it's junky. Go through your buy/sell group and see what people are selling. Say to yourself "would I pay $$ for that?" when looking at items? Maybe you see that some stuff is junky - look at your stuff from that perspective. Or give that stuff away free. If what you're selling is a high end brand or from a particular store {Target, Home Goods, Ikea}, note that in your listing because that will also draw attention. People seem to be very drawn to Ikea so be sure to sell those and list that it's from IKEA. 

6. Price it right - Depending on the group, you are probably getting people looking for garage sale prices. It's true. I look at the buy/sell groups like a big garage sale. People sell clothes for $2 each, unless they are some really fancy brand. I sell Home Decor for $1-2 per piece. I did sell a piece of Spode for $5, just for reference, since it's a collectible. I get multiple people wanting the item in case the first one in line falls through.

7. Get in the right groups - If what you're selling is mostly women's clothing, kids toys, home decor, and the like, you want to find a Moms buy/sell group in your area. That is where I find the most success for my goods because that's what I sell. For men's things, tools, or the like you might need to look for a city buy/sell group. If you're selling homeschool material, find a buy/sell group for homeschoolers. 

8. Free stuff - If you have a lot of good but little stuff that's a little bit used, consider grouping it together and giving away for FREE! For instance, I had a bunch of crafting stuff we no longer used so I stuck a big basket of it on my porch for whoever got there first. They just had to sent me a private message for my address. All of it was gone in 15 minutes! It wasn't junky, but still very useful things. When I list things for FREE, I don't want to go through the hassle of setting each thing aside for each person. Plus, my group's rule states that if it's free, you can do a first come first served way of giving it away. I've seen other moms list their address and say "it's on the curb for whoever gets here first". It's totally up to you!

9. Relist - Sometimes I list something and it doesn't get any interest. I don't let anything sit for more than two days. If no one is interested the first two days, I delete the listing. I wait a few days to a week and relist it. If it still gets no action, either no one is interested in that item or I've over priced it. Another possibility is it's not in the right group! Since I belong to multiple groups, I'll list it {saying "cross posted"} in other groups. If it still has no interest, it goes in my charity pile to giveway!

10. Marketplace - There IS a difference between a buy/sell group and the Facebook Marketplace. I rarely list anything on the marketplace because you have to be prepared for a lot of interesting people. I save the marketplace to use to sell my really big stuff - like large furniture or our playhouse. You'll get a huge variety of people who will see it. That is both good and bad. You have to discern the weirdos from those of us who really want your stuff. I've shopped on there before and gotten some great things, too. But, it's more like Craiglist where anyone can see it. The buy/sell groups have rules and need approvals to get into a group, so if someone violates the rules they will get kicked out. The marketplace has none of that. It's more of a free for all.

When you price things right, sell quality things, and work things out well, people will LOOK FOR YOUR LISTING - I have people private message me asking if I have any more items to sell before listing them so they get them first. I've made about $100+ a week decluttering my home and selling things cheap. You can't look at your items as priceless. It's taking up valuable space that is COSTING you, so selling it for garage sale prices or giving away for free actually returns you that space and makes you feel good about letting things go! 

I can't guarantee that following all my advice will work for you every time, but I will tell you that you will get better and better at selling things the more you do it. I try never to have more than three listings going at once. I will often times group things into categories and post several items at once: like home decor items, organizing items, or kitchen items. 

This may also not work for you if you are in a gated community or have strict HOA rules. I do not. I live in a city where anything goes! You will have to work around that on your own and figure out a way to do that!

You can do it! It's such a great way to declutter, room by room. But, have a plan and you can make a little money too! Let me know what you think. Can YOU sell on Facebook buy/sell groups? Can you make a goal to go through your whole house and declutter? 

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  1. Holy crap these are amazing tips. I always tell ppl if they put in the time and energy its not hard to earn a few bucks for their unwanted stuff! And Amen to the CLEAN YOUR STUFF tip lol!

    1. Yes! It's such an easy way when you find the right groups!

  2. Would you please explain what porch pickup is? It sounds like you leave the items on the porch an people just come get them? How do they pay you? (Thanks!) I'm very impressed with your sale skills!

    1. Porch pick up is just like it sounds. You leave the item on the porch and they pick it up. You arrange how you want them to pay. I have a slotted mailbox into our house on the porch, so I have them put money directly into the mailbox. Some people pay through PayPal and others will have you leave money under the door mat. I've never had anyone didn't leave me money!

  3. Great tips. Thanks for adding the screen shots. I think it helps for people to see that you've listed and sold things for $1-$5. If you have more time than money, that's definitely the way to go. But so many people get hung up on wanting to sell when they have NO TIME to take the photo, decide on price, create the listing, and meet the buyer. In that case, taking the full donation value and dropping it off at your local thrift store can be much more lucrative...especially if it's just going to stay clutter in your house otherwise. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're right - it takes time. But, some people also stall at getting rid of clutter because they think it's worth SOMETHING, so it's a great way to get a little money for your goods. If it doesn't sell, definitely just give it to a charity!

  4. I am newer to this method of buying/selling. I posted a costume at 9 PM at night and it was already claimed by 6 AM the next morning, and it was so easy. I was hooked.

    Your tips are spot on IMO. One thing I was talking to other moms about is that posting at times when moms are available to look is helpful (like Sunday night, kids are in bed and mom has time to look at her phone). You get more views at those times, and hopefully it goes faster that way. Thank you for sharing your tips!

    1. That's another great tip! I haven't personally seen a difference in certain times of the day - I honestly think that I've posted quality items for garage sale prices so many people follow what I'm posting that they jump on it right away! But, you are absolutely right!!


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