These methods are all ones that I have used successfully. I am pretty good about moving things along that I no longer need. Of course there will always be pieces that are kept for sentimental reasons and others that are particular to a season, occasion or sport.
One trap I fell into was keeping ‘wanted things’ for my children. When it was time for my husband and I to sell and scale down my first thoughts were to give the stored items to the appropriate household. Surprise, nobody wanted them just yet! I gave notice to pick up within the next four weeks or they would find new homes. Spurred into action a couple of books, games and bric-a-brac did actually get taken away.
The house we had just sold was a very large one on a working farm with a vineyard. The farm and vineyard equipment were part of the sale so it was only the contents of our home and gardens that needed to be dispersed.
Owing to the fact that we were 30 kilometres from the nearest town I had to find a carrot to get people out to our ‘garage sale’. I put an advertisement in our local paper inviting folks to join us for drinks and cheese on our verandah and help say goodbye to our home. It worked a treat and we had so many people we had to call for help with parking. I made an inventory with numbers and prices and replicated the numbers on each piece of furniture etc. That was a most successful sale.
Recently my husband and I returned to Australia after 5 years abroad. Unpacking our goods from storage was a revelation. Most of my clothes were now 1 size too small, my shoes unbearable after walking in bare feet or thongs for years and so many items no longer functioned. Many things made us laugh at the thought that they were once treasures and now were totally unloved.
We took hundreds of books to local retirement villages and waiting rooms. Many car boot loads of clothes were donated to St. Vincent de Paul and others were left on the pavement free of charge. The latter was a great success and a dog kennel, television and some garden tools walked away within the hour. We also put a number of items out on the pavement for sale. The exercise bike and barbeque sold after a few weekends on display. The video player and dozens of videos were given away. We now use DVD’s or USB Sticks.
There are several outlets for selling and I enjoyed taking advantage of these. Highly successful were our local ‘collectables’ shops. I took china tea sets, platters, bone handled cutlery, ornaments and glasses and they sold fairly fast. Of course you can’t expect top price as most shoppers are looking for a bargain. However if the pieces are unique they can command a good price. I did sell two items I was not prepared to reduce price and obviously the purchasers recognised these as special.
Next stop was ebay. I have to date, listed twenty items and sold fourteen. Once again price is important. On ebay designer labels, shoes, boots, collectables and children’s toys are very much in demand. Size is important so it is best to keep within the range of Australia Post dimensions and weight. Otherwise you can put the onus on the buyer to organise pick up. They can come in person or send an agent. As long as the method is clear and signatures are swapped it works well.
Things that don’t sell easily on ebay are china, linen and jewellery. That’s not to say it won’t. However, there are so many of these listed I found it not a good outlet for me.
Good photographs, explicit descriptions and no fibs on quality are essential. Make sure you know the postage cost if you are including it in your ad as you can fall into the trap of not allowing sufficient and you will have to pick up the difference. Ebay do make it simple with three steps to follow and provide customer support.
Once sold the money is transferred from the buyer to PayPal. The seller ships giving a tracking number and then invoices PayPal for the money to be transferred to their account.
Gumtree, is also part of the ebay stable and caters for local buy and sell. This means that larger items don’t incur transport problems. For example if you sell a barbeque for $100 you don’t want a cartage charge of double the price. I recently sold two garden seats and the buyer collected them.
PayPal in my view is a must. They charge a very small fee and there are no problems with chasing money or posting an item that has not been paid for.
It is also possible to give freebies on Gumtree and to get ebay to send the money for goods sold to a charity of your choice.
I have moved a large number of possessions to other homes but the truth is, it is hard to see any gaps were these once stood. The ease of selling and the great feeling of ‘de- cluttering’ is quite liberating and I have extra pennies to spend. No doubt many of the new treasures will end up in a garage sale or be sold on line!