Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

Teach Me Tuesday: Selling off your stuff July 28, 2009

Filed under: Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 9:41 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Here we are again for another Teach Me Tuesday.  Last week didn’t work so well…I guess I don’t have enough readers that have an interest in quantum dots!

But this week seems like I might have picked a topic closer to the hearts of my readers:  Selling off your stuff.

I have come to the realization that I have too much stuff cluttering my life.  No matter how often I clean my room, I find more things ending up on countertops, on the floor, or just taking up space, in general.  Then this stuff gets lost, or broken, or dirty, or otherwise unusable.  A lot of it could just go.  I have perhaps seven to ten pairs of brown or black shoes that all pretty much look the same, that I’ll wear to work.  I have free t-shirts stocked away in a drawer (for going to the gym?).  Then there’s all that paperwork that needs to get filed away (or perhaps shredded/thrown away), be it old receipts, invitations/cards from friends, or credit card statements.

I suppose a better headline for the topic may be, how can I get more organized?  Or become a minimalist?  Because that’s really what I want to work towards.  I know Fabulously Broke has quite a few posts about working towards minimalism.  She also mentions that she’s sold some stuff on ebay and craigslist and is working on a post specifically about selling items online.  And Forest has a side business selling books online.  I’ve seen other personal finance bloggers mention selling books and other items online, but I can’t remember who it was.  It seems there are two main reasons people sell their stuff:  to get rid of it or to make money.  I suppose if you just want to get rid of it, you could donate the items (and possibly get a tax deduction from doing so), or if the the items are beyond use, tossing them.

So, where do you sell items you’re looking to get rid of?  Online?  Garage sales?  Do you find just donating the items is easier, that online sales are too much hassle?

I know that there are a lot of things to be said about getting rid of clutter and getting organized as well.  So, I welcome any advice on that topic as well.

Help me (and others) simplify our lives (and maybe make some money in the process)!

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9 Responses to “Teach Me Tuesday: Selling off your stuff”

  1. SP Says:

    “I don’t have enough readers that have an interest in quantum dots!” Hahaha, this made me laugh. Were you surprised by that?

    I mostly just donate, except textbooks, which I sell on amazon, because that is what I know how to do.

  2. Forest Says:

    Thanks for the mention. As you know, I sell books on Amazon. I’ve tried selling other random things like DVDs, sporting goods and concert tickets on Craigslist, but I think it is much more of a pain to coordinate meetings and deal with people flaking, so I prefer to stick to Amazon. And I’m having a really good month of sales!

  3. Cat Says:

    The only used stuff I’ve ever sold is clothing to consignment stores. The ones in my area are only looking for seasonal stuff, but its dead easy. You just take your clothing in, they tell you which ones they’ll take, and you pick up a cheque (and any leftovers) in three months. If you have a Buffalo Exchange near you, I think they pay cash upfront, which is even easier. Otherwise, I donate, because I think the roi on my time will just be too low on little items.

  4. elle & ish Says:

    For me,
    Books go to Amazon
    Brand name clothes go to consignment stores or sold on Ebay
    Everything else that isn’t worth much goes to goodwill 🙂

  5. Daniel Says:

    My philosophy is if I don’t have a real need for it, or it doesn’t make me smile, then it gets tossed or given to charity. I see little reason to keep something because of a fear that I might need it someday. I’ve seen my grandparents and my own parents hoard things because “it might come in handy someday.” Be prepared, not paranoid.

    That being said, I don’t think there is a problem with having a large amount of things, as long as you have proper storage and a real legitimate need or reason for having it. I own a large collection of books and music, however, it is all stored and organized neatly on bookshelves.

    I guess I’m a moderate minimalist…

  6. Robert Says:

    I have found alot of sites that you can sell stuff to. Just google sell _______ online and the resources I have found are great. I just sold some college textbooks to http://www.sellbackyourbook.com, I only received $40 for three books I paid $370 a year ago but still better then the 0 the college bookstore was going to give me.

  7. Candie & Krystal tried to sell stuff. But Krystal said she gave up because it was too much trouble

    I gotta agree with her, LOL

    But yes.. about that post.. *guilty guilty guilty face*…. I’ll umm.. get on that right away

  8. Mariel Says:

    I think there is definitely a mix of needing to limit the number of things you have overall and organize the things you do keep. In general, with clothes, books, etc. I go by the rule ‘if you haven’t worn it/used it/etc in a year, then it should go.

    As far as organizing/throwing things out, I think one of the best pieces of advice is to start by taking everything out – completely clear the things out of your closet, your book case, or even your whole room, put them in the hall, or in a box, and then only put things back if you really want them and they have a specific place that they belong – may need to invest in some plastic bins, shelves, etc. This forces you to look at each and every thing individually, and to organize along the way, so you are really thinking about what you want and where it should go. Depending on the size of the area you’re emptying, though, make sure you set aside enough time!

    I love craigslist – but it’s really only worth selling things that are worth more than about $10 – otherwise I give it to goodwill. I have more detailed tips on my craigslist-ing, so if you decide to go that route, shoot me an email!

  9. Steve K. Says:

    If you have some college books you don’t want anymore, sometimes the bookstore you bought them from might want to look at them If you want to sell your textbooks online then http://www.booksintocash.com is one of many places to look at. Sometimes though, some books are good to keep for reference like I have a basic algebra book that I keep, well because it is old, but it has formulas I use frm time to time.


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