Organized Living

Clutter Overload Part 2: Where to Donate and Sell Your Items

 

After talking about how organization can save you money, I decided a 2 part series on how I purge and organize was in order. Please feel welcome to include any comments at the bottom of this post about your own routine!

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Now that we’ve ruthlessly purged through our stash, we still have a few more steps to complete before we finally get rid of all that clutter. I’m talking about donating and selling our items.

It can be difficult to look at that at that pile and know what to sell and where, but I’m hoping the tips I give you here will help you get the best possible bang for your buck.

Amazon.com

Amazon is such a great online retailer warehouse, and I love that they allow small businesses and people like you and me to list our junk and make money off of it!

Though you are reimbursed a certain portion of the shipping cost (about $3.99), you have to decide whether your item is worth shipping. The heavier and bulkier it is, the more you’ll pay out of pocket.

Amazon also takes out an 8%-20% commission fee out of each product you sell. If it’s a small book worth $2.99, you might have to cut your losses and just donate the book to a local library.

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What to sell on Amazon:

  • Textbooks in a current edition (or 1 edition prior)
  • Books worth $3.99+
  • DVDs worth $3.99+
  • Small electronics (Cameras, iPods, calculators, etc.)

Craigslist

Craigslist is a website organized by cities and towns, so you can buy local rather than ship.

I also like that sellers can, and should, list multiple pictures of the item(s) your buying. That means I can easily pass by a lot of junk without wasting time driving to and from someone’s house.

You do have to be careful with Craigslist though. There are a lot of creepers running around out there. One tip I use is to always schedule drop offs or pick ups when my husband is home. It just makes me feel so much safer!

What to sell on Craiglist:

Garage Sales

Any item that is too small to list on Amazon, too unique to be included in a lot on Craigslist, or just plain doesn’t sell on either of those sites, goes into a garage sale pile.

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Each item is labeled as priced to sell (because I really want to get ride of them!), before being neatly packed away in a box with GARAGE SALE written on the top and all over the sides. Then I stash those boxes inside a storage closet, along with other bulkier items that won’t fit inside a box.

By the time Spring/Summer rolls around, I have 4 or 5 boxes full of items for a garage sale, already priced and ready to go. All I need is to put up a few tables, post an ad on Craiglist, and make a little money!

What to sell in a garage sale:

  • Amazon/Craigslist leftovers
  • Accessories and shoes
  • Baby clothes
  • Dresses and Coats

I have a personal rule after each garage sale: Whatever is left does not come back into the house. That means, it either needs to be thrown away, or boxed up for Goodwill.

Donations

Besides garage sale leftovers, I also keep an ongoing pile of clothes throughout the year to donate all at once. Those, I fold and put immediately into bags for my next trip. (For some reason, I just don’t like selling my own clothes at a garage sale.)

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As you are packing the items away, make sure you keep a list of everything you’re donating for tax purposes. You can go back through the list later and add in price values. Oh, and make sure to get a signed receipt from the place you’re donating.

I encourage you to try out each of these methods, and find out what works best for you. Craigslist might be the place that clicks, or maybe you’d rather host a garage sale than list everything online.

Do what’s easiest, and what essentially eliminates all that clutter you purged. You’ll be much happier after it’s all gone, no matter how it’s done!

What is your favorite place to sell or give away items you no longer need/want?

 

Come back Friday for a bonus organization printable, made just for you!

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13 Comments

  1. I actually sell on ebay rather than amazon, because I can get more money for my stuff. I’ve also listed books and movies on half.com – similar to ebay, but without listing fees. And my favorite place is our local “universityyardsale” for friends/students/alumni of our local university. Like craigslist, but a little more secure.

    1. I might have to try ebay again – I never had much luck selling items on it before, but that was a few years ago. Actually used to sell textbooks on half.com now that I think of it.

  2. Great tips! I always wind up with a lot of craft stuff that I want to get rid of; fabric, yarn, etc. Does anyone know of a good place to donate these items? Thanks!

    1. One great place to check with is local churches. A lot of them have crafting/sewing groups that make items for the community. I know donations are always appreciated!

    2. Nursing homes take fabric and yarn for crafts and OT. Elementary schools often do the same for art projects.

    3. For any fabric, you can donate them to your local quilt guilds (every city and town has them, go to your local fabric store and ask them for the number to one or two depending on the amount of fabric you have). When you donate to the guilds, you will get a donation letter for all the fabric at the current prices for the fabric. My mom just passed away and that’s what we did with her fabric and we even listed a couple of her sewing machines with them. The guilds use that fabric to make service quilts to the elderly, new babys, women’s shelters, etc.

  3. Do you know what the cost difference is between ebay and amazon for selling? I always use ebay, just because it’s more familiar to me. The only things I really sell are big ticket items {electronics and eventually lots kids clothes}.

    I’ve started to shy away from consignment shops, because I’m really feeling that they’re taking advantage of people. Things that I know were in excellent condition and good selling items {baby bouncers, carriers etc} never sold and I never even saw them on display. I can’t help but feel that they’re taking the good stuff and selling it themselves on the side on ebay or something.

    1. I always shied away from ebay, because I didn’t want to rely on an auction-type setting just in case I didn’t get the $$ I wanted from an item. But now there are so many more Buy It Now options, and that makes it a lot nicer.

      Most of what I sell are books, and Amazon often takes a big % out of that. I played around with ebay a little bit, and they were only going to take $.80 as a fee for listing a $5.00 book. But then you’re responsible for shipping, I presume? For a $7.99 that I recently listed on Amazon, they took $3.54 out in fees, which is a lot, but they give you at least $3.99 in shipping credit, so it pretty much washes. Like you, I use Amazon because I’m more familiar with it, but you have me wanting to try ebay again, and do a more thoroughly detailed post on it!

      1. Just include the cost of postage in your listing. Some will just charge the same or similar shipping fees as Amazon, etc. would for similar items, to make things easier.

  4. Great recommendations! While Amazon is a great cyber market to sell your books, it can take weeks to get rid of them. If you want to get rid of them faster and earn money immediately, I suggest you to visit places like uSell, textbooks.com and Chegg. They provide you with free shipping and you earn the same amount of money as you would do if you sold it on Amazon. For clothing, you can try thredUP to sell everything that you no longer wear. Make sure they are in good condition, though.

  5. I haven’t had much luck selling some of my more pricey items. For instance I have a lilly pulitzer vest that I just can’t seem to sell. It’s never even been worn. I hoped to at least get 100 for it but I’m starting to feel hopeless. Any ideas?

    1. I would think one of your best bets would be a consignment shop. Big ticket items can be really hard to get a great price on. My husband just sold his iPhone 6 when he switched carriers and he got decent value for it but still more than $200 less than it’s retail value. He also sold and iWatch and got about 50% of it’s retail value. Once something is out of a store it is really difficult to get the amount someone would pay for it in store. I usually find that it’s better to get it out of the house for whatever I can get than hold onto it just because I can’t get the price I want for it, especially if I’m not going to use it.

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