How I made over £2,800 selling my stuff!

You may remember that about a year ago, I wrote a post telling you how I’d made over £800 selling every day items on eBay. Well, here I am a year down the line and spurred on by my initial success – I just kept selling stuff over the course of a year. I’m here to tell you that I have an extra £2,800 back in my bank account (before deductions like postage, fees etc).

Nothing I sold was extraordinary, as you have been able to track through my series of posts entitled ‘things that have gone this week’, where I’ve tried to keep some kind of record. I just logged each item in a ledger book, out of pure interest – I do this with all my moneysaving exploits and it allows me to keep a reasonably accurate log of how much money I’d saved. In-case you’re interested, since 2012 I have an extra £34,340 in my bank accounts through my combined money saving exploits – as documented right here!

I guess I’d just encourage every one to really look hard at what they’ve got lurking in their cupboards and question whether they really need it. Clothing is a weakness of mine and makes up a huge proportion of what I’ve let go – probably 80% But gone also are books, DVDs, shoes, household items, jewellery, technology and craft items. It just shows as well that these things can be sold at the right price, if they are in good condition. I’ve also donated bag fulls of items which aren’t listed in my ledger and I have no objection to charities benefitting from things I no longer want and/or need. However, that £2,800 is very welcome back in my bank also as we’re on a pretty fixed income which is going to decrease from now on as I will not be working due to having a baby.

My primary motivation with this session of decluttering was to a) clear space so that the baby could have their own room and b) get some cash so that we could afford to buy the things that baby needed. We were never looking to buy it all brand new, for so many reasons but even so we have needed to spend £1,300 on items for the new arrival. Some of that was made up by vouchers from sites like Swagbucks, Valued Opinions and Pinecone etc. But as you can see, my decluttering has left us with some spare to buy the things that will inevitably be required over the coming months and years.

So it’s over and out from me, for now on the decluttering front as I literally don’t have any more to sell or get rid of right now. But I will certainly be selling things the baby grows out of in due course!

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Things that have Gone – 17

I’m back on the decluttering bandwagon again! Now that summer is over, it’s time to get my house in order again. I’ve always got more clothes to get rid of, I’ve admitted before that I have far too many. But this year, I have made a real and concerted effort to address this. A lot of my clothes are vintage items and although I love vintage clothes, I think it’s time to admit that most of the time they are just not as practical to wear. They tend to be the ones left hanging for months and years, and that just makes no sense. So, I am trying to downsize my collection. The other area of weakness in this house is the acquisition of DVDs. So we have resolved to try not to buy any more, without watching some of what we have.

In the last couple of weeks, I have sold 13 items on eBay.

 

  1. Jasper Conran Applique Cord Skirt
  2. Vintage Laura Ashley tea dress
  3. Vintage Laura Ashley gypsy skirt
  4. Underwear set
  5. John Rocha T-shirt
  6. Vintage Laura Ashley tea dress
  7. M&S leather skirt
  8. M&S cashmere cardigan
  9. Thor DVD
  10. Vintage Laura Ashley tea dress
  11. Maleficent DVD
  12. The Skeleton Twins DVD
  13. Phase Eight Sequinned T-shirt

I plan to get ruthless this time, I’m giving myself a deadline and if things don’t sell – then they’re going to the charity shop. I’m not keeping things going round and round on eBay for a year, before they sell. My space is more valuable!

Are you decluttering? If you care to share, then I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.

How I made over £800 selling everyday items on eBay!

This won’t be a post about the basics of selling on eBay – however if people want some detailed information, please comment and I will happily oblige. However this will be a post about the 58 items I’ve sold in the last 3 months, all but one on eBay! I decided to make a concerted effort to down-size my stuff and I forced myself to open my cupboards and scrutinise the contents. Anything that I hadn’t used or didn’t want, had to go! During this time, I’ve also taken 4 large bags of items to charity. These consisted of items that didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t sell on eBay. For example, items that are too large or heavy to post, electrical cables, or small stationary items, or older books that tend to have no re-sale value and clothes that perhaps weren’t a good enough brand to sell. I will add the caveat that I sometimes purchase items second-hand at a good price, so I can re-sell them for a small profit. 12 of these sales were such items.

Opening my craft cupboard was truly the most shocking for me in the end, not only because some of the items I’d been squirrelling away had actually lain un-used for the past 10 years and I was holding onto them in the mis-guided assumption that I would find them useful some day! I was doubly shocked when the sales finished and I realised effectively how much cash had been in that cupboard! Imagine if I hadn’t spent out for these items in the first place and had kept all that cash in the bank for 10 years gaining interest! Perhaps it’s better if I don’t think about that too hard, right now.

I literally sold everything that wasn’t wanted or being used – from furniture, to craft items like sewing kits and paper punches. I sold loads of clothing, some accessories, several pairs of shoes. I even went through the kitchen and sold a hand blender and a knife block. You know, those knives are just fine in the cutlery drawer and don’t get dusty anymore! I’ve also got that space back on my kitchen counter. Below is my ledger, to keep track of how much everything sold for:

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I set very reasonable prices for my items, based on what similar items had sold for (using the completed listings feature on eBay) or by just covering my costs (like with some of the craft item freebies I sold. I just wanted to make sure they could be used by someone). However, at the end of all that I currently have £809.28 back in my bank account (that figure takes into account my costs). Truly shocking – I could never have estimated that it would all be worth that kind of money. What has really hit me is that I don’t miss a single item, not one. What’s worse is I probably have so much excess that I can repeat this exercise over time and I bet I still won’t miss a thing.

I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier in my journey into Minimalism, but I guess that I just wasn’t ready. These last few months, I have had fresh eyes to look at my belongings again and the motivation to purge again. I never considered myself to be living in excess and when I look back over the past 5 years and see the sheer volume of stuff that I have been hoarding, it really is an eye-opener. I expect that I am the same as a great many people. Wouldn’t the world be a really different place if we used our time and resources differently? I hope that I can learn from this.

Please get in touch, if you care to share your stories about decluttering.

Paring down your belongings

It’s a strange thing, even though I’m aware I’ve gotten rid of so much stuff already. It barely feels like I’ve made a dent in my stuff! I guess that shows how much stuff I had around, that I wasn’t using. Or maybe I’m expecting too much too soon. I’ve cleared shelves from a book shelf, but yet to shed enough stuff to get rid of a whole bookshelf.

This week I’ve really been focusing my effort- mostly through using eBay. I normally do 10 day listings to get the maximum amount of exposure for my money. But it seems like such a slow process when you are trying to get rid of stuff. 7 days has been working much better for me and it also means I’ve been able to get listings ending on a good day- like the weekend, when more people are watching.

I’ve also just sent a load of books to a trade-in site. I’ve been playing around with this idea for weeks now, but as most trade-in values are less than you can get yourself- I’ve been trying Amazon Marketplace and eBay first. I’m pleased with the results and feel like I’ve achieved the maximum possible amount of money for my stuff.

I’ve also begun taking the advice of some other bloggers and removing 5 items a week from my wardrobe to sell. I think I sold 3 of the 5 last week. I guess the trouble with needing to sell as much stuff as possible, is that it is hanging around in my closet for longer. And, if it doesn’t sell then it’s there for longer whilst I re-list it or try other avenues. This is where giving items away is fairly instant. I am beginning to understand the attraction of Freecycle or charity shops. You can make that decision that it’s going and take it, there and then. A snap decision, no going back, no regrets, it’s done.

Still I’m doing this at my pace. For me, this is a big life change. It’s not just stuff- it’s the emotional side that goes with having stuff and getting rid of it. I’m a very sentimental kind of person and I’m not good at either change or letting go of things. Maybe these are lessons I need to learn? Maybe this process is therapeutic?