Some of my clients talk to me about selling items they no longer want. This is not a service I provide, so they need to either find a service that does it or do it themselves. Most of us believe that our treasures are worth more than they actually are. I get it, you paid good money for this item and want to recoup some of your hard-earned dollars.
Some time ago, I wrote a blog post about how to decide whether to donate or sell unwanted items to provide some insight on the pros and cons of each option. I encourage you to check it out to help you decide if you really want to sell your unwanted things.
I wrote another blog post on the cost of getting rid of things, which speaks to how expensive it is to get rid of unwanted items, particularly items that are not recyclable. This post talks about recycling by selling items that are no longer wanted. If you’ve never sold anything in the past, you may not be aware of what it takes to get a profitable sale.
Some options for selling items are listed below with some information that may be helpful for each option. There are do-it-yourself options as well as hiring professionals. If you don’t have the skillset, or capability to sell your things yourself, consider hiring a professional such as those mentioned below.
Options for selling items:
- Garage sale – This is the option you may be most familiar with in terms of selling items. Most of us have at one time held a garage sale. You are responsible for scheduling the day, or days, posting physical signs and possibly online, setting up, pricing each item, and handling the sales. After the sale, you will pack up the items that didn’t sell and take them to a charity for donation and remove all the signs you posted.
- Estate sale – These sales are not necessarily due to a death. They are actually anytime you want to downsize. They can be similar to a garage sale if you are doing it yourself, however, many people choose to hire a company that specializes in estate sales. They have the expertise and resources to sell your things in their best light and get top dollar. Each estate sale company has requirements to sell your things, and most have a minimum sale amount required in order for them to make a profit. A company representative will come to your house to determine if your things will bring enough profit for them to hold the sale. If you go this route, I encourage you to interview companies that have been referred to you to learn their requirements.
- Online – There are many options for selling items online and this is a popular option. Many estate sale companies, especially for high end items, hold online auctions. They take care of everything for you, but you will of course have to pay for their services. There are also many online platforms for selling items online. Ebay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace are just a few options. You do everything yourself such as researching pricing for similar items that you are selling, understanding the rules for each platform, posting your items, and managing the sale. Security is a big issue when selling online. Payment and getting items to the buyer are the biggest security issues, so be very careful when selling your things online.
- Flea market – This option requires paying for a booth or table at a flea market, transporting all of your items to their location, setting up, pricing, handling the sales, then packing up the items that didn’t sell and either take them home again, or take them to a charity for donation, similar to a garage sale.
- Consignment – A lot of people choose to consign higher end items such as antiques, and/or furniture. Each store that takes items for consignment has their own rules, so you need to talk to the store you choose, to understand their rules to see if it will work for you.