Paid partnership with Ebay Canada. Opinions, as always, are my own.
Do you have things lying around or perhaps worse, piled up which you’ve been intending to sell? Yet, for some reason you just haven’t got around to selling them? You’re not alone!
I live in a fairly small condo and have had a large suitcase-sized bag of a few items, mostly brand new and never used that have been taking up space and nagging at me to move them along. Shortly after I moved in a few months ago I did sell a lot of organizing supplies that I no longer needed through a local marketplace, almost all of which went to one buyer. This was a good return on time invested, but other items just seemed to go nowhere and I got tired of being pitched bottom dollar amounts. In the end, I gave a few items to friends, which felt good, but it didn’t help my pocketbook.
I thought I’d take a closer look at what’s involved to break it down into simple steps to see what might be getting in my way, and perhaps yours. If you have a few items to sell, you have two options in following these steps to see your items:
- Address each step for all the items you wish to sell – effectively batching the jobs with the goal of saving time.
- Complete all the steps for one item at a time
I found that while batching felt like I was being effective, it meant that it delayed the ultimate sale of everything and eliminated any sense of momentum. I lost engagement in the activity, so next time I will be completing the steps item by item.
I also realized when the return on investment of resources was too small, I was much less motivated to make selling the item a priority, hence the importance of setting a time limit in Step 1.
The 10 Simple Steps to Selling Your Stuff
- Decide you’re letting go of the item and set a time limit to do so. It’s taking up space and mental energy and you can use both for better purposes. If you haven’t sold it by this date, then it’s time to donate. Be honest about what really matters to you – your Space, Time, Energy, Attention, or Money. Don’t run out of STEAM™! (More on this in another post.)
- Research value of item and set price. Search online to find out current market value for a similar item. Be realistic. Item values vary and may not be what you anticipated. If you’re not going to achieve the fee you desire, reevaluate the investment of resources (STEAM) you will make.
- Decide on the delivery area (market size) and determine shipping method and fees. The broader your delivery area, the greater your chances of selling the item. If you decide to ship, this means taking into account packing material, time and shipping costs. It can be advantageous to include shipping fees in your price to keep the purchase decision simple for the buyer.
- Gather specs. Take well-lit photos from useful angles and include measurements. Take packing material weight and dimensions as well. Keep details in a file labelled “To Sell” so you can find them if you get interrupted.
- Write the listing with a straightforward heading. Use the keywords shoppers will use when they search. Anticipate questions and format the listing to invite easy reading.
- Set terms and conditions. If meeting to exchange the item, ensure you meet in a safe public place. Decide if you will accept refunds or not. Figure out how much time it will take you to ship the item or meet the buyer.
- Publish the listing on a sales platform. Decide which market place to use and respect its requirements. For the broadest reach, check out ebay, which started as an auction site and now includes the opportunity to sell for a fixed price. It’s ideal for high value, low weight treasures. Canadians – see a great offer below.
- Engage with interested buyers. Be prepared to answer questions about the item…even if you have already provided the information. Not everyone reads the details.
- Prepare item for sale. Pack carefully to minimize movement and buffer any impact which will help keep the item from being damaged in transit.
- Deliver the item. Ship or hand over the item within the timeframe you have specified. If you’ll continue to use an online marketplace this is a good time to ask for a review.
I hope this helps you regain some space, reduce mental clutter and restore energy and attention, all while making you money! That’s winning x 5!
Ebay.ca offer for Canadians
Until January 5th, 2020, Canadians can take advantage of listing up to three items for which they’ll be charged no commission. Visit www.ebay.ca/sellforfree for more information.