As my more recent posts have shown, I am a big fan of yard sales. Not only are they a wonderful world of unknown shopping delights, they are also a great way to accomplish two tasks that most of us sometimes need a little help with: decluttering our living spaces and making money. Now, despite my great love of all things yard sale, let me confess my own dirty little secret: I have not held a yard sale in almost ten years. I know, I’m terrible. But, before those chants of “hypocrite” swell to a roar out there in cyberspace, let me explain myself.
For the past six years I have lived in an apartment. But that’s not all, those apartments I’ve lived in have never been on the ground floor. For those of you out there who haven’t done the math yet, let me do it for you. It’s been almost logistically impossible for me to go out and have my own yard sale. Sure, I could have teamed up with a home-owning friend but the thought of dragging all of my unwanted junk to someone else’s house was just too much for me. Being held hostage by my living situation, I had to get creative. How can you have a yard sale without actually having a yard sale? Enter God’s gift to the weak, the oppressed, and the lazy– the Internet. Instead of having a physical yard sale, I’ve been having a virtual yard sale. So, here are my tips to selling your unwanted stuff without having to tape up “For Sale” signs and haggling with grumpy shoppers.
Pawn your stuff. That’s right folks, they aren’t just for degenerates and underwater gamblers anymore. With the recent success of various reality television shows featuring pawn shops, it’s easy to see that these shops have come out of the dark and into the light of legitimacy. Pawn shops are a quick and easy way to sell your items with little to no fuss. Of course, there are some things to be wary of. If the item you are trying to sell is in high demand, a pawn shop offers a way to make some good money. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true so don’t expect to sell all of your items at top dollar.
Consignment shops. The idea of a consignment shop is something that might be new to some people. These are shops where the store sells your stuff for you and then takes a cut from the final sale price as a commission. This is a great option for those of us who hate the haggling game. As the seller, you never have to advertise or deal with shoppers. Of course, such luxury comes at a price and the amount you take home in your pocket will probably be less than if you put in the legwork of salesmanship yourself.
Sell your stuff online. The internet is full of places you can sell your stuff. Ebay is probably the most well known of the online auction sites, but if you look around, there are others as well. Personally, I like to sell my stuff through Amazon.com. Like a consignment shop, Amazon let’s you have a more hands-off approach to selling your things. People shopping on the website look up what they want to buy and then they have the option of purchasing used from you. Its a great system and a great way to parse down your stuff.
What yard sale alternatives have you used? Which options work best for you?