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Selling Stuff


Since getting serious about debt reduction, I have been meaning to clean out some closets and sell some stuff. I would love to have a garage sale, but my husband is working basically 7 days a week and there’s no way I could pull one off on my own. So I’ve been planning on selling stuff online and just hadn’t gotten to it….yet.

A couple weeks ago I was basically forced into the process. My girls have figured out how to open doors (and the world is over!), and now they will go into their closet and tear into all the boxes of outgrown baby stuff that I’ve been hoarding for the last year. It was just the push I needed to do a little Spring Cleaning. Last weekend I pulled out all the boxes, organized everything, took photos, and started posting in online Facebook baby/garage sale groups.

At the end of the weekend I had sold 6 items and earned an extra $64.

But was it worth the time investment?

I think it can be. But there have to be rules and boundaries in place. Even though I’m only one weekend deep into this side-gig I’ve got going on I think I’ve learned that, as a seller, I need to make everything at my convenience.

What does this mean?

  • I pick the time.
  • I pick the location.
  • Short turnaround only.

Most of my sales were relatively effortless. I post an item, a buyer says “I want this, let’s meet!” We set a time and place, and the transaction occurred seamlessly. But one buyer was an absolute pain! She asked if I had other items for sale (in addition to those posted), so we went back-and-forth a million times discussing additional items, taking and sending additional photos, discussing pricing, etc. etc. etc. It was the entire weekend! I asked at four separate points when she wanted to meet and she kept dragging it out (e.g., “I need to borrow my Mom’s car” or “I love it, but my daughter is being really fussy right now!”). I get it and I don’t want to be heartless, but at some point its just not worth my time anymore. It dragged on and on and we ended up eventually meeting on Tuesday (after literally spending all day Saturday-Tuesday texting back-and-forth) and I made a sale for $7. Not worth all the hassle, effort, and time.

But if I were to enforce these rules (saying:  this time, this place, no holds), then either I would have made the sale or not, but I wouldn’t have wasted 4 days in the process.

I’m taking a little break for a bit and spending time with my family this Memorial Day weekend. I still have more baby-related items I plan to post and try to sale, but when I do so it will be with this set of “rules” in place.

Any tips for selling things online? Do you have any “rules” you set for these transactions?