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All of my life, I have worked very hard for my money and where did most of it go? Like most "good consumers", it went big box stores to pay for something that was supposed nourish me, help me, amuse me, or to enrich my life. Some things met those needs, but then there was a whole list of epic fails and unnecessary items.
I frequently got to the point where I looked around the house and saw a medicine cabinet, linen closet, laundry shelf, pantry, and window sill overflowing with "stuff". It pained me that each item used to be a Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant, and or even a Franklin, that was now gone.
So, what do I do when this happens? I have an annual yard sale and occasionally set up a table at the local flea market to recoup some of my losses. While losing favor in some places, if they are still popular in your town, there is money to be made in the resale world; you just have to match your "stuff" to your potential buyers' needs.
I can honestly tell you that buyers DO NOT want grandma's heirloom dishes and glassware, the pretty "collector edition" dolls, your Beanie Babies, or your well-loved, brown furniture. Nope, they want everyday items at an awesome price.
Below are the lucky 13 everyday items that consistently sell at every sale I've had over the past 20 years. While you won't get rich, you may be able to put some lost dead presidents, I mean money, back into your pocket:
Be sure all of your items are clean, still have good expiration dates, and are kept out of the sun during your sale.
Don't want to invest the time a have yard sale or set up at the flea? I have had success selling boxed lots of "like" items on Facebook Marketplace, not the national version, but my local Sale Want Trade sites. Depending on your town, you may see them listed as [city name] SWT or FSOT--which is Sale Want Trade OR For Sale Or Trade, respectively.
You can find these sites using Facebook's search engine and type in your town name and these abbreviations above OR if nothing turns up, try your town name and the phrases "yard sale" or "flea market".
Select a few groups to join, gather your items together (for example, put 4-5 shampoos and conditioners together in a clean, sturdy box, take a few good, clear photos, write up a brief description, set your price, and post the items for approval on the sites.
For small items (under $25), I do what is called "porch pick up" sales. This is where I post my items on my local Facebook FSOTs, give my zip code, tell potential buyers that the item will be on my porch ready for them to pick up during daylight hours, and I ask them to private message me when they are on their way.
I am very specific that the items are sold on a first come, first serve, no holds, no deliveries, and when they are on the way, I send them the address in a private message.
I have a covered porch where I can tuck things out of street view and in a place where they will not get wet if it rains or have the sun beating down on them. When I give the address, I request that the buyer leave the cash (I do not take checks) in a secure place on my porch. I don't even have to be home for the sale, which is the best part.
If you are doing a porch pick up sale, I encourage you to always look at the person's profile BEFORE you answer and follow your gut reaction if something feels off. You are not obligated to sell to the person if you are not comfortable. You can simply tell them that someone else is on the way, then you can go in to Facebook and block their profile so they wont see your posts.
Out of close to 50 porch pick up sales, I have only been "burned" once by someone who left less than I asked without an explanation. I was not happy, but then I thought, if they needed the item that bad and that was all they could pay, I will give them the good karma to keep it without question. For the record, I did block the person from my Facebook so they can no longer see my posts.
Where I am, sales are typically safe and go along without issues. HOWEVER, knowing the lay of YOUR land is important for your sale's success and your own protection. In the spirit of SAFETY FIRST and in light of the new normal of general 21st century world madness, I respectively ask that you approach all sales with awareness and caution. Be aware of your surroundings, listen to your gut, and if you ever feel threatened or unsafe, call 911 or your local authorities.
Also, be sure to know your community's rules and regulations for sales. My town has no restrictions, but some towns and communities require you to have a permit or pass before you set up shop.
Wishing you safe and easy sales turning your household "fails" back into cash!
Source: From my own learning experiences!
Common sense that works!
Great article with useful information!
Thanks! Much appreciated!
Thanks! Much appreciated!