The most obvious upside to a bout of spring cleaning is psychological: it’s easier to get things done and you don’t feel so oppressed by clutter. But getting rid of usable-to-others-but-useless-to-you stuff can also be a handy way of getting some extra cash. The trick is to know what not to sell.
Picture by teddlesruss
In our list of clutter-clearing tricks earlier this week, we mentioned sites such as Freecycle and OzRecycle as a no-fuss way of disposing of your goods. However, if you’re keen to see a bit of return on your house-cleaning, then selling it through an auction site such as eBay doesn’t take much more effort.
For larger items, using the existing free listing option may be your best bet, since you won’t have to stress about postage or delivery fees. Regardless, doing a big batch of sales will likely make more sense, since you can deal with all the listing and payment receipt and dispatching as a whole, rather than continuously handling small, fiddly sales.
Earlier this week, eBay released the results of a survey designed to work out what the most common unused items in Australian homes are. According to its study, 85% of households have some superfluous goods, with these being the most commonly found spare options:
- Mobile phones: 47% (see our guide to disposing of non-working phones)
- Decorating items: 43%
- Kitchen items: 42%
- Applicances: 37%
- Audio equipment: 36%
- Movie players: 35%
- Televisions: 33%
- Bedding: 35%
- Furniture: 34%
This list can be a useful guide for when you’re thinking about selling stuff, but you need to apply some reverse psychology. Items which are commonly already found lying around are going to be difficult to sell. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but your potential audience will be smaller and the selling price will be lower. Conversely, items that are less common but still work should be easier to shift — even if, like furniture, they’re trickier to physically shift.
Lifehacker’s weekly Loaded column looks at better ways to manage (and stop worrying about) your money.