An Experiment: How I sold my stuff on the internet in Q1

Stuff. It surrounds me.

It never felt like that much. Primarily because it was always spread around. Some was at my mom’s house. Some was at my dad’s. Then some was away with me at college.

When I moved into an apartment with Hubs, it got more scattered. We both had things, yes, but we left a lot behind. My mom still had some. My dad still had some. He left some stuff behind at his parent’s place. He had a bunch in their garage. We didn’t have a garage at our apartment, so we never took more than we could handle.

Then we bought a house, with a garage. Officially an adult, my parents jumped on the opportunity to get my crap out of their house. Every visit home involved a tour of some new nook or cranny that had my stuff.

  • A dress my grandpa bought me when I was in elementary school?  I loved that dress. But it can find a new home.
  • A suade-ish faux fur coat from high school?: 1)What the heck was I thinking? but 2) Yes, that can leave my life.

Hubs’ parents also joined in. They wanted their full garage back. They remodeled the basement and were happy to use that as an opportunity to bring boxes over.

For the first time ever, all our stuff is in one place.

I knew there would be a filtering process as we rearranged and found new homes for things. Try this or try that, things shuffled around the house. We’ve been in our house over a year now and we are settled in.  Our settling has made it incredibly clear that we own too many things we don’t use and don’t plan to use.

Get this out of my house!

To find the most effective way to gently shove my treasures out, I took the opportunity to learn new platforms and refresh my knowledge on old ones. I love experiments, comparing. This was perfect.

The nature of shipping makes certain avenues better than others. I had a desk to sell. Shipping that would be impossible. For that, I was willing to deal with the local market hassle of meeting up and exchanging cash in person. I also had clothes and small items to sell. Those are perfect to ship. The easier I felt something was to ship, the less I felt it was worth it to try to meet up with people to exchange. Online/nationwide shipping also opens up a much larger marketplace. Yay online!

Websites/Apps I tried

Local – Large or Unique items.

  • Craigslist
  • LetGo
  • OfferUp
  • Facebook Marketplace

Online – Easily shippable items

  • Poshmark
  • eBay
  • (Notably not Amazon – I’ve sold on Amazon in the past. It is great for things with a barcode, but I didn’t have any of that to sell this round.)

I tried to give each platform an honest equal shot. I used the same pictures for everything. I used very similar descriptions. Some platforms want you to be wordy and some want you to get to the point. Quick flip through apps like LetGo, Facebook and OfferUp seem to want you to get to the point, so I did. I provided more detail on Poshmark, eBay & Craigslist. I don’t necessarily think that more detail is better, but if they provided a large space, I tried to fill it with what I could. It helps to fit the user experience: E.g. I find it odd when the platform provides a small space and people write novels or if there is a large space for detail and people say 2 words.

I started uploading my wares around Christmas, but nothing sold until after the New Year. For clean lines, here is what I accomplished in the First Quarter 2018.

The Results!

Overall

  • 75 items posted
  • 14 items sold
  • 6 people wasting my time.

Craigslist

  • 2 item posted
  • 0 items sold
  • 0 people trying to mess with me.

LetGo

  • 12 items posted
  • 0 items sold.
  • 5 people seemingly deliberately trying to mess with me and waste my time

OfferUp

  • 12 items posted
  • 2 items sold – A Desk (Large) and a pair of shoes (unique)
  • 1 person who totally deliberately wasted my time. I was GHOSTED!

Facebook Marketplace

  • 12 items posted
  • 0 items sold
  • 0 people trying to mess with me. I had a few nibbles, but no serious interest.

Poshmark

  • 64 items posted
  • 10 items sold – Clothing & shoes.
  • 0 people trying to mess with me. – I don’t consider comments “wasting my time” even though I’ve yet to have someone comment who then purchased an item.

eBay

  • 9 items posted
  • 2 items sold – A pair of shoes and a bag.
  • 0 people trying to mess with me.

The big winners are Poshmark, eBay and OfferUp. By selling local with OfferUp, I unloaded much larger, more expensive items. Poshmark and eBay have been a semi-steady stream of smaller sales.

I don’t plan to put more up on LetGo. There are too many people playing games. I’ll keep up what I have, but I’ve learned not to get my hopes up when someone is interested and asks to meet. I plan to use Craigslist, Facebook and OfferUp for any larger items, but will use Poshmark and eBay as my main sources.

With all of the items, I never put my hope in any single one of the platforms to be the only place I sold. OfferUp, LetGo, Facebook and eBay tell you how many people looked at your item. There was a drastic difference between the number of views I got on one platform versus another, even though I was using the exact same pictures. Simply put, people look for different things on different platforms. Often, I’ve been surprised by what sells where.

I feel like I’ve run out of my own things to sell, but I’m sure that’s a lie. There is always more stuff to uncover. I do plan to tap into Hubs’ items, specifically clothes, to see what I can unload.  We’ll see what I can sell next Quarter!

Do you sell secondhand? Do you use any platforms I’ve missed?

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Dear Side Hustle, I quit.

I’ve made the mistake/ had the good fortune of surrounding myself with people who side hustle.

I’m pretty sure everyone wants more income. I love income. BRING ON THE INCOME. And these side hustles are extra income. Tell me more.

Side hustling can be inspiring. There is a big world of money outside of w-2 employment. So much that can be done on the side, in the after hours or on the weekend. Side hustles can fill a passion that isn’t fulfilled at a main job. Side hustles can provide an outlet.

I have a side hustle. For many years, I did it for free. I did it because I love it. It was and always has been a labor of love. Then I learned I could make extra side money from the exact same activity, simply by offering my services to different places. Wow! Money! For years, I hustled between several companies. I was still as passionate and thrilled to be making money doing what I love. Yay side hustling.

Then things started to changed. My physical well being suffered. I routinely got hurt during my side hustle (cuts, bruises, pretty nasty frost bite). As someone who doesn’t heal very well, these wounds got more and more frustrating The pay became more difficult to get – the rates were fine, but I had to jump through every imaginable hoop to get paid. The job got more annoying. The days were more and more disorganized- never the right equipment, wildly inaccurate time estimates. Then Management changed and basically said a Big FU to all of us.

I could see the writing on the wall. It was time to walk away. Emotionally, I was okay with that. Financially, it was fine. I didn’t love it anymore. In fact, I hated it and told everyone I could that I need to stop doing it ASAP

But I still had the hustle in me. I felt I needed to be doing a little extra on the side, to make a little more. I spun my wheels for weeks, months (quarters??) thinking about what idea I could turn into a little money on the side.

Then I was punched in the face with reality. .. Why does my hustle need to be on the side?

I have this big girl corporate job that pays pretty well. With an extra certification and/or bomb.com performance reviews, I could easily out earn my side hustle income. I was drawn to all these side hustle ideas that I neglected the thought that my main hustle could be an even better paying hustle if I gave it all I had. I feel a bit stupid that I didn’t see the truth sooner.

So to my side hustle, I say, I quit. I quit for now, and maybe forever. I need to focus on my w-2.

Aint no shame in that w-2 main hustle.

To Thy Own Splurge Be True

 

I am frugal.

You are probably frugal too. (You are reading a financial blog, after all).

But here’s the magical thing about frugality. It is personal and everyone’s version is different.

I can choose to cut my own hair, wear my clothes until they are worn through, and cook from home most days.

You could do your own car maintenance, staycation, and keep the thermostat at 55 degrees in the winter.

Our fellow frugal compatriot could bike to work, split rent with 4 randos from Craigslist and drink Folgers coffee.

There is nothing wrong with any of these versions of frugality. Each is a different manifestation, highlighting different comfort levels and skill sets.

Inherent in each variation of frugality is a different thread of splurge.

I love to vacation in not so economical places.

You many love your coffee shop coffee and have a maid service come every two weeks.

Our fellow frugal compatriot has a super sweet gaming PC.

That’s all great! I refuse to throw shade on other people’s splurges. Frugality is a conscious choice to cut back in certain areas of life. To save where we can save. That opens the door to have the ability to spend where we choose to spend.

This is your life.

To thy own splurge be true.