I am just having my first experience with online selling. I have been hearing for years that people are able to get rid of all kinds of household stuff around the house and actually get paid for it. Mostly, I thought it sounded like too much work and when I cleaned out, I would usually just put a big FREE sign at the end of the driveway or take the bags to Listen. I figured at least I wasn’t sending my extra junk to the landfill. But of course, I was also giving perfectly good stuff away—stuff that I paid perfectly good money for—for free.
I decided to start with Craigslist. Craigslist allows pictures, and after all, pictures are worth a thousand words.
I started small: a little round coffee table I picked up at a yard sale thinking I would refinish. It didn’t really fit the space I had, and I never got around to refinishing it. I set up an account, and with a few clicks it was done “round table, wood unknown, condition good, $50” I asked $50 because I had no idea. I knew I had paid around $15. Twenty minutes later I had a buyer. He offered $35 which I was delighted to accept. I met him with the table at the library. That was fun. I was hooked.
Next went the seed/plant growing table. It was a hot item. I got almost what I paid ten years ago.
“Plastic toys, boxes of leftover tile, old Christmas decorations, craft supplies… Sold!” Some of it for a few dollars, some for probably less than I should have asked. Not everything sold in 20 minutes. Some of it didn’t sell at all and I do have to be fanatical about keeping up with the postings, but it is fun. For once instead of being a thrift store customer, I am the thrift store.
I am not much of a haggler. I am just decluttering, so anything I make is a bonus and is freeing up some much needed room in my closets. I see how people can get addicted.
However yesterday, as I was passing off my wool cape coat to its new owner, for $15, I had to pause for a minute. I bought that coat for over $200 three years ago. It is a lovely soft gray, boucle wool cape with sleeves. So warm it could probably perform double duty as a sleeping bag in Alaska. That really was the problem: I am not in Alaska, and the only time I am outdoors is to ski or snowshoe not wear fancy coats. I should not be excited to be selling it for $15. I should have never bought it in the first place.
Lesson learned— if I didn’t buy all this stuff, I wouldn’t be selling it. Instead of turning Craigslist into my new occupation I could be vacationing somewhere warm with all the money I never spent.