Recently, when we had our first child, I had to be unpaid during family and medical leave for about 6 weeks. Since we had plenty of time to plan for it, it wasn’t as traumatic as one might expect. However, why lose that money if you don’t need to? We used the opportunity to declutter the house of things we no longer use, need, or want.
I went through the house, room by room with Ebay’s iPhone app. I used the app to scan the barcodes on anything I didn’t want anymore and could complete listings in less than two minutes! I scheduled each listing to run for 7 days, and to start on Sunday at 10pm (statistically the highest bidding time). I would choose priority mail shipping only, so that when I brought my packages to the post office, I wouldn’t have to wait in line and I could use automated postage machine. There are size requirements for using the automated machine, so if your packages are large, you’ll have to wait in line.
During the week that items are active, I would take my bag of shipping supplies around to each room and box up things when I had a few moments. I would stick a post it note on the box labeling its contents. In my schedule book, I would add “address ebay packages” for Monday after all sales have been made, and “Post Office- mail ebay packages” for Tuesday.
Some examples of things we sold:
DVD’s- especially Blue Ray
Clothing- sold in “lots” of similar sizes, types, and brands.
Hobby Gear- Metal Detector, Radio Equipment, Random Gear from past hobbies.
If you have something that’s particularly large that can’t be sold on ebay (or isn’t worth it when you consider shipping costs), consider selling on Craigslist. BBQ Grill, Coffee Table, Bunk Beds that are no longer wanted? List it on craigslist, include a picture and it will sell in a few days. Always consider safety when selling on Craigslist. If you’re buying on Craigslist and it sounds like a deal too good to be true, it probably is. If someone’s selling a 2011 Taurus in perfect condition for 3,000 dollars cash only, I would be suspicious. Remember, you can always dictate the meeting location, I would suggest meeting them in the parking lot of the local police station. If it’s something where they are coming to your home to pick up a very large object, ensure that you have plenty of people at home and that you have a way to defend yourself if necessary. Pepper spray costs about $10.00 and can easily be stored in your pants pocket. We use Craigslist all the time, so my intention isn’t to scare you away from it, just to advise you that Craigslist is riskier than Ebay and to consider ways to minimize that risk or realize that Craigslist isn’t for you.
On a final note- Consider the way Ebay can work for you in future purchases. We needed a 12 oz stock pot for soap making. I wanted to pick it up that day, but the few I could find locally were extremely expensive. I lucked out at Khols and found a set of 2 (12 oz and 16 oz) on clearance for $35, down from $90. I purchased them, but I didn’t need the 16oz pot, so I listed it on Ebay where it sold for $43. This paid for the cost of both Pots and shipping, giving me my pot for free. I’m a big fan of freeJ
In the end, by selling on ebay, we made about $1,800 over two weeks for about 6 hours of work total. Not bad considering all we did was declutter!