Eliminating the Clutter & Pocketing Some Change

by Heather Smith on April 19, 2012 · 9 comments

Fifteen years ago I had my second baby and noticed my house was beginning to quickly get overrun with toys, clothes and equipment my children were outgrowing. Up until that point I had been having a yearly garage sale to help clear some of the clutter, but the stuff that collected between sales was starting to get to me. I would have loved to just donate it and be done, but with only one income I depended on the resale money to purchase new clothes, toys and equipment for the kids.

Room-full-of-clutterWe had just purchased our first computer… a PC actually. Boy, I remember what a big deal that was (and how expensive it was, too!). Although I had a fight with the hubby about how useless the internet was, he won the battle and so began our online addiction. Luckily I found a smallish forum to sell my unwanted items called eBay. After playing around on the site for a while I decided to sell my son’s crib set. This was an ordinary Winnie the Pooh set I had purchased at Wal-Mart for maybe $45 tops. When my auction closed at $35 plus shipping I WAS HOOKED! If I had asked $35 for it at my garage sale it never would have received a second look!

I soon took on the name of “eBay Queen” in our household selling everything from clothes to household goods. Anything that wasn’t being used or nailed down… it was listed. I even started going to garage sales to find more goodies to list and make money on. Did I mentioned I was hooked?

Shipping options were slim back then with the local post office being the cheapest and quickest route for me to send my wares. Present time gives us many more options and with the help of the internet we can easily find the cheapest parcel delivery with the click of a mouse. Although times have changed a bit and eBay has grown, it is still a fairly reliable way to sell the kids quality items for more than you might get at a resale shop or rummage sale.

I have since retired my “eBay Queen” crown and status, but I still find myself sifting through the pages upon pages of goodies for sale… looking for a deal (or maybe even a steal). I’m not above suggesting &/or encouraging anyone that asks to “go for it” when they ask if they should list something. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure and there are many many many “men” surfing the internet for that perfect item!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diane K. Brimmer April 19, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Wow great idea! I will have to mention this to my daughters. One has 5 girls and the other has two girls, so they have a lot of stuff. They shop at really high quality kid shops and have really nice stuff. There is also a need right now for both of them have decided to give up their careers and be stay at home moms. Thanks for the heads up.

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2 Carmen April 19, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Clutter in our home is one of my problem. Thanks for the wonderful thoughts. I think I am going to try these.
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3 Heather Augenstein April 19, 2012 at 10:33 PM

My daughter has really good taste in toys……due to their resale value! Since she was itty bitty, I have sold her unused and/or unwanted toys on eBay. Once she realized that she got to keep the $ and that $ could go toward new toys, she was hooked. We have sold many large ticket items and she has made a killing. We have also sold smaller items and all of the cash adds up!

My husband sells his CDs and DVDs to local pawn shops and media traders! This is how he was able to afford a brand new Canon camera.

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4 Sarah L April 20, 2012 at 2:04 AM

I remember when Ebay first started. I didn’t trust it and stayed away from it. I’ve never bought or sold anything from there.

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5 Kidz shack April 20, 2012 at 1:49 PM

wow’ nice sharing of idea. now i know how to get rid of all the baby toy’s that i have.. thanks for sharing .!!

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6 jenn April 20, 2012 at 11:54 PM

I thought about selling on e-bay, in fact i got totally stoked and started listing stuff. I was afraid to do the auction because i didnt and still dont know how it works. I dont want someone to get a $50 item for $2. So anyway i did everything buy now and after all the work and research only 3 things sold because ebay was flooded with every item i sold, and i even made sure mine was the lowest price. The other thing that turned me off was that you are allowed only to post 10 items or $1000 a month and i had a ton of stuff to sell. Im very disappointed and discouraged. I really need the money I know my stuff is worth and i dont want to sell it for pennies on the dollar at a garage sale. ANy hints? should I try auction vs pay now. How do you get around the 10 item limit?

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7 Jennifer Hedden April 21, 2012 at 9:30 AM

We have a lot of clutter in our house. I just can’t decide what is the best way to get rid of it and make some money. There are so many options these days. Thank you for the great post!

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8 Betty Baez April 22, 2012 at 6:04 PM

My first job was actually an eBay store of sorts we bought storage units and I was in charge of listing and dealing with customers, I actually loved doing that. Now I sell a few things here and there it’s not a bad idea

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9 Carolyn Ann Colley (Griffith, Smith) April 22, 2012 at 11:34 PM

I’ve never tried Ebay, but my son buys from the all the time, not for sure if he sold anything on it. It is a good way to do business.

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