So, you've heard me talking about sacrificing to win. Frugality. Envelopes.
Another way to jump start your debt payoff journey is by SELLING. Dave consistently suggests to "Sell so much the dog thinks they're next" (and, if I may, it might be time for Dave to come up with some new catchphrases....he's been saying that stuff since I started listening 10 years ago! ....But hey, it works!)
I'm a pretty well-versed Ebay seller....Craigslist every once in awhile (though I have to admit, it gives me the willies, I'd much rather mail something than meet some possible homicidal maniac to sell some random item). There's also yard sales, which we'll chat about
Here's some handy dandy tips for getting the most out of selling your crap.
1. BUT PG, I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SELL
Bulldookie. I call bulldookie right now. My husband has regularly told me he has "nothing worth selling". Just this last week we gathered up 29 mini discs (remember those?) from the bowels of the basement and sold them all in a lot on Ebay for $51.00. Mini discs that he's had since college and had absolutely NO use for.
You would be absolutely AMAZED at what people will buy.
Also this week, I was cleaning out my vanity in my room and came across some "free gifts" I had gotten from my plastic surgeon (LONG story...had the nose fixed and my deviated septum straightened. We are not talking regular Botox treatments or something.....). One was a completely brand new powdered sunscreen from some makeup company I had never heard of. It wasn't expired, so I threw that baby on Ebay. BAM! $30.00.
For something I didn't even know I HAD.
Dig through your closets, your drawers, basement storage and kid's rooms. There's a TON you can get rid of and make money. On top of that, getting rid of clutter clears the mind as well :)
In the past 60 days I've made over $1500.00 on Ebay just selling crap we didn't want or need anymore.
It's worth the time and effort to list things....and it's worth the time and effort to mail them out. Trust me.
2. SELLING THINGS TO OTHER HUMAN BEINGS IS A PAIN IN THE BUTT
Again, how much are you willing to sacrifice to win?
Is selling on Ebay a headache sometimes? Yeah....just last month I had to cancel winning bids on an old iPhone THREE TIMES because the people didn't read the auction listing that I only ship inside the US. People don't read, they get pissy with you....yeah....but if you just run your Ebay selling on the "up and up" and be as descriptive and honest as possible in your listings, you'll do fine.
Just like ANY customer service situation, you're going to run into some hard-to-please loonies. It doesn't mean you should back away from making a crap-ton of debt-payoff cash.
3. WHAT ABOUT CRAIGSLIST?
In the past few years we've heard the horrors of some Craigslist encounters. I've sold maybe a handful of items on Craigslist. I'm not a huge fan of it, honestly. It's a small pool to try and draw from (vs. the larger, nation-wide pool of Ebay) and people REALLY DON'T READ when it comes to Craigslist. Trust me.......
But if you have BIG items, like furniture, a car, a fridge or something, this is probably the way to go.
Just be REALLY explicit about what you're selling, how much, and the condition and meet the buyer in a safe place.
4. THE DREADED RUMMAGE SALE
Now, I think this is ALL dependent on where you live. I've met and spoke with people who have made a KILLING on rummage sales. I've also had quite a few of my own and they've never really been terribly lucrative if you consider the return on investment. The amount of WORK that goes into setting up a successful rummage sale is INSANE. A whole days (or 2-3 days) worth of TIME and energy, pricing things, setting everything out. In my case? Borrowing tables. It's a LOT....and I think I made $400 on my last rummage sale. If I would have sold some of those items by themselves piecemeal, I could have made SO MUCH MORE.
But, if you're looking to get rid of a TON in one fell swoop, this is the way to do it. I may have a rummage sale this summer just for a "clearing out the house" purpose....but we'll see. Just THINKING about it makes me tired. :)
5. BUT I WANT MY STUFF!!!!
This is a hard one (well, not for me...I'm not a "keep a lot of crap around for no reason" type....but some people like their STUFF). The emotional attachment to our things.
About 10 years ago I really really REALLY wanted a Louis Vuitton handbag (God, I have no idea why). So, with my tax refund one year I decided to buy one. That handbag was stupid expensive. It was a dumb purchase from the moment I clicked "buy". I was not someone making the money to DESERVE a $500+ handbag. But, I told myself I deserved it. Again, the lies we tell ourselves.
About 5 years ago, when we decided to try the debt-freedom plan the first time (like I said, we have fallen off the wagon more times than I care to remember)....I decided that's it...I'm selling this stupid bag.
This bag I had wanted SO. BADLY. What purpose was it serving? At that point, no bag in the world was more important to me than being debt free was.
So I sold the bag....and honestly, the darn thing retained most of it original sale price....which was amazing.
But ripping that LV logo'd band-aid off was a huge lesson. I went and shipped the bag out to its new owner and even though I felt a little twinge of "ahh, this sucks".....it didn't last long.
And you know what you can buy when you have no payments to anyone....a healthy emergency fund....and 15% of your income in investments growing for retirement?
Better things than a fancy handbag. Trust me.
So where do you get started?
Well, the best place to start is at the beginning. Setting up an Ebay "Seller's Profile" is really super easy. It walks you right through it. Try selling some small stuff first to get the hang of it.
A few handy tips:
1. Half.com (a subsidiary of Ebay) is a GREAT place to sell old college texts. I don't know about you but I had a ton of these lying around at one point. That's what happens when it takes you 10 years to graduate. You can list them REALLY easily on half.com and college texts garner really good $$.
2. If you smoke (BAD!!! Knock that off, do you know how expensive that is!!....sorry...anyway) or have pets in your home that shed or stink, I honestly would think twice before selling clothing or linens on Ebay. You may not smell it....but other people will and trust me, they will raise holy hell. You are better off donating that type of stuff and taking the tax deduction.
3. Remember, as much as it may SUCK to see some of your possessions go out the door never to return, being in debt sucks more.
You can always get more "things" once you're out of debt and financially secure.
In order for a debt payoff plan to work....ANY plan....you have to go crazy. You have to get mad. You have to do things other people may not be willing to do in order to win.
It's just stuff. We are talking about the rest of your life! SELL IT ALL, MAN!