Selling stuff

Selling stuff

Joined: May 21st, 2006, 4:46 am

March 22nd, 2011, 2:55 pm #1

The green-eyed monster hit when a friend e-mailed that she and her husband had sold $12,500 worth of "useless stuff" in the past few years. Well, heck, I've got useless stuff, too! I asked her about it and she replied: We participated in a town-wide garage sale and got rid of a number of pieces of "antique" furniture (read: horribly impractical or uncomfortable and not especially well made) plus a bunch of other stuff but the bulk of the money came from a private deal on a 1968 Pontiac Firebird that was in the garage taking up space and waiting for Jim to get about 30 years younger and cured of arthritis so he could restore it. It wasn't going to happen.

This got me thinking. I don't have a Firebird (dang!) but I do have stuff lying around. Typically I keep it "just in case," and eventually I declutter and give it away. I'm going to try to sell some of my stuff on craigslist, starting with the tank for the broken toilet (they cost $173 new--I'm thinking $45???). Going to have DS help me move it outside (poor light in garage) and show me how to photograph it and upload pictures. I also have a bunch of fluorescent light fixtures I was given and we aren't using. They are going to get broken if they stay around here.

Are you selling anything? And, to comment on Myra's post in another thread, I liked it when we gave stuff away here, too. I remember mailing off bathroom grab bars and a Revereware pressure cooker, among other things. And Glenda and Lori in MA sent me Naked Lady lilies and daylilies--thanks again, girls!

If you are selling stuff, please let us know what and how.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 5th, 2006, 5:33 pm

March 22nd, 2011, 3:37 pm #2

I used to have one, eons ago.

------
The road to success is always under construction.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 28th, 2006, 3:48 am

March 22nd, 2011, 3:46 pm #3

The green-eyed monster hit when a friend e-mailed that she and her husband had sold $12,500 worth of "useless stuff" in the past few years. Well, heck, I've got useless stuff, too! I asked her about it and she replied: We participated in a town-wide garage sale and got rid of a number of pieces of "antique" furniture (read: horribly impractical or uncomfortable and not especially well made) plus a bunch of other stuff but the bulk of the money came from a private deal on a 1968 Pontiac Firebird that was in the garage taking up space and waiting for Jim to get about 30 years younger and cured of arthritis so he could restore it. It wasn't going to happen.

This got me thinking. I don't have a Firebird (dang!) but I do have stuff lying around. Typically I keep it "just in case," and eventually I declutter and give it away. I'm going to try to sell some of my stuff on craigslist, starting with the tank for the broken toilet (they cost $173 new--I'm thinking $45???). Going to have DS help me move it outside (poor light in garage) and show me how to photograph it and upload pictures. I also have a bunch of fluorescent light fixtures I was given and we aren't using. They are going to get broken if they stay around here.

Are you selling anything? And, to comment on Myra's post in another thread, I liked it when we gave stuff away here, too. I remember mailing off bathroom grab bars and a Revereware pressure cooker, among other things. And Glenda and Lori in MA sent me Naked Lady lilies and daylilies--thanks again, girls!

If you are selling stuff, please let us know what and how.
I've done a lot of selling. For me, it's about where you can get the most bang for your buck. The hierarchy for me goes like this:

Ebay - You get the most money for just about any item on ebay. In the years I've been selling, only a few people haven't followed through with payment. At that point you file a report to ebay and they reimburse your fees. Listing items is pretty fast and easy once you get the hang of it. There are ebay and paypal fees but they don't bother me because even with them I'm getting far more than I could with any other method. A drawback, you have to mail the items and though the mailing and delivery confirmation fees are covered, you need a steady supply of shipping materials and you have to drive to the post office. I've got a couple of good sources for materials and my post office is very close, so that doesn't bother me either. Great for books, toys, gently used clothing, purses, small household items, collectibles...

Consignment shop - Find one in an affluent area that has a 50/50 arrangement and no other fees. The one I go to starts the price pretty ridiculously high (in my opinion) and then drops it in increments every few weeks. At the lowest price the items is about half the starting price. This is good for nice household items that you wouldn't want to ship like depression glass, crystal, china, pyrex, art, milk glass, bulky linens, nice furniture, etc. I took some things that I was pretty sure wouldn't sell, and almost every single item sold at a good price. More than I'd get on craigslist or garage sale, a bit less than I'd get on ebay, plus I don't have to list or ship it.

Craigslist - I turn to Craigslist to sell things that are just too bulky to ship, and that aren't quite nice enough to be likely to sell at the consignment shop. Really large toys, furniture that shows some wear. No fee, but be prepared for 3/4 or more of the people who respond to not follow through. This is also where I list things I want to get rid of for free - I don't bother with freecycle at all.

Garage sale - Ds's clothing is mostly secondhand to start with, and although he's not that hard on his clothes he doesn't have a lot of fancy-brand stuff that would bring good prices on ebay or consignment shops. Toys, games, books, household items that are nothing special. This is where everything else goes, about every other year. Every time I have a garage sale I swear I won't do it again, and then I have one a couple of years later. I'd probably do as well just donating everything and writing it off and I'm not sure what possesses me to do it except it's sort of fun.

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 21st, 2006, 4:46 am

March 22nd, 2011, 6:47 pm #4

So you would try to sell a toilet tank on eBay, huh???? LOL

I have 17 identical cabinet handles that cost around $50. Unopened in packages. I misplaced them and had to buy them again to do the kitchen. They are readily available in stores if someone needs more. What would you put as a starting price on eBay? Do you have a "formula" that you use for start pricing of new merchandise, and how much would you expect to get? Or is this a craigslist item?

I'm thinking craigslist for the toilet tank (good luck, Charlie!) and for some fluorescent fixtures--great for a gro-light operation, LOL.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 5th, 2006, 5:33 pm

March 22nd, 2011, 6:53 pm #5

I've done a lot of selling. For me, it's about where you can get the most bang for your buck. The hierarchy for me goes like this:

Ebay - You get the most money for just about any item on ebay. In the years I've been selling, only a few people haven't followed through with payment. At that point you file a report to ebay and they reimburse your fees. Listing items is pretty fast and easy once you get the hang of it. There are ebay and paypal fees but they don't bother me because even with them I'm getting far more than I could with any other method. A drawback, you have to mail the items and though the mailing and delivery confirmation fees are covered, you need a steady supply of shipping materials and you have to drive to the post office. I've got a couple of good sources for materials and my post office is very close, so that doesn't bother me either. Great for books, toys, gently used clothing, purses, small household items, collectibles...

Consignment shop - Find one in an affluent area that has a 50/50 arrangement and no other fees. The one I go to starts the price pretty ridiculously high (in my opinion) and then drops it in increments every few weeks. At the lowest price the items is about half the starting price. This is good for nice household items that you wouldn't want to ship like depression glass, crystal, china, pyrex, art, milk glass, bulky linens, nice furniture, etc. I took some things that I was pretty sure wouldn't sell, and almost every single item sold at a good price. More than I'd get on craigslist or garage sale, a bit less than I'd get on ebay, plus I don't have to list or ship it.

Craigslist - I turn to Craigslist to sell things that are just too bulky to ship, and that aren't quite nice enough to be likely to sell at the consignment shop. Really large toys, furniture that shows some wear. No fee, but be prepared for 3/4 or more of the people who respond to not follow through. This is also where I list things I want to get rid of for free - I don't bother with freecycle at all.

Garage sale - Ds's clothing is mostly secondhand to start with, and although he's not that hard on his clothes he doesn't have a lot of fancy-brand stuff that would bring good prices on ebay or consignment shops. Toys, games, books, household items that are nothing special. This is where everything else goes, about every other year. Every time I have a garage sale I swear I won't do it again, and then I have one a couple of years later. I'd probably do as well just donating everything and writing it off and I'm not sure what possesses me to do it except it's sort of fun.
and now charge FVF on the total, including shipping costs. I haven't checked the boards to read the chatter about it, but I was wondering what that was doing to sellers.

------
The road to success is always under construction.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: September 24th, 2009, 3:01 pm

March 22nd, 2011, 7:18 pm #6

that you are going to have to start charging sales tax. anyone know anything about those things?

dh ebay'd a few things last year - we have ALOT more, but want to be sure of what all the new requirements/fees are.

he did fairly well bc he was willing to ship internationally.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 28th, 2006, 3:48 am

March 22nd, 2011, 7:22 pm #7

So you would try to sell a toilet tank on eBay, huh???? LOL

I have 17 identical cabinet handles that cost around $50. Unopened in packages. I misplaced them and had to buy them again to do the kitchen. They are readily available in stores if someone needs more. What would you put as a starting price on eBay? Do you have a "formula" that you use for start pricing of new merchandise, and how much would you expect to get? Or is this a craigslist item?

I'm thinking craigslist for the toilet tank (good luck, Charlie!) and for some fluorescent fixtures--great for a gro-light operation, LOL.
I think that would fall under "too bulky to ship". lol

We replaced our old water-guzzling toilets about 4 years ago and I gave away the others on craigslist. I think it's unlikely you'll find someone who wants to pay for only a tank, but you never know. It doesn't hurt to list it.

As far as listing prices, look at what similar items have already sold for. If they consistently sell for a similar price, you can start the price low to encourage bidding and you'll probably get about the same. If the prices have quite a range, you could try a Buy It Now at one of the higher prices. I usually just look at the completed items and either start the price low or the lowest I could bear to part with it.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 5th, 2006, 5:33 pm

March 22nd, 2011, 7:57 pm #8

that you are going to have to start charging sales tax. anyone know anything about those things?

dh ebay'd a few things last year - we have ALOT more, but want to be sure of what all the new requirements/fees are.

he did fairly well bc he was willing to ship internationally.
is pretty unenforceable, although you are supposed to charge tax if sold to someone in your same state. However, it gets weird there too. If you paid $100 for an item with 10% sales tax, even if it was 10 years ago, $10 has been paid to the state for the item. If you sell it for $150, then you charge sales tax on the difference, which is $50. BUT, if you sell the item for $50, you are taking a loss, even if it was a gift to you, so you have no profit and collect no sales tax.

At least this is the way it was explained to me when I first started selling on ebay several years ago. My accountant hasn't said anything different to me yet.

You do not have to have an auctioneer license. It may be a rumor, but again, unenforceable unless you have to send a copy to ebay in order to register as a seller. And I don't think ebay wants to mess with that much paperwork. I have a friend who is a power seller, and I just asked her and she hasn't even heard that it's a rumor.

Ebay is going to start sending out 1099's to people who have sales over 20,000 per year or 200 transactions. That will go into effect 2012.
------
The road to success is always under construction.
Last edited by TxNet on March 22nd, 2011, 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 28th, 2006, 3:48 am

March 22nd, 2011, 8:16 pm #9

and now charge FVF on the total, including shipping costs. I haven't checked the boards to read the chatter about it, but I was wondering what that was doing to sellers.

------
The road to success is always under construction.
In April they're going to remove listing fees and have the final value fees reduced, but applied to the total including shipping. So that's good or bad depending on what you sell and how it's mailed. When they switched the fees the last time, people started listing items with a very low start price and a very high mailing price to avoid some of the fees. So I'm assuming they're changing the structure again because of that. Right now the ebay fees are not applied to mailing charges, but paypal fees have always been for the total amount.

Right now the ebay fees are about 10% and paypal is something like 30 cents per transaction plus 3% of the transaction amount.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: August 27th, 2007, 10:40 pm

March 22nd, 2011, 10:37 pm #10

The green-eyed monster hit when a friend e-mailed that she and her husband had sold $12,500 worth of "useless stuff" in the past few years. Well, heck, I've got useless stuff, too! I asked her about it and she replied: We participated in a town-wide garage sale and got rid of a number of pieces of "antique" furniture (read: horribly impractical or uncomfortable and not especially well made) plus a bunch of other stuff but the bulk of the money came from a private deal on a 1968 Pontiac Firebird that was in the garage taking up space and waiting for Jim to get about 30 years younger and cured of arthritis so he could restore it. It wasn't going to happen.

This got me thinking. I don't have a Firebird (dang!) but I do have stuff lying around. Typically I keep it "just in case," and eventually I declutter and give it away. I'm going to try to sell some of my stuff on craigslist, starting with the tank for the broken toilet (they cost $173 new--I'm thinking $45???). Going to have DS help me move it outside (poor light in garage) and show me how to photograph it and upload pictures. I also have a bunch of fluorescent light fixtures I was given and we aren't using. They are going to get broken if they stay around here.

Are you selling anything? And, to comment on Myra's post in another thread, I liked it when we gave stuff away here, too. I remember mailing off bathroom grab bars and a Revereware pressure cooker, among other things. And Glenda and Lori in MA sent me Naked Lady lilies and daylilies--thanks again, girls!

If you are selling stuff, please let us know what and how.
Maxine, I sold a TON of stuff when I first moved. I originally tried to hire a company to do an "estate" sale but really didn't have the time to coordinate. I tried to emulate what they would do. I took picures of everything I was selling and emailed to just about everyone on my email list, along with a flier they could pass along. I listed individual items on craigslist (bedroom set, antique furniture, freezer,etc) along with posting in the garage and estate sale section. I even sold the perennials out of my yard . And it did it all over the course of 2 weekends.

Amy
Quote
Like
Share