One of the philosophies Cashflow Cultivators explore is streamlining our life by getting rid of things we are not using at the moment. The accumulation and hoarding of useless and/or not used items, otherwise called junk, is a slow wealth sapper. Instead of keeping these unused relics of the past, purge them to squeeze the liquidity out and invest the money in diversified investments.
The things you are not using anymore (that you don’t love or need) are wasting your money by sitting there unused and depreciating. Start cleaning these things out of your life by creating online listings via Craigslist and/or Ebay to purge these wealth drainers.
I always have listings on Craigslist, Facebook, Offer Up, and other classified sites. I consider it a micro-action to list a new product daily or weekly. I will even list things without the intent of selling them just to see what it’s worth via the offers I get. I also list things that I don’t really want to sell at higher prices because I have received offers that I could not refuse in the past because they were beyond what I expected to get for the junk I was selling.
You already have products to sell (your old stuff). You can make your own personal virtual storefront. All of the clutter, junk, useless things, etc. should be liquidated and invested in diverse cash flow creating appreciable assets.
What Can You Sell?
Start with one item that you no longer need or use. Sure, you may have purchased that item brand new for $300 and now it’s only worth $125. So right now you have $300 invested in a useless (to you) item. If you sell it at the depreciated price, then you only have $175 instead of $300 invested. Right now it is just a thing. It’s probably a piece of plastic that is meaningless if not used for it’s intended purpose. If you want it later, you can find it again at a lower market price online of maybe $100.
Getting the liquidity out of your junk will take a little bit of work but will make you appreciate the things you do keep. You will also approach future buying decisions differently.
Where Can You Sell Online?
The Facebook and Craigslist marketplaces are our favorite sites to sell to. Some items may be better to sell on Ebay. OfferUp is a great mobile app. 5Miles app is very short distance items for sale. Letgo uses artificial intelligence to help tag your items. Cah4Books app is great for textboks. Poshmark app is great for clothing. ThredUp is a wonderful way to clean out your closet. Garage sales are a great way to get rid of junk. Some junk should just be donated to Goodwill and noted as tax write-offs.
You must figure out how much to sell your old junk for. Do a google search first. Then do a search via craigslist to see what the item is going for on Criagslist. You can also search for the item you are wanting to sell on Ebay. The age and condition of you item is important to determine value.
The photos you take are very important and must look as appealing as possible to get offers on your item versus the same listings from other people, which are your competition.
Try taking the photos outside so there is plenty of light. Brightness and lighting are very important for product listings. Take the photo with your best camera source. Use a free online photo editor if possible to brighten the photo. Make sure the crop and angle are good.
The Sale Listing
When you are ready to list your item on craigslist, sign up for an account and browse the site to make sure you can find the proper category to list your item.
Make sure you put the most applicable keywords in the title and body of the listing.
Photography is one of the best ways to sell your item before others with competing items. Make sure you have good lighting. Daylight outside works well when it’s bright. Make sure you take multiple photos at different angles. Make sure you take close ups.
Negotiating with potential buyers. You will be low-balled with low offers. Have your bottom line price in mind and counter any low ball offers with that one.
Try to meet up for the selling transaction at your local police station if you want to be as safe as possible. Most police stations now provide this service to the public for child custody switches and other various meetups in a safe space.
You could also choose a public place to meet up. For larger items, or if you don’t mind people coming to your home, try to deal with them in the driveway, or on the porch, or in the garage. Don’t let strangers into your home if it is unnecessary. Most people have good intentions and are well-meaning, but you never know if you will find a hostile person, so mitigate that risk by keeping them as far away from your home as possible.
If you have to invite strangers into your home to look at a large item such as a couch, make sure you take as many precautions as possible, such as doing an online check of the person you are dealing with. Just looking them up on Facebook will tell you alot about the person you will be selling to or buying from. You could also have other security measures in place which you will need to research.
Make sure you have in your listing that you will accept cash only. Make sure you know how to inspect $100 bills to tell if they are counterfeit. Be prepared to stand your ground or negotiate if they try to lowball you at the meeting.
Be cordial but not overly talkative. Let them make the decision to buy. Interrupting their thought process is not helping them make their decision.
Investing the Profit
Consider investing the liquidity you squeezed out of confronting your hoarding habit into diversified performing assets. You could be safe and just keep the cash in a high yield interest checking account or a high yield interest savings account. If you are comfortable with risk, you can put the cash into the stock market. Consider SPY which is the S&P 500 most valued stocks. Also consider crowd funded real estate investing platforms such as Fundrise.
Sell Junk Online Personal Story
I purchased some decorative leather nailhead couches from Craigslist 2 years ago. They were a 2 piece set with a loveseat and a sofa. The listing price when we purchased was $900. I made an offer of $600 and also asked if they could deliver the furniture. I was surprised when they accepted my lower offer and we received the sofas, which were delivered to our home the next day where we put them in our upstairs living room loft / kids play room areas.
After a little over 2 years of regular use, I decided that I wanted a reclining sofa and I was ready to part with this set. The couches were showing more use, and I wanted to unload them while I could get a good price. The three seater couch was showing moderate wear, while the love seat was still in almost perfect condition.
I listed the couches for $850 and then dropped them to $825. I received many inquiries and after following up with a few and answering whatever questions I could, I had a buyer coming in from an hour away to look at the couches.
One of my safety rules when it comes to craigslist is to not let anyone inside my home. I usually meet in the garage or on the front porch. I had never had any problems, except once, when a different guy got mad because he did not like the item as much as he thought he would, and got kinda loud and cussed me. I kept my cool and told him that I apologize the item did not meet his standards and even lowered the price for him.
I did end up selling the couches for $750 on craigslist. The buyers moved them out and took them away, leaving me with a $150 profit and 2 years of use. It was like I was paid to rent the furniture.
I apply this concept to anything I buy. I love buying great quality used items at a discount through negotiation, and then later selling it close to the same price. Sometimes I make profits. Other times I break even or sell at a slightly lower price.
This concept helps us make purchasing decisions in a smarter way. Having an exit plan and getting the best price on what you buy can help you afford to have quality things that are important to you, as the true cost is the difference between what you buy now and sell it for later down the road.
Sell Junk Online Micro-action
Start exactly right now by taking photos of some things around the house that you are no longer using and want to get rid of. Make one listing to get you started. You can use the Craigslist, Ebay, or Facebook marketplaces. You can list on one or all of those websites.
Sell Junk Online Risk Assessment
Mitigate the risk of dealing with strangers in the public by taking precautions to minimize the potential for misunderstandings and/or danger. Meet in public places or at the local law enforcement stations if possible. Don’t let anyone into your home if possible. Be aware of your surroundings and the situation.
Also, the investments you choose to funnel the profits into will have their own risk pools. I like long-term investments that use time and compounding interest/dividends to consider channeling the profits into. You might also use the profits to start a new business. It’s better to use money than letting it depreciate month after month as useless junk.
Sell Junk Online Disclaimer
Squeezing the liquidity out of your junk is your responsibility. Cultivate Cashflow presents concepts and explores ideas for you to further research and ultimately after doing your own due diligence, decide if it is right for yourself.
Cultivate Cashflow is not a financial advisor or advisory firm. We are an education and lifestyle blog who document our own financial and business practices as teaching and entertainment content.
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