Since I decluttered my upstairs I’ve been slowly rehoming all items I no longer need or love. This has turned out to be quite addictive. The joy of empty space has encouraged me to let go of more than expected. I do have one rule though; I will only rehome an item if I believe it’s going to prevent the purchase of a new item. For that reason what I rehome has to be in good condition and rehomed through the right outlet.
Most people think of charity shops when they want to rehome items and they are great for items in perfect condition of a general nature, i.e. clothes, accessories, homeware. They are not good for specific things, bulky things, or things not easily recognised. I’ve previously listed what to recycle where, which will give you a general idea of how best to recycle and donate more unusual things. In that post I mention using online market places to rehome items but not how. That’s what this post is about!
The best know online market place if of course eBay, and this is still the best place to sell rare items or items of high value. I don’t tend to use eBay because I don’t, 1) have items of high value, 2) want to get into posting items and 3) be paid via PayPal. Because I prefer the collect and cash option I use Irish online market places. I’ve tried rehoming on Done Deal, Adverts, Gumtree, Jumbletown (free items only) and Freetrade (free items only) and my fav is Adverts. I’ve found that it has the most users and so things tend to go quicker on it. I also like that my contact details aren’t published and that you can see the rating of bidders. Other websites that I haven’t tried yet and might be worth considering include Add
Rehoming things online is far more time consuming that donating to charity shops so here are my tips for maximising your success rate.
- Time your ads. Most people seem to check online market places in the evening so upload your ads then. Avoid uploading at weekends as there is generally little traffic then, except for Sunday night when people seem to go online again.
- The first day you post the item will generally be when you get the most interest, because the item is listed high on the category. Try and find a buyer then if at all possible because once the item goes off the first search page it’s harder to rehome.
- Include the brand name, model name and number in the description if you can. It’ll mean your item pops up if someone googles an item, meaning you might unintentionally win someone over to second-hand shopping!
- If you can list the retail price of an item and include a link to it on sale at full price somewhere. It gives buyers a reference point.
- Take good photos and include photos and description of any damage. It’ll make the transaction go smoother and avoid time wasters. I also include a note to say that people can view before making a final decision. I think this just makes people feel more comfortable about buying.
- Bundle items of low value. People often won’t travel for, let’s say, one run-of-the-mill cookery book, but they’ll probably bite for 5 of them.
- Sell things seasonally. It may seem obvious but Hallowe’en stuff sells in September, garden stuff sells in March etc.
- If I’m selling something I generally price it at a quarter of its retail price. This won’t be appropriate to everything but it seems to work for me. My goal in pricing things is generally not to make money, although that’s nice, it’s to rehome the item to someone who genuinely wants it so I price the item accordingly.
- I generally only accept cash on collection – it’s the least hassle. I will not accept a lower offer at the door; an agreement is an agreement. Be wary also of people who ‘don’t have the right amount’ and you’re faced with taking less than you agreed. A genuine person would offer to go to a local shop and get the right amount. I aim to have change but I’m not always that organised.
- Accept that some bidders will be buying to sell your item on. I don’t mind this. I don’t have the time / interest to do it myself so if they do more power to their elbow, as long as it’s keeping the item out of landfill and reducing consumption of new items I’m happy.
- Be careful about offering stuff for free, unless it’s completely valueless. I’ve found that there are a higher proportion of messers and hoarders in the free section. I’ve started to ask for €1 where possible just to avoid time wasters and to make sure the person collecting the item really wants it.
- I tend not to accept an offer until I know the person can collect that week because I’ve been stung accepting an offer and then waiting for people to arrange collection and the longer an ad is up the less likely it is to sell.
- Don’t give your address until you’ve arranged a collection time. It’s a small thing but I don’t want a stranger with my address knowing when I’m not home.
- As with everything in life break down rehoming into bite size chunks. I aim to list 1-2 items a week. This makes the task manageable, plus it means my older items might get a view as people click ‘more items by this seller’ on every new ad.
Ps – I’ve started a Living Lightly in Ireland Facebook page, where I’ll be posting tit-bits of info not big enough for blog posts.