I went through a massive decluttered a couple of years ago and has such trouble trying to rehoming everything sustainably. This totally changed my outlook on what I allow into the house now. If it’s not something I will keep for a long time or can rehome easily in the future I just don’t let it in.
Decluttering can become very addictive I’ve found and the joy of empty space encouraged me to let go of more than I 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. Here’s how I sustainably declutter my home using online marketplaces.
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Why Not Charity Shops?
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. However charity shops are not good for unusual or bulky things, but fear not there’s usually a home for everything and I’ve written up a guide on what to recycle/donate where, to match you up with the best option for your more unusual things.
Best Marketplaces for Selling Online
The best-known online market place, Ebay, is the best place to sell rare items or items of high value, that weigh very little. In Ireland our postal charges make it uneconomical to post all but the lightest of items. Personally I don’t have much use for is as I don’t, 1) have light items of high value, or 2) want to deal with the hassle of posting items
Facebook marketplace and Facebook groups can be good options particularly if you want to sell locally. I’ve managed to rehome quite a few items through these.
Irish based Marketplaces
Because I prefer the collect and cash option I use Irish online market places. To date I’ve tried Done Deal, Adverts, Gumtree, and Jumbletown (free items only. By far my favourite and most successful experience to date has been with Adverts.ie. Most items I post on this tend to go very quickly and I like that my contact details aren’t published and that you can see the rating of bidders before deciding who to sell to. Other websites that I haven’t tried yet and might be worth considering include Add
Tips Maximising Sales Online
Rehoming things online is far more time consuming that donating to charity shops so here are my tips for maximising your success rate of selling online.
Time your ads.
Most people heck 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.
Try and Sell on the First Day of Posting
This is the day items generate the most interest, primarily because it’s listed near the top of the category. Aim to 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.
- Put a note in your description encouraging people to visit your other adds. You can end up selling a few items to the same person that way.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If I’m chatting to the buyer by Whatsapp or FB messenger I’ll send them a photo of any free items I have and ask them would they like them when collecting their purchase. I found this to be a brilliant way to rehome low-value items that people won’t travel to buy. If I’m only chatting via Adverts.ie, or similar, I’ll just put the free items out on a stool and encourage them to take anything that they’d like when they arrive.