Once you make the decision that you are up for the Opt Out There adventure, you should seriously consider selling most of your stuff. You want to be able to move anywhere and on pretty short notice, and you can’t bring your furniture and record collection with you. When we got hired to run the Lodge, we rushed to get rid of our things. In hindsight, I would have sold all my extra things prior to getting the job offer. Because we were in a rush, we gave a lot of things away that we probably could have gotten money for. If you’re considering downsizing your things, here are some tips for selling!

1. Beware the Big Stuff

So you are excited to sell off your things! You start looking around realize your library of books that you have collected since college is just taking up space on a bookshelf. When was the last time you opened any of them? You set up an auction on E-Bay for the whole lot, and someone buys it! You take the box of books down to the post office to ship it, and then you realize – it’s going to cost more to ship then you made from the sale! Don’t forget about shipping cost on your listings. If you have a particularly large or unwieldy item, sell it to locals only. E-Bay has a “pick-up” option, and Craigslist is always a good option.

2. do it all with your phone

All you need to sell stuff online is a smartphone, so you can set up auctions or put things on Craigslist as you are packing and cleaning.

3. know the worth, but be willing to take less

It’s a good idea to do a quick search for how much people are charging for similar items. You don’t want your product listing to be an outlier. Too high, and obviously no one will buy it. Too low, and people will think that your listing is missing information and appears too good to be true. If you are trying to sell it quickly, aim for the low end of average listings.

4. make a good listing

Your listing is as important as the product itself. This is the only interaction the buyer will have with the product – they can’t try it on, they can’t page through it, etc. Make your listing as detailed as possible and with as many pictures from as many angles as you can think of. The more pictures the better.

5. Get free Packing and Shipping Supplies

You need to keep costs down when selling stuff online, and the only real overhead is shipping and shipping supplies. If you put the word our to your friends and co-workers you can easily get a steady supply of free boxes, bubble-wrap, packing peanuts, and newspaper. Everyone buys online, just have them save the packaging! If you are working in an office or restuarant, raid the recycling! There is no reason to buy these things from UPS.

6. Ship Quickly

We know you are busy, but the customer that just bought your “awesome jacket that you haven’t worn ever” doesn’t care how busy you are. They want to get their new jacket, and fast. This doesn’t mean that you have to rush out and ship it instantly, but do try to get it shipped within 48 hours. The main thing though is to be sure to communicate with the buyer about when you will ship it and always provide the confirmation/tracking number.

7. know your Trends & niches

If you have trendy clothes or other in demand items, it may be worth setting up a store on Etsy or other similar sites. If you know that your item is popular in a certain niche, get the word out!

8. you don’t have to sell everything

It’s easy to get caught up when downsizing. You start making cash for things that you don’t really need or use, and realize that you can sell even more than you originally thought. It’s also easy to get carried away with a minimalist aesthetic. But it is ok to keep the things you love. If you have something that means a lot to you, keep it. Even if it is big and unweildly. If you really can’t bring it with you, you can always put it in storage.


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