(Photo -If you have been to Atlanta and didn't make it to Little Five Points you are missing out.)
For some reason every since this past move I have been really dedicated to getting rid of everything that we don't use. I have been aggressive with a mix of Ebay, Craigslist and Goodwill every month since January. I have sold everything from clothes, to candles, to lame board games. The things we have been selling that we kept in the move from Florida to Atlanta weren't all things I thought we needed but in my mind they were too valuable for a garage sale or dropping off at Goodwill. We have averaged anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to $1,000 in a month in sales. The things that end up being worth the most money are always a huge surprise. Electronics seem to have the most value as they almost become collectible after some point. For instance, we had an off-brand, small, flat screen computer monitor that was 7 years old (and I noted the age in the listing) that sold for over $100 with $20 shipping - strange. Old format video recorders are worth a lot because people are trying to watch their old movies with them. I still can't figure out why an old, clunky calculator style digital organizer my husband had in the 90's was worth anything but it sold for about $40. The lesson here is to do an Ebay or Amazon search before you haul a box of old stuff to Goodwill.
(Photo - something awesome I bought in L5P with my used book money)
This month was big though. I had been considering for some time getting rid of all of our beloved books. We love books, we love to read, but neither of us hardly ever reads a book twice. So why I asked myself this month did we have 300 books? I wanted to go all digital all at once so we sold all of the DVDs and all the books. We kept five cookbooks, a few sewing books and my decor magazine stash. Of course we kept all of our children's books and DVDs. I have always been pretty good about weeding through those though - nothing worse than your kid picking a dollar store book about Elmo as the bedtime story!
Here is what we did -
1. We checked on Amazon buyback program and sent about 7 items (mix of books, electronic games, DVDs) using their free shipping service and got a $125 Amazon gift card.
2. We used the half.com iPhone app to scan all of our books and the ones worth over $3 we listed. It was so much easier than listing on Ebay! We sold about 15 books in the first three days just by making sure we had the lowest list price on everything we listed. I am so glad we took the time to do this because between about 40 books we had about $300 in value and there were a few random books that were worth $50 or more. I would have gotten rid of them long ago if I had know that!
(Photo - oh yeah short hair again too)
3. We took a box of books that all scanned at a dollar or less to a used book store in town. Surprisingly Atlanta didn't have that many options especially compared to the small Florida towns we are from but they did take another 20 or so books and gave us some cash, which I spent directly at the women's clothing store a few shops down ;)
4. We took the rest of the books to Goodwill and any movies that I didn't feel like were perfect.
5. We listed the movies on Ebay at .99 cent starting bids and sold almost all of them the first go around for between $1 and $8. There isn't much value in DVD's anymore. Most people want Blue-ray or like us just watch Netflix and occasionally download a movie or TV show digitally. However, there was no way I was taking 100 good DVDs to Goodwill! My tips for selling on Ebay include - listing normal items for 7 days starting and ending on Sunday afternoon or night. List slower selling items or obscure items for 10 day auctions starting on Thursday night and ending Sunday night. That way you get two weekends of traffic. Be accurate with your shipping. Start your auction prices as low as you feel comfortable with, sometimes things will end for .99 cents and sometimes they will bid up like crazy. If you have your item price set at about what you want for it then you can expect to list it a few times probably before it sells. I have re-listed (just pressing a button) items 5 times before they have sold before and other things just go crazy within hours of listing.
6. Last, we got an iPad! (insert loud cheering) I like to call it the "cash for gold" iPad though. I had a friend brag about how there was a very legit chain of gold buying stores in Atlanta and that she had made some great money on just a few old yellow gold pieces. I somehow convinced my husband to go in and for two rings and one pendant (hideous things I haven't worn in well over 13 years) they handed us almost $400 in cash! I sent a friend to the same place and she left with $1,000. Our whole process took about 4 minutes and they were super nice. We printed a coupon for 20% more off the internet and showed it after they gave us a quote and that worked as well. So if you do try it maybe Google a coupon.