Selling your stuff is a great way to make a little extra cash before you head off on an adventure. I have said it many times before but travel, especially long term travel, is a choice. Unless you oober wealthy then you need to make changes to make adventures happen. One great way is to track your spending and see where you can shave off some pennies, making the choice to alter your lifestyle in order to save is a great step.
Once you have saved like crazy, booked your ticket and packed your bag you might look around at your place and think “what am I going to do with all of this stuff?”. On my first long term trip I just bundled everything up and stored it in my parents garage… they didn’t need to store their car in there, right?!
I got a rude shock when I was about to head off on my next big adventure and was told that I could only store 7 boxes in my parents garage, they apparently needed the space for their stuff. What was I going to do? I looked into storage for a millisecond before realising that it was too expensive if I was planning on backpacking on a budget. A couple of really nice friends said they would look after a box or two… but 12 boxes really couldn’t hold all of my stuff.
After some soul searching, I reminded myself once again, travel is a choice. If I want to have the freedom to go off and have a big adventure then I was going to have to make some tough calls. I had to either pay for storage (nope) or get rid of everything (gulp).
When I was 19 I spent a year not spending anything on things that weren’t essential. A few people have written blogs and books on living off 33 items of clothing recently, well I did that 10 years ago… and it wasn’t easy. By the end of the year I had a new appreciation of things. Chucking things in the rubbish that could be reused or loved by someone else goes against my ethos in life. So naturally I have horded quite a bit of stuff… or as some call it, crap.
I couldn’t take my stuff with me, I had only one option left – to find new homes for it all. Homes where it will be appreciated and loved once more. And because I was about to go travelling I wanted to earn some cash in the process.
5 Ways to Sell Your Stuff before Travelling the World
$2-$5 Sale Party for Friends
Some of my favourite items of clothing have come from my friends. Some thing that they don’t like any more or don’t fit into. Therefore there is a good chance that some of your clothes would appeal to your friends. Throw a Sale Party and invite around as many of your friends as possible, get them to bring their friends and their friends friends. Invite a wide range of people as everyone has a different style and you are more likely to sell your stuff that way.
Do it on a week night so that it is about the clothing and not the partying, pop a couple of bottles of cheap champagne and put out a cheese platter. Arrange your clothes around your living room like you would see in a shop, remember that people generally shop with their eyes first. Make it cheap, these are your friends after all, and the aim is to get your clothes to a new home. Maybe divide the room up into price points and leave a jar in the middle for people to put their money into once they have made their pick. If there are more valuable items then maybe save them for selling on another platform.
If you have as many clothes, accessories, shoes, bags as I do then you will make a fair bit of money. Anything that I didn’t sell I ended up taking to one of the charity bins.
Sell Your Stuff on Gumtree (in Australia) Craigslist (in America)
Free selling platforms are a great way to sell your stuff in your area. Post adds with loads of pictures to get the best response. Also do a bit of research on similar items that are being sold in your area for the best price point. Don’t under sell your items but also assess when there is a high demand as you probably won’t get the price you think your piece deserves. If there are hundreds of bookshelves listed then drop your price.
Another thing that I always do, is mention that the item must be picked up, saves me running around all over town dropping things off. I then tell all of the buyers to come on the same night, wrangle a friend into hanging out with me for the night so I am not alone with strangers, then get it all out in one fell swoop.
You can sell anything on there from coat hangers to bed frames, there is usually a market for everything.
Also if you want to just get rid of your stuff fast, FREE, moves things like nothing else. I put an old bike up there and it was gone in 10 minutes… literally.
Ebay to Sell Your Stuff
I am not the biggest fan of selling things on Ebay as it is a lot of maintenance to get things up and people bidding. You also have to send the items which is a massive hassle for someone who is trying to work as many hours as possible to save up for a trip. I really wish that post offices were open outside of business hours every now and then.
In saying that, I know a number of people who have made a pretty penny selling things on Ebay. It is particularly useful if you have designer or vintage items that are worth a little more.
Throw a Garage Sale to Sell Your Stuff
Garage sales are the best way to get rid of nick-nacks and things you couldn’t sell in any of the above. Human beings have a problem with impulse control, especially if it’s around a bargain. Why do you think grocery stores always place chocolates that are on sale near the cash register – gets us every time. Take advantage of this and move your garage sale out to a nearby park or common land area, if you have too many things to move, put up as many signs as possible – you want people to impulse buy as they walk past. To really get people’s attention, play some music (though not at 6am as your neighbours wouldn’t appreciate that), have some refreshments and put up balloons. Maybe bake some cupcakes to sell as well, maximise on that impulse control problem we have.
Sell Your Stuff to Second Hand Stores
I have a lot of books… and I mean A LOT. Second hand book stores will often buy books that are in good condition. They don’t offer very much, but they offer more than nothing so that’s a good deal. There are also some great second hand clothing stores that buy vintage or designer clothing if you don’t want to sell it on ebay.
Finally – what stuff you can’t sell – give away to a good cause
Charities are always in need of great pieces that they can either sell or give to those in need. However, it also takes a lot of time to process everything that they get. Help your charity out by researching what they need and will accept. Don’t just dump all of your things on their doorstep and walk away, as then they have to clean up your mess.
It was a liberating experience selling everything. At the time I was worried that I would miss certain items or regret getting rid of them, but to be honest I have never once felt that. I don’t even remember half of the things I sold, out of sight out of mind. What I do remember are the meals I ate, when thanks to the funds gained from selling my things, I was able to splurge on a nice restaurant in Europe. Possessions can always be replaced, memories are ten times more valuable.