One of the most successful ways to make money fast is to sell something that is sitting around the house. When we started paying off debt a few years ago, we made a quick $1000 by getting rid of stuff. It’s sad to get pennies on the dollar for items you bought at full price, but my philosophy is that it’s money I would not have by keeping things we don’t need or use. That brings me to the question of…..are there things that are too sentimental so part with? Am I awful if I want to sell my wedding dress?
Why Sell Your Old Stuff?
I think that one is pretty self explanatory.
2) Less clutter
I believe you can’t be fully relaxed and most efficient if you live in a space full of clutter. Clutter also causes waste when people buy something new because they can’t find the one they already have. Yes, I live with a child that could have been named Clutter Crumb, but we still do a pretty good job most of the time.
3) More Options
One of my biggest pet peeves is having a garage so full of stuff that cars won’t fit. When we moved into a house with a garage, we made a rule never to turn it into a storage unit. We can park our cars, work on projects, or put foster dogs in there. We also have a spare room that is free of junk. This gives us a space for guests or in a pinch, we could rent it out. If we were full of stuff, there would be no choice but to live around the clutter.
4) You Can’t Take It With You
Another reason that becomes more apparent to me as I get older is that if you die with a house full of crap, your loved ones will have to sort through it. I see this every time I go to my parents house. I would not call them hoarders. Their upstairs and most of the basement is clear, but there are a couple of rooms that are stacked with so much stuff that it’s hard to find a path. All the closets are bursting at the seams as well. My Mom gets super emotional if we try to get rid of anything, so that’s a project for my sister and I at some point down the line. I wouldn’t want to leave my daughter with that.
What Are Good Things To Sell And How Do I Sell Them?
Really, anything that makes money. It also depends on the platform you choose for selling.
Yard sales are great for all the miscellaneous stuff that isn’t worth much or is hard to transport or ship. Yard sales are also a huge pain, but it’s usually only for a few days.
eBay is good for name brand items that are in high demand. Good examples are quality shoes, coats, anything new with tags, collector items, electronics, or sports equipment. We have had surprisingly good success with old cameras and anything made by Apple. The fees on eBay are certainly something to consider, but it’s an easy way to get rid of stuff if you have quick access to the post office.
We opened our eBay account in 2006 and have made just over $12,600 in sales! Yes, about half of that was used optical equipment from my old practice. Yes, you might have to pay taxes if your eBay sales can be viewed as income, but still, that’s a lot of money.
I think people have great success on Craig’s List, but I have no experience to report. One reason is laziness. The other is our geographic area, but I have seen it becoming more active lately. I am about to break my trend because our 4-plex came with an old antique safe that I believe is probably worth anywhere from $500-$1000. The antique dealer is willing to buy and move it for less that that, so that’s an option, but I want to see if we can get more. It is really cool, and I’m tempted to keep it, but that violates all of my rules about having stuff you don’t need.
I’m sad to say that our car listed on consignment has not sold yet. I believe the price is too high, so we will probably switch to Craig’s List if it doesn’t sell during tax return season. However, I do really well selling my daughter’s old clothes on consignment. It’s easier than a yard sale and works when stuff is not high quality enough for eBay. It’s not get rich money. The store we use pays 33% to the seller, so if they sell a shirt for $3, we make $1.
What About That Wedding Dress?
I kind of wish I was more sentimentally attached to my wedding dress. I still think it’s pretty, and I am not selling it because I hate my marriage or anything like that. I just have no use for it. It’s not like I can throw it on and wear it out to Applebee’s. I had a great wedding day, but the dress is not what made it special.
I know many mothers think their daughter will want to walk down the aisle wearing a family heirloom. In reality, I’ve never seen that happen. Heck, my Mom’s dress was from the 70’s and was a short design. Even if I had wanted to wear it, she is barely 5 feet tall and I’m 5’7″. It would have been a micro mini, and Jim could have worn a leisure suit while we had disco balls swaying in the background. I have no such illusions for my daughter.
If I remember correctly, my dress cost $800. The style is very classic, so even though it’s 12 years old, it would still work today. I might be able to get a couple hundred dollars for it. That would buy tickets to Disneyland Paris, a bathtub for our new rental unit, or turn into $466 to use for college costs later if we add it to our 529 plan. I could also put it in a Vegas fund in the hope that my daughter will simply want to elope someday and avoid all wedding craziness.
Or, I could just leave it in the closest. Maybe the impossible will happen. My child will be super frugal and love my wedding dress design, thus potentially saving us several thousand dollars in attire costs at some point, hopefully many, many, years down the road.
Would you sell your wedding dress? Have you even know anyone who wore their mother’s wedding dress? Should I have more sentimental attachments?