Selling your unwanted items when moving
By Sean Ford | March 12, 2014
In previous blogs, we’ve spoken about the importance of decluttering in advance of a house move. And if you then go on to sell that unwanted clutter, you can also make some extra money, either to help offset your moving costs or even to just treat yourself to something new when you get to your new home.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways to sell your clutter, how each works and the pros and cons of each one.
Car Boot Sale
These take place across the country, generally at the weekend. You show up, park your car and set up a table in front of your open car boot, placing your items for sale on the table. You’re charged a fixed fee for your ‘pitch’ and any money you make on top of that is yours to take home.
Pros – it’s a really quick way to sell a lot in a short space of time.
Cons – experienced car boot sale buyers drive a hard bargain so you may not make much money per item. Also, you might not sell all your stuff and end up bringing a lot home again.
eBay is an online auction site. You create ‘listings’ (individual adverts) for each item you want to sell, including photographs and an in-depth description of the item. You decide whether you want potential buyers to collect the item from you, or whether you will post it to them, with buyers paying the postage costs. Buyers then bid on your item with the highest bidder at the end of the set time period ‘winning’ the item.
It takes time to understand how eBay works but if you are prepared to put in some effort, it is possible to sell almost anything, from small items such as ornaments or books right up to large pieces of furniture. eBay charges fees, including a fixed cost per listing (although some are free and they often run free-listing days or weekends) and a takes a percentage of the eventual sales fee.
Pros – eBay is used by a huge number of people, so the potential buying audience for your items is massive.
Cons – working out what postage to charge can be tricky and packing the items then taking them to the post office can be time consuming. Most auctions last a week so it is not a fast process.
Another online site, Gumtree is essentially a for sale noticeboard. It is split into geographical areas, with individual sites for most cities in the UK. You create an advert for your item, using photos and explanatory text. A basic advert is free, but you can pay a small fee to promote your advert for a fixed period of time. Potential buyers will either email or phone (you can specify a preference) and buyers must collect the items from you. Gumtree is great for larger items such as furniture or sports equipment.
Pros – it’s free unless you choose to pay extra to promote your ad. The onus is on the buyer to collect your item so you don’t have to worry about arranging delivery
Cons – in our experience, people often express and interest and then don’t turn up for an arranged viewing or collection. However, if this happens you just leave your ad live and wait for the next person to contact you.
If you don’t want to make money and simply want to get rid of your surplus belongings, then Freecycle is the way to go. You post whatever you have onto your local noticeboard and then wait for people to contact you requesting your item. Again, it is up to the person who wants the article to collect it from you. People wanting specific items can also post ‘wanted’ requests, meaning you can have a look through them and match up requests with any items you want.
Pros – you can pass on almost anything via Freecycle, and it is generally a very quick way of getting unwanted items out of your house.
Cons – there are stories of people resorting to emotional tales of woe to ensure you give them your item. A detached, emotion-free attitude is advised!