Thursday, 20 September 2012

She Works Hard For the Money

It's been just over a month since our period of "fiscal restraint" began.  A little while ago I talked about ways to save money when you're on a budget ( and that's helped us a ton!  However, sometimes saving money doesn't feel like enough when household emergencies happen or there's a big ticket item* on your calendar and your regular income isn't going to cut it.

Since I've been back at work I've missed the minions a lot and the idea of being out of the house for a second job was too much for either of us to handle physically or emotionally plus it's not worth the return on investment.

When we were first discussing our new budget, a friend who was preparing to move suggested, "Why not sell some of your old stuff?".  She had recently made enough money to pay for her movers by selling old CDs, DVDs, textbooks and books that she didn't want any more and had significantly less stuff to move.**   I couldn't believe that I hadn't thought of it myself.  I, of course being me, decided to take things to the next level.  Here are some things I've sold, considered selling and how it's worked out for us.

If you've been in school recently and aren't going to use your texts any more, August/September and December/January are great months to sell your books.  You can either sell on line (I used Amazon) or go to a local college or university bookstore.  Some book stores will give you a higher price if you can prove that you got an A on the course.  Textbooks expire quickly, so they may not be worth anything if a new edition came out.  You can check what others are selling the texts for on line by using ISBN numbers before you list yours.  To date we have made $140 on the sale of textbooks...this is after shipping costs and listing commission fees.

DVDs, CDS and Books
We kept the series, movies and books, that we continually trade and lend to friends, but the ones that we know we'll never watch or use again - we decided to sell.  The series has to be worth a significant amount of cash to be worth the shipping costs and effort, so you'll need to determine whether it's worth it to post on line or take to your local used book/media dealer.  So far we have made $50 on the sale of television series alone.***  We haven't made it out yet to the physical shops for media that isn't worth the shipping fees but I've been told that BMV and Vortex are two of the best options in Toronto to take in your used stuff.

Clothes & Shoes
I have three pairs of name brand shoes that I bought a few years ago, spent a ton of money on and wore one time because they killed my feet.  Last week I sold the first pair on eBay and made $40.  Much better on closet and wallet space.  Same goes for dresses or clothes that are bought for special events and weddings that you know you won't wear again.  Research eBay vs. consignment shops to figure out what will work best for you.
Clearly Molly & Jack have not mastered the art of wrapping and packaging items for shipping. 

Baby Supplies
We have a lot of baby stuff that Molly and Jack have already outgrown.  Anything clothes related, toy related or basically anything that has been handed down to us, we've passed on to our ever growing circle of friends and acquaintances who are expecting.  That being said, you have to do what you have to do and you can't always afford to pass on or donate to charity...We have some twin specific items that will be no use to the parents of singletons and some gifts that we received that were barely used that we've decided to sell.  Baby consignment shops, mom websites and groups (or twin specific groups) have some great options for mom to mom sales that can work for you.  You can also go out to friends first before you post on line on these sites or on other sites like Kijiji or Craigslist.  I offered some items to some friends at a reduced rate before I posted on line.  So far we've made $95 selling baby/twin stuff that we don't use any more.

You know that fun hobby you always talk about how you wish you had more time for****...make it a reality, start selling on Etsy or another crafty site - just make sure you sell the items for enough money to cover your supplies and time.  This isn't something I've done personally, but I have a lot of crafty friends who would benefit from selling their art on line thus forcing them into making time for something they love and making a few bucks at the same time.

The biggest challenge for me has been making it to the post office regularly and shipping the items promptly.  I am really terrible at returning movies to a video store and mailing anything...It's been a big road block I've had to face this past month.

If anyone has any other suggestions for selling...I'm listening..all while I work on my plan to sell Chris' origami frogs for cash or interesting trades.

*Say one of your closest and oldest friends is having a destination wedding later this Fall, with the final deposit due, literally, tomorrow.
**That's like finding a double rainbow.
***Seller beware: I am an idiot and unknowingly listed a season of a television series as a Blue Ray rather than a DVD and am currently in the process of sorting out my first return.
****Subversive cross stitch, knitting, jewelry design or moderately offensive garden gnomes anyone?

1 comment:

  1. My mother holds yardsales in front of her house every month or so in the warm weather and even into fall and makes anywhere from $100-$300 each time. Baby and kid stuff sells REALLY well; bigger more expensive things, people generally don't want to pay what they're worth at a yard sale.