Thursday, November 6, 2014

Craig's List Solution to Downsizing and Clutter

Hello again.  Today I'm going to talk about how Craig's List can be a great solution to downsizing and getting rid of clutter.  What you see above is all the items I currently have listed on CL.  Since deciding to move and build a new smaller house, I have been actively trying to get rid all our extra stuff and one great way is Craig's List.  Because we need money to fix up our current place, and money to build our new place, I try to sell anything I can for extra cash.  I will sell things for as little as a dollar, which most people would say isn't worth the time of placing the ad, but I disagree as all those single dollars can add up faster than you think.  The low price makes people stop and look at your ad and then they can see all the other items you've listed with the usual result being they buy many of your items instead of just the one.  They get a fantastic deal and you have less things to maintain in your home plus a little extra money - a win win situation if you ask me.

To be successful on Craig's List I feel you need to be able to do/accept the following: 

1) You need to be available.  If you have a very hectic schedule arranging pick ups is going to drive you nuts.  I'm a home most everyday as I homeschool my son and he likes being a home most of the time so our schedule is very open.

2) You have to be prompt with replies.  People will lose interest, think better of it or have found the item from someone else.  Now, some things are really easy to sell and you will always have offers, but unique items can take a long time to sell so don't lose that person who wants it.

3) You need time.  If you're really strapped for time it might be better for you just to donate items to a local charity, especially one of the ones that can pick up - they are awesome.  Dragging out the item, taking a photo, loading that photo on your computer and typing up the ad do take time.  But, you don't have to do lots at once.  I usually take a lot of photos at one time then only write up an ad or two a day.

4) Renew your items as often as you can.  CL now has a renew feature where you can just press a renew button, which is to the left of your ad on your account page, every 48 hours and it will bring your item back to the top of the list. 

5) Know your boundaries and your limits and stick to them.  For instance, I only communicate through email.  I don't like giving out my phone number and I find email less invasive to my day.  Also, I only meet people if they are spending a lot of money.  It just isn't worth my time and gas to drive somewhere for only a few dollars.  If people want to meet somewhere because they are scared of something bad happening I tell them I'll come out to their car or the sidewalk and we can do the transaction there which relieves most people.  What I'm looking for is transactions that make the least interruption to my day.  Now these two examples might not work for you, but what I'm saying is you can have CL work for you and not the other way around.

6) Lastly, people will stand you up.  It just happens.  Some give notice and others don't, but you do need to accept that it's part of doing business on Craig's List because if you don't it can be truly maddening.

I have been plugging away at Craig's List this year and have made over $3000.  Now, you might be thinking I sold expensive items, but no, most of my ads were for things $10 and under (which does say something about how much stuff we have - yikes.)  But, the best thing besides earning more income and getting rid of unneeded stuff was that it inspired my son.  He wanted to buy a Nintendo 3DS, but I told him we didn't have it in our budget to buy him one, even a used one.  I then asked him how did he think he could make the money himself and he said he could sell his Legos on Craig's List.  It was a great solution to trade an unused toy for a new toy with the added benefit that he got the satisfaction of earning his own money and getting to purchase what he wanted with that money.  I'll leave you there as this post is getting quite long.  I guess I have a lot to say on the matter.  Hope you find it helpful.  Bye!

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