My wife and I have decided that 2007 is the year to de-clutter and de-crappify our lives, and that starts in our basement & drive-under garage. Since picking up our first rental house in the fall of 2001, we haven't been able to park a car in the garage.
We have a lot more tools than we ever did before, so I'm content with only having one of the garage bays open, but the days of keeping stuff "just in case we'll need it someday" are gone.
I've already thrown away two large rolling trash bins of stuff, and I'm only half finished. In addition to better organizing the things I want to keep, I've also made three piles of things for: 1) Goodwill, 2) eBay/Craigslist, and 3) yardsale. The largest things I have to get out of the garage are a dining room table (going on Craigslist) and several large upright arcade games (eBay).
I've been buying & selling things on eBay for several years, and I'm often amazed at the value people place on things. I understand that I sold at the perfect time, but just before Christmas I unloaded a vibrating football game from my youth for $143 + shipping!
Here are my 10 eBay tips for those looking to de-clutter or just unload those Christmas presents which didn't come with gift receipts:
- List items Thursday night and pay the extra 40 cents for a 10-day auction, giving you two full weekends of eyeballs.
- Start with a low minimum and avoid setting a reserve amount.
- To speed up the transaction time, only accept PayPal as a form of payment and require payment within 24 hours of auction close.
- If you have a lot of small things to sell, invest in a postal scale to avoid trips to the post office.
- Use PayPal for creating shipping labels with postage, again avoiding trips to the post office.
- ALWAYS use delivery confirmation when shipping.
- Use LOTS of pictures to avoid any questions, and host the pictures free through Auctiva, Flickr, or anywhere other than eBay, which charges you after the first picture.
- Consider offering free shipping to encourage people to bid.
- As a seller, only leave feedback for the buyer once you know they are happy and have left positive feedback for you.
- If an item doesn't sell, don't relist it--donate it and take the tax deduction.