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11 unusual ways to sell your stuff

Having a yard sale is the old-fashioned way to de-clutter. Here are some alternatives.

By MSN Money Partner Oct 3, 2012 12:22PM

This post comes from Nora Dunn at partner blog Wise Bread.


Wise Bread logoDo you want to purge your stuff? Are you de-cluttering, or perhaps even selling everything to prepare for a life of full-time travel? By all means use the more conventional routes to lighten your load. They are discussed in these two posts:

Image: Attic © Exactostock, SuperstockBut for the path less traveled, here are a few creative techniques to enhance your selling spree (and maybe even have some fun in the process). (See also: "How to have a successful garage sale.")


1. Sell at local colleges

Students love a bargain, and they are good candidates for just about anything you're selling -- especially at the beginning of the school year when students are moving in. You can post fliers around the school and create listings in the classified sections of college forums.


2. Cross-sell

If you are selling locally, encourage your buyer to pick up the item at your place; once you get them in the door, they might want to buy other things. (This worked like a charm for me when I was selling everything I owned.) Of course, be prudent about the circumstances when strangers come into your home by taking precautions like having a friend over if you're alone.


3. Have a raffle

You can do all kinds of things with the raffle concept. You can raffle off individual items (usually of higher value) as well as "kits" or "baskets" of related items based on a theme (for example, "kitchen" or "toys"). And depending on what you're raffling off, you can visit local clubs to raffle off some of your kits. For example, your bike and accoutrements might be of interest to members of a local cycling club.

4. Living estate sale

If you want a safe hands-off approach to selling the lot, a living estate sale is for you. Companies that offer this service are popping up everywhere. People come to your home and catalog everything to market and auction off. They deal with the buyers, collect payments, and arrange pickups.


5. Raid my closet party

Invite your friends (and friends of friends) over to do as the name invites!


6. Car boot sales

These are big in Europe, where people gather to sell their wares out of their cars (usually on a blanket or table beside the car). You pay a small fee for your slot, which often goes to the hosting school or church.


7. Virtual garage sale

I know somebody who created a website with pictures and prices of everything they were selling, then promoted the website locally with fliers, etc., as well as online with social media. They also used the site as a referral point for eBay and Craigslist listings, thus giving buyers more information and employing cross-selling strategies.


8. Post on specialty forums

For specialty items like fishing gear and mountain biking gear, use the classified section of an online forum related to the item you're selling.


9. Have a yard sale clearance

Hopefully professional garage salers will attend. Spot them and ask them to make an offer for everything. Expect to pretty much give it away. But if you want your stuff gone, there might be a simple pleasure in just watching somebody take it all.

10. Facebook

You can use Facebook in a few ways to sell your stuff. I've had success with simply posting a status update with various items for sale. You can also find dedicated Facebook groups by performing searches like "Buy or sell in (insert the name of your town)."


11. Smartphone applications

There are some creative ways to sell your stuff using smartphone-based applications and groups. Here are a couple:

  • Poshmark hosts real-time, themed selling parties that you "attend" on your iPhone. Create listings with your phone to fit the event's theme (such as designer handbags, bold accessories, skirts and scarfs, etc.). When your item sells, Poshmark handles the payment and sends you a prepaid, preaddressed shipping label to anywhere in the U.S. They'll deduct a 20% commission fee from your earnings for this service, and it's currently available only to iPhone users in the U.S.
  • Rumgr is a location-based marketplace that allows you to list your items from your smartphone and shows your posts to people living in your area.

Do you have any weird ways to sell your stuff?


More on Wise Bread and MSN Money:

Oct 3, 2012 3:43PM

Be wary of suggestion 3. Raffles come under gambling or games of chance in many states. If you decide to hold many raffles, you may find a state government agency breathing down your neck.


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