Day 9 of the January Money Diet – Sell Something

In case you’ve just joined us, the January Money Diet is a challenge to take a 31-day break from nonessential spending. You can learn more about the money diet here — and jump right in!

Garage sale at Happy Simple Living blog

Photo: chazzvid

Today’s challenge is one of my favorites. Find something unused among your treasures, sell it to a buyer for cash, and either invest the money or pay down debt. It’s what I like to call the Happy Simple Living Trifecta – you’ll eliminate clutter and free up some space, you’ll improve your net worth, and you’ll keep one more thing out of landfill.

One of the easiest ways to get started is by selling unwanted books, DVDs and CDs on Amazon. You don’t need to take any photographs; just sign up for a seller account, list your items (Amazon gives you very specific guidelines so you can accurately list the quality of the item) and wait for the orders. Books and discs are easy to ship, and Amazon reimburses you for the postage. If you use the USPS’s media mail, you might even make a little profit on the shipping fee.

eBay takes a little more effort, but the results can be amazing — especially if you have a hot collectible. I’ve sold hundreds of things on eBay, and their Quick Start Guide shows you how easy it is to list your items. Just set up a seller account, take a photo of your item, write an accurate description, and carefully pack and ship your item. If that sounds like too much, you can use a third party seller who will take care of the transaction for you in exchange for a cut of the sale.

Craigslist can be great for getting rid of larger items like unwanted furniture or appliances. If you have unworn clothing, you can take it to a consignment store or a retailer like Plato’s Closet that pays cash on the spot for trendy clothing. If you live in a warmer climate, you can hold a garage sale this month.

Homework Assignment #9: Look around, see what you’re ready to part with, and find a buyer. Just don’t put the money in the general fund. Instead, use the cash to directly improve your net worth. Be sure to let us know what you sell this month!


Win a Deluxe Happy Simple Living Gift Basket

In honor of the January Money Diet, I’ll be giving away a gift basket chock-full of home and garden goodies plus several books at the end of the month. On January 31, 2013, I’ll draw one random name from everyone who commented during the month and that lucky person will win the gift basket. I hope you’ll stop by often this month and share your own ideas, thoughts and experiences about taking a 31-day break from nonessential spending.


About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Day 9 of the January Money Diet – Sell Something

  • @ElaineMay – I haven’t listed anything on eBay for a while, so this may be inaccurate, but there were two ways I used to do it. One was to go to the website and “pretend” to ship something from my house to the farthest US destination I could think of (I’m in MO, so I used Alaska/Hawaii). That way you’re (usually) sure of setting your shipping costs high enough.

    The other, probably more accurate way, is to set up your listing based on the winning bidder’s actual location. No one will know what the actually shipping cost is until the auction is over, but bidders can get an estimated cost based on their location.

    Hope that helps a little. 🙂

  • Thanks to all of you for your very inspiring comments! I have a soup tureen that I am going to list on eBay. I have had it for years and always imagined I’d use it to serve soup at a dinner party. Well, over the holidays I had the neighbors over and made two kinds of soup. I served them directly from the Crock-Pots, so I now know I am NEVER going to use a soup tureen. Out the door it goes! 🙂

  • Dina

    Most of what we own is not worth selling 🙁 Unless we start to sell the things that we use… we have already downsized a great deal(doing the Dave Ramesy thing)… I wish I had a trade of some sort so I could get busy ‘working’/selling my trade… Not giving up!

  • Deborah Gore

    Pulled out a couple of bikes and children’s riding toys and put of CraigsList. Going to take some dress clothes and evening gowns to consignment shop tomorrow. Waiting to see what I get. Going to add the extra cash to the credit card payment!

  • Melissa

    Made two stops yesterday. One to Plato’s Closet with clothes- $44.45- and another to sell old Nintendo DSs – $80. Yay!

  • ElainieMay

    I have many items I could sell on Ebay, but I don’t know how we determine what the shipping/postage actual cost would be in advance since you don’t know what state you are shipping to…anyone know how to do this?

    Thank you.

  • So timely! Tomorrow is very likely to be a rain-out day for my husband and we already have plans to sort and list items on craigslist and/or eBay! One item I know of for sure is a vintage guitar amplifier.

  • Woohoo! I sold 2 old textbooks yesterday – one on, one on for a total of $75.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>