I've been re-selling clothes and household items for a long time. Since my husband and I got married, we’ve lived in small houses. Our first home was a 500 square foot apartment (with green carpet), where you had to stick one leg out of the "shower" to shave your legs, and then we upgraded to a 1000 square foot townhome. I love our little home, and it challenges me constantly to evaluate our stuff and to move towards a minimalist lifestyle.

We’re preparing to buy a home in about a year, so I'm trying to downsize our possessions because I really don't want to pack it up and move it all! I've become a bit of an experienced re-seller, so I want to show you how you can sell your excess stuff and earn money that can go towards a stockpile, paying down debt, or snagging more great KCL deals.

Reselling clothes

I send my designer duds to a few different places. I try to get back the maximum amount since we are on a tight budget for clothes, and every penny counts. Here's how to get the most bang for your buck!

ThredUp

This is a great place for the busy mom. They’ll mail you an envelope to send your clothes, and then all you have to do is pop your unwanted items in the mail. To get the maximum value, make sure you spot clean/wash/iron the items, and have them in pristine condition. Also, be sure to check their list of approved brands. If your brand is not on there, don't bother wasting time sending it. Try another venue. For items that they don't take, you can choose to have them donated to charity. I used to forego this option, but it's actually nice to know the clothes can go to a good cause, and they're out of your hands!

eBay

If you're into eBay and are an experienced seller, you can get a decent amount of money for your old stuff. To get the maximum value, do a search of your item before you list, and find the going price. Compare your item to the highest valued item (if a pair of mint-condition designer jeans is going for $50.00 and yours have a few small flaws, then aim to sell your pair for around $35.00).

Consignment shops

We have a few of these around, and they’re great for selling children's clothes. I buy mainly name brand items, so I have great luck at these shops. To get your maximum value, wash and iron items, pair matching items together so they appear as a set, and know what sort of profit you want to make. Be aware that most consignment shops will offer you around 25% of the retail price. For things like Carter's onesies or leggings, you may only get $2—so be prepared for that. Be friendly and kind to the salespeople, and know that your emotional ties and investment in the clothes don't mean much to them!

If you don't need the cash but are trying to de-clutter, a great place to send designer clothes for a good cause is the Fashion Project. They take donations (you'll get a tax write-off!), and you can know your pricier pieces are supporting worthy charities. They previously had a promotion where you could get a Nordstrom gift card in exchange for your donations—another plus!

Reselling household items

I sell a good bit of household items on Facebook. Recently I even sold a clothes hamper that had a small hole in the liner and got $3! I don't always take the time to sell everything, but I do make a little bit of extra money when I do. Here are some tips:

  1. Wait until you have several items to sell at once. Don't waste time writing a description/taking photos for a $1 item unless you have lots of spare time. I try to wait until I have at least four items.
  2. If you redecorate, sell the items in a "lot" or a group. People like having a set of items to choose from, and it will make their redecoration easier!
  3. Here’s an example of a local resale group. I’m part of about four different ones, and I consistently sell items in them for fair prices. To get the maximum value, write great descriptions (see below), take clear photos, follow the rules of the page, and understand what the page's refund and return policy is. (Most pages are final sale with no refunds or returns.) For your safety and for your family’s safety, never give out your address or phone number. You can set up a text number on WhatsApp, a free smart phone app, and communicate that way. Make sure you communicate in writing—not over the phone—because you’ll have documented proof of any transactions. I always meet buyers or sellers in public places, like Starbucks. (Disclaimer: Please use your own discretion in buying and selling online. KCL is not responsible for the sites listed here, as they are only suggestions).

How to write a great posting

It's all about the postings in the Facebook resale world. Here’s an example of a poor posting. It’s unclear, leaves out the size, and the description is poorly written and uses poor capitalization and phrasing. This says to the potential buyer, "Hmmm, better steer clear"!

Here’s an example of a great posting! It’s clear, concise and also shows the reader the value they’ll get by buying the item gently used. The photo is clear and helps the reader identify (and focus on) the item being sold.

Tip: A strong resale posting includes the size, retail value, asking price, location, (not your address), a description, the condition and any terms of sale. Instead of words like "Used," "Worn" and "Old," use terms like "gently used," "wash wear," "lightly used with _________ flaw." Don't ever be untruthful, but also don't draw unnecessary attention to the flaws.
Re-selling items isn’t as daunting as it sounds, and with a little time, you can start earning extra cash and ridding your home of things you don't need. WIN-WIN!

This is a guest post by Grace A. from Medford, OR.