We’ve recently had a bit of luck with selling things using three forums – eBay, our local FB Buy/Swap/Sell and Gumtree, an Australian classifieds site.

I’ve often thought about selling things in the past, but usually ended up deciding it was too hard and finally donated whatever it was. This isn’t a terrible outcome, of course. I always think that you should only donate quality goods that you would yourself buy. If you didn’t already have one you were working on getting rid of.

Since we’re getting rid of so much stuff this year I thought it was worth trying to sell some things. I’m especially keen to see my vintage clothes and accessories going to people who understand how unique they are. (Call me strange…) I’ve also been helping Mum and Dad sell some of the books that we cleared out a few weeks ago.

After a few false starts with eBay, I seem to have worked out a system of listing items quickly and then just re-listing over and again until they sell. The hardest things to list are books, because you need to include a lot of information about the condition and editions etc. It took a long time to list my Mum’s childhood books. It took over two months for them to sell, but sell they did.

This is what I’ve learned:

  • Choose what to sell through your local Buy/Swap/Sell based on your local area. Playstation games, DVDs and baby goods sell really well through my local BSS. Knowing this area this is completely unsurprising. 
  • Vintage clothes and accessories sell really well on eBay. Us vintage-o-philes are generally eBay junkies. It’s the best way to find the right fit for a unique item.
  • Books sell better when sold in bulk and on local sites (such as Gumtree) where people can pick up. People are now accustomed to getting free postage on eBay for books and it’s hard to offer that as an individual. I have sold bulk vintage books on eBay, but for other types of books I used Gumtree.
  • Children’s clothing sells everywhere, but is preferred in bulk lots and it doesn’t hurt to have a ‘brand’ in there.
  • eBay buyers tend to be more discerning – they want a lot more information and want your descriptions to be detailed and spot on. I guess this is because there is less face-to-face contact so less incentive to be truthful. I’m always truthful though. I can’t afford that kind of bad karma.
  • The most surprising things may sell. I recently sold some unused nappy fasteners for more than I paid for them. I guess they were just in demand.

The interesting thing is that I’ve had more luck selling things lately than giving things away on Freecycle. Those Freecyclers are a weird mob.

Any further tips you’d like to add? You know where to put them. (I mean in the comments, what did you think I meant?)

Mama xox


6 thoughts on “Sold!

  1. I’m not sure if this is something that is available to you in Australia but the website is where I go to sell books. You simply put the ISBN in and it will give you a list of companies that are willing to buy that book from you and for how much. The companies even pay for the postage (at least in the U.S.) Then you go to that company’s site sell them (there usually is an amount of books minimum or money minimum, usually $15 or sometimes lower) then you get paid through PayPal or check. It’s worth checking out because it cuts out the middle man. Good luck in your de-junking.

    • I have heard a lot about this site recently and as far as I know there is no Australian equivalent – yet. I would so LOVE to be able to do this! Maybe I should just go on and check out what my stash is worth. 🙂 Thanks for the tip for US readers.

    • Yes! This is so true. I know this from my own online buying experiences. I won’t even look at a poorly lit picture on a cluttered surface with crap all over the place if I have a choice. Good point, Kerry. I know all about Craigslist – Gumtree is less creepy, I think. 😛

  2. Film photography cameras, kit and books sell well on Gumtree. There are a lot of photography students out there wanting cheap starter gear.

    High quality special interest books can sell individually eg I sold a very comprehensive encyclopedia of birds which I got free for $30.

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