Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Declutter Your Way Out of Debt

Since last few years ago, I started reducing paper clutter in my life. Finally, I have near-paperless home with the exception to few important documents.

Yet I have many small items that are lying around. Some of them were never used, while most of them were used once but way past their usability in my life. The items included a heart rate monitor sports watch (I thought I would run marathon), analog TV card, old GPS, and a network hub.

All was good and forgotten, neatly packed in an unmarked brown box. When I moved to the new apartment, I realized the box contributed nothing but one additional hassle. Either I had to throw it out, or better sell it, which I did, reducing my debt by $163.53.

This is how to declutter and cash out.

First of all, you need to be emotionally ready to part with my items. If it is not being used or will be used soon, it will soon contribute towards your back pain while organizing or moving next time.

After that, you have to accept that few things appreciate in value. Most likely, you won't get even half of what you paid. For example, I bought GPS for $349 one and half years ago, but just received $64 after its sale.

Third, "Stop Procrastinating". Schedule a time with yourself (better write it down). Get all products and list online. Sometime you may need a digital camera to take picture.

My recommendation for selling venues;

  • seller account is easiest to list. All you need is get Amazon seller account (need credit card and bank info to open), go to the product page of your item, click "Sell your item", describe honestly in a few words about condition. Price competitively. If an item didn't sell within a week, I lowered my prices. Amazon takes 6-15% commission and $0.99 fee. The listing is free. Amazon is best for selling standard items such as electronics with UPC.

  • is my second choice for selling items with UPC. EBay is best for selling small used parts or other small shippable items. The worst thing about eBay is that it charges for the listing fee regardless of sale. Also, listing unusual items would need a digital camera and you need PayPal account to process the payment. Since eBay charges listing fee (insertion fee) and PayPal also charges commission, you are paying commission twice when using eBay.

  • Craigslist is good for selling bulky items such as old TV and furniture locally. Last year I sold analog TV-VCR combo for $50. Make sure to post photo(s). If an item does not sell within a week, lower your prices.


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    Erica Smith

  2. I would be interested to know where the relationship between the author and Amazon is now. I am a small time seller selling my used photography gear as I trade up. I have only had 2 bad customers out of more than a hundred transactions. These two customers, the dollar amount's at issue, and Amazon's crazy unilateral and arbitrary enforcement of its policies caused me to call it quits and encourage others to do the same.

    I detailed my situation here: in a three post series (so far). In short, Amazon admits that the customer bought the item from me to borrow it (e-mail is posted in Article II I think) and now wants her money back. How crazy is that? Amazon even told me that customers can file chargebacks 90 days later and keep the product and get a refund from the seller.

    Anyway, I am duking it out with Amazon and even have an attorney onboard. I would caution people from selling on Amazon.