Organize & Clean

7 Things I Decluttered and Resold Recently to Make a Quick $50

published Feb 13, 2020
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I write a lot about decluttering and my feelings on it all boil down to this: There’s so much value in getting the stuff that weighs you down out of your house. In the way that so many physical things at home reflect and affect our inner sense, clearing out the old things we no longer need or want gives us clarity and room to breathe.

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That clarity is enough to make decluttering worthwhile, but if you’re someone looking to maximize the value of getting rid of your old things, it’s natural to think to yourself at some point, “maybe I could sell this.” Of course, it’s also natural to think that trying to sell your old things will take too much time and energy. That’s how I feel about it most of the time.

When I declutter, I usually just want to get the items I’ve parted with out of my house as quickly as possible, leading to me dropping them off someplace where someone else can make money from my discarded things.

Recently, though, I decided to take a stab at throwing some things up on Mercari, a re-sale app which a friend of mine told me she uses with great success.

I haven’t sold everything I’ve posted, but I have discovered that making a bit of money from items that no longer serve me for whatever reason is far from as hard as I thought. Another hidden perk? Saying goodbye to things is even easier when I’m gaining not only space, but a few dollars, too. It’s like getting paid to declutter and that’s a win-win-win.

Here’s a peek at what I’ve sold recently to make a quick and painless $47.65 profit:

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

World Market shower curtain, sold for $15. At the end of the day, I made $2.50 from it because I listed it as free shipping—which means I paid for the shipping cost out of my profits.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Minky dot changing pad cover, sold for $7. I got to keep $1.05 because I paid for shipping.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Girls winter coat, which sold for $9. I got to keep $8.10 of it because the buyer paid shipping.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Three Pier 1 artificial peonies, listed for $8. I made $7.20.

Credit: Target

Aden + Anais lovey blanket toy, sold for $12. I made $10.80.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Five leggings, sold as one lot and listed for $9. I earned $8.10.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Boys tap shoes, listed for $11. I made $9.90.

My Top 5 Online Selling Tips

I’m no expert, but here are a few tips I’ve learned that make selling things online fit pretty seamlessly into my life.

1. Have packing supplies ready

I ordered a pack of 100 white poly mailers that makes it a breeze to package things up. I use a food scale to weigh my items, and I have a roll of tape handy in my desk drawer to adhere the labels that I print. (The Mercari app takes care of calculating shipping costs and creating the label for me.)

2. Be willing to sell in lots

Selling items in lots with multiple items seems to do better than selling individual items. Getting less than $2 per pair of leggings doesn’t seem like much, but earning $9 from selling them in a lot of five is a great deal more than I’d have gotten if I’d just donated them or if they sat unsold.

3. Price to sell

Same idea as selling in lots; some money is more than none. Pricing your items low so they sell faster (without a ton of messaging back and forth and haggling) also means you spend less time dealing with the whole project. Your time is worth money, too.

4. Don’t include free shipping

This goes counter to the advice on the app itself and to what seems intuitive. But I found that when I eliminated “free shipping” from my listings, it didn’t seem to deter people who were interested in the items I had to sell. And I obviously netted far more when shipping costs were the buyer’s responsibility. (You can choose this setting easily in the app.)

5. Make drop-off part of your daily routine

Mercari ships either through USPS or FedEx, depending on the order. I’m not sure how they decide which, frankly, but the key to making shipping easy is incorporating package drop-off into my daily routine. I’ll take my package into drop-off locations located along the routes we drive every day and it takes a few minutes, max.