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Need to Declutter? How to make a clean sweep selling your stuff online. No matter where you're selling, there are ways to maximize your money back.
CLEAN UP WHILE CLEANING OUT YOUR HOUSE
Author: Danielle Serino, Joe Calabrese
Published: 4:44 PM EST February 24, 2021
Updated: 5:58 PM EST February 24, 2021
CLEVELAND — Some are calling it the "pandemic purge." With people spending more time at home, they're realizing how much stuff they have that they really don't need. Some are donating, others just throwing it out, but you can also make some big cash with your unwanted stuff.
Mary Therese admits she's a hoarder, albeit an organized one. But even she knows it's time to unload. "It hurts my heart to throw things in the landfill," she said. So I kind of like to hang on to things until I can find a home for them. This is my motto for 2021 — simplify."
We paired Therese with Leslie Burns, a REALTOR who learned how to declutter. In fact, she's an organized hoarder too. We knew they'd be a match.
Burns likes Facebook Marketplace for sellers and buyers, specifically their search. "I can search for a sideboard and dressers will come up that don't even have the word sideboard in it, but they know what might also work for what you're looking for," she said.
The main focus on our clean sweep was Therese's Kitchen Aid mixer. "I try to start with bigger items," Burns said. "First things that are going to get the most money." But it's not as simple as taking a picture, posting it, and expecting it to sell. You need to stage the item. "So things like boots," Burns says, "I would stuff these probably with newspaper to give them a full look. If you look at the pictures and it doesn't look amazing, you're going to move on to the next one."
In the case of Therese's mixer, that meant a nice cleaning and a pretty backdrop. Burns says it's important to make those pictures look perfect, even if it takes multiple angles. "The more someone can visualize the item, the better," Burns said.
The next step is the item's description. Burns says you need to be creative and detailed when you're describing the items you're trying to sell, but don't forget important information like measurements, or sizes for clothing. Burns recommends looking up similar, new products online to see how they're described.
The last step is setting your asking price. But don't go too high. For example, Therese thought she could get $20 a piece for some of her pillows, but you can get new pillows for a similar price at some of the big stores. "Marketplace shoppers, they're looking for a deal," Burns said. You can always bring your price down. Or for big items, you might offer delivery then add that to the price.
And finally, to maximize your chances of a sale, post on multiple marketplace groups. Turns out Therese was a magnet for buyers. In less than a month, she sold her mixer and five other items for $831, enough to buy herself a trip to Florida. "Now my sister-in-law, my friends, they're all like, 'Show me how to do it,'" Therese said. "I might have to have a consultation for them."
She's also learned the art of the sale. "I hit a top that got viewed 190 times, but I didn't get an offer. So I changed something in the title, and boom, a day later it was sold." But, Therese says she's still got a long way to go. When asked what her goal was, she said, "To make room for more stuff. No, it's to you know, just minimize."