reflections on decluttering
Recently under some pressure from my mom I've started to let go of some things I don't use anymore. Being quarantined at home with nothing to do makes it painfully clear which of your possessions you actually use. After all, if you don't use something even once in two whole years of being cooped up at home with nothing to do, will you ever?
It's not been easy. I didn't enjoy the hassle of registering for different platforms, writing detailed descriptions, and dealing with scammers. But I'm glad I did, because it's been a rewarding experience, one that has taught me a lot about how to sell things and the joys of decluttering. Here are some thing I've taken away from the (ongoing) process.
Decluttering can be exhilarating.
It feels great to sell something for a good price and get rid of something you don't need anymore. You free up space, relieve some headspace, and get some cash in hand. After I got rid of my first item I felt a rush to go and sell more things. But, be careful not to be too hasty, because...
"Seller's remorse" does exist.
Before you decide you want to sell something, be very clear about why you want to get rid of it. Ask yourself how and why you got it in the first place. Are you sure you don't want it anymore? Imagine how its absence will make you feel.
I recommend using the item you're thinking of selling for a short period before making the final decision to get rid of it. Wear the shirt you think you don't want anymore. Play that guitar for a few weeks. Selling it likely means never getting it back, or losing money to do so (or replace it), so you should be absolutely sure you don't want it before letting it go.
When you do decide to sell something, price it properly. Look up how much similar items are going for online. Be conscious of the endowment effect, but also leave room for people to negotiate (if you're open to that).
Facebook Marketplace is king.
I posted my products for sale on a couple different places, from newer smartphone apps like OfferUp to more established ones like craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. And while I know to be wary about drawing conclusions from such a small sample size, I had by far the most success on Facebook Marketplace. If I had to guess, this can be attributed to higher page traffic and the feeling of security that seeing someone's Facebook profile brings.
Scammers are everywhere.
Almost half of inquiries I received were from people who were clearly trying to scam me. Their tactics differed slightly, but all involved trying to get my email and/or phone number and then getting me to click on verification emails (real or fake). I had a couple of close calls, but the more it happens the more wary I get. Trust your instincts; if things feel too good to be true, they probably are. Ask questions, resist being rushed, and always proceed with caution.
Unless you're selling an item in extremely high demand, it will take time for your listings to generate the requisite amount of traffic. Write informative, descriptive, and accurate product listings; post them on as many platforms as you can; and wait. With the right price, amount of time, and some luck, buyers will come.
You don't have to sell.
Don't think you have to sell everything you don't want anymore. If you're unable to sell something online or don't want to go through the trouble, donate or gift it! You can experience the joys of decluttering and a nice altruistic glow to boot.