Sell Something to make Money

October 21, 2015 by  
Filed under How To, Spotlight

Sell Something to make Money

At a certain point in life you may be faced with stressful decisions related to needing money. With the exception of the silver spoon crowd we’ve probably all been there at some point. I’m talking about having to sell something to make money.

It may be all the more difficult because of looming deadline.
I’m referring to real dire straights. Maybe you have a rent payment due or need gas for the car or groceries for your kids etc. Bottom line is you need money fast. But all the while you stress out about it the clock is ticking. Time is against you.

There are a few strategies here to get you cash fast.
Since everyone has a different set of circumstances I’ll use mine. What I do, and have done for years is to maintain a fully stocked storage unit.

You’ll know when the time is right to sell something to make money.

If you’ve read some of my other articles you may recall I’m a collector / picker. I use those terms to cover everything to do with gathering cast-off items, found items and renovation/demolition throwaways, for resale. I do this through Kijiji, Craigslist and EBAY.

 Assume you have collected some items worth selling.
And those items have enough value to cover your needs. Which direction to take next is determined by how dire are your circumstances.

Do you need to have money in two days or two weeks? Next determine how much your items are worth. Finally it’s time to pick a platform from which to advertise your items. Some things to consider would be the size of your item. Shipping costs money so a larger item would do best sold locally. Small and light can ship which means that as well as locally you could consider selling/shipping through EBAY.

Something else to consider is how much time you have to collect the needed money. An EBAY transaction will deposit cash into your PayPal account at the time of the sale. A local sale can also be dealt with quickly without the additional shipping cost.

Time to think strategically.
Let’s stay with the example of old sports gear. This is a good choice for something you could move locally through Kijiji or Craigslist. Don’t be in a rush to simply list it everywhere.

In our example above, the sports gear probably originated from your own closet or from a source in your community. That tells me it’s been used in an activity participated in locally.

EBAY might be a waste of time for a localized sport. While it may pay-off eventually, at this time we are looking for quick fixes.

 This is where a little research pays off.
Craigslist and Kijiji are both essentially huge platforms that do the same thing. And they each have their pros and cons. I’ve also noticed a different type of clientele for each.

The one big take-away for you here is that buyers tend to use one platform or another. Depending on what I’m listing I use one or the other.

Let’s get back to our sports equipment example. . Get as much information on the sport itself as possible. You want to know if it’s currently in-season or out-of-season. You want to know how popular it is.

Popularity climbs during a playoff or world series type event.
Has it been in the news lately? Look up any articles. Buyers have been known to create a feeding frenzy over the simplest item during a world class sporting event.

Track some of the more popular athletes as well. Sometimes good / bad public behaviour can affect their brand value.

What teams are in the news right now? Look around for anything with their logo – the older the better but anything will do. Now look up what others are charging for your identical item. Go to all the platforms, such as EBAY or Craigslist etc and search for your identical sports gear. Take into account an honest evaluation of the condition.

As inquiries come in make sure to keep notes.
If you find three listings on Craigslist and none on Kijiji, I’d suggest listing on Kijiji. In addition, you could write a completely separate ad, undercutting all three of the other sellers, and place it on Craigslist as well. Keep track of all your items with their respective prices. I have a large notepad on my desk for just that. The notes help me refine my ads by addressing caller’s questions and concerns.

If you have only a single item listed for sale you may obsess to the point of staying awake at night. My strategy is to maintain between 50 – 100 items at all times. You may not have that many but aim for several at least. That way, assuming you have priced your items fairly, you’re getting inquiries and sales often.

You need money fast.
Back to your situation. And, you might not have sports equipment. Other hot sellers are seasonal items. Look around for garden tools and hardware. There are always new homeowners that haven’t gotten around to buying all the tools needed to maintain their new property. They are happy to buy something ‘used’ just to get them through the first winter or summer or specific project.

Quick Note: You can make money from old tools very easily. You will find all kinds of people doing a single renovation type project needing an inexpensive used tool for exactly that.

Which opens up yet another option when dealing with this type of item – and this works extremely well. Say, you have an old bicycle or lawn mower or even snow thrower. Things used in a household.

A good example strategy for cashing these in are to write your competitive ad for Kijiji (remember, someone already selling one here). Make sure to list it accurately and price it ‘below’ the competing ad.

Next, go to Craigslist and price it slightly higher (no competition here). Since it’s seasonal and local, go to as many grocery stores or gas stations or whatever and post a hand-written ad on their community bulletin board. These boards are usually set up close to an entrance or exit – very easy to see. With the bulletin board, price it the same as your lowest online price or even lower.

“The whole point here is to sell something to make money as quickly as possible.”

Bulletin boards traditionally have some of the best prices you will find.
Chances are shoppers will do a quick online search to price shop after reading your posting. And that’s what it will come down to with this type of item – price point.

You may be wondering, “why not list it everywhere for the identical price?” Good question but consider this; have you ever seen the same ad for something over and over and said to yourself, “what’s wrong with it?” Or, “that’s been for sale a long time.”

Now the reality is it may have been or not but to plaster it everywhere gives people that perception. It gets bigger and louder in their memory.

This is a trick even pros on EBAY use.
That’s why I break up the selling price. You appear to be more than one seller. Secondly, you are basically steering those searches to your best price by sacrificing a poor one.

You could even write several ads for the same item using different pictures within the same platform. You will have to vary your price though.  Some online stores will test a price by listing it for a variety of prices.

While you still want to sell something to make money, depending on your item’s value there are options. If you have items of high value, gold jewelry for example, there are dealers that offer cash for gold. The same goes if you have a longer period before needing the money.

Best of luck and collect well.


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Make Money from old Stuff

October 20, 2015 by  
Filed under How To, Spotlight

Make Money from old Stuff

It’s no secret that you can make money from old stuff.
Whether for reasons of nostalgia or the overall belief that older is better, many of us prefer older tools and hardware. We naturally associate the weight and feel with durability and longevity. You yourself may have used the expression, “they don’t make them like they used to.”

“I’m a big fan of vintage power tools. There’s something about the solid metal casing versus the economical plastic housings you find on today’s tools that’s a big plus for me.”

“To make money from old stuff you first need access to old or interesting stuff.”

Where do you start?
You’ll need to get your hands on your favorite old stuff before you can begin. If you don’t have your own warehouse of inventory then it’s time to go looking for some. The first thing you should do is decide what area, or niche, interests you.

I started many decades ago. It began with auto parts. As a teen I would run home after school to continue working on my first car – a 1968 AMC Javelin SST. I was 14 and too young to drive but I loved that car. I tore into it …removing and replacing pieces, cleaning and rebuilding parts as I progressed.

What’s your Javelin?
The work generated a surplus of parts that I sold off to finance the buying of yet even more parts. I soon learned I could make money selling old tools as well. It happened very naturally and grew organically over the years. So that would be my advice to you.  Discover your own Javelin and jump-off.

Assuming you have your area of interest, the next thing to do is make a list of everything you have good access to. For example, consider your surroundings and geographical location. Are you located near an ocean or desert, or maybe a mountain range? Do a search on EBAY. You’ll be shocked to see what people are paying for natural items such as shells, rocks and small pieces of driftwood.

Regardless of where you are located something is being discarded or overlooked by the locals. Do you reside in a big city, small town or maybe you’re isolated in the country? Are there any recognizable landmarks or industries within travelling distance? People from around the world may collect branded items from those landmarks or industries.

All these questions are simply to get you thinking of opportunities you may have not considered. I mention auto parts as being my jumping-off point but over the years I’ve deviated into many areas. That happens as your interests change or new opportunities arise.

Years ago I worked near a large open quarry. I had access for a period of about two months. I made full use of that access by collecting pieces of rock that contained fossils.

And there were tons of fossils to find after blasting. I sold them as pieces for gardens. Knowing what I know now I could have spun it even farther my making molds and selling the casts – that’s another story.

Surprisingly you can make money from old stuff.

Think big-picture.
When I started, all my buying and selling was done through classified ads in newsprint. I would have to phone-in the ad copy every Tuesday. It would show up in print by Friday that same week.

Then all responses were through the single phone line in the house – without an answering machine. Today with an internet connection, email and the smart phone the frustrating part is taken care of.

So, wherever you are located I can almost guarantee you are in a position to make money from old stuff somehow. I will continue to add articles outlining several ideas I’ve used. In the meantime grab yourself a journal or notebook, and do some brainstorming.

Best of luck and collect well.


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