Recently I discovered a new way to convert clutter into cash: selling on Facebook. If you’ve been doing this for some time, then you may be thinking “where have you been, Aby?” But if you’re where I was a month ago, you’re thinking “Facebook? How do you sell things on Facebook?” Good news, that’s what today’s article is all about.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of selling on Facebook, I first want to emphasize something really important. It makes sense to sell things you no longer use, need, or love when doing so speeds up the process of letting go. If the thought of selling things adds to, or creates, overwhelmed feelings, then don’t do it. But, if the opportunity to convert your castoffs into cash excites you and opens you up to the idea of letting go of more stuff, then by all means consider selling your clutter. Use the following tips to get started.
Decide when it makes sense to sell.
Selling doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Sell only those things that it makes sense to sell such as:
- New items. It can make sense to sell clothing or other items you purchased, never used, and now know aren’t right for you. Your item might be perfect for someone else, and new items sold second-hand can be easier to sell than used items. By the way, we all make mistakes so don’t beat yourself up over it! Instead, sell the stuff and move on with life.
- High value items. Whether you’re selling an item for $1 or 100 dollars, the time investment is generally the same. It’s easier to justify the extra time involved in selling when you’re selling something of high value. Keep in mind however, that an item’s value is only what someone else is willing to pay for it in its current condition. The current value may have nothing to do with how much you paid for it originally. If you aren’t sure about your item’s real value, do a bit of research to see what similar items are going for on Craigslist or eBay. Then decide which items are worth your time to sell.
- Items you can bundle. Instead of selling a single shirt on its own, create a bundle of similar items – same size jeans, or same brand t-shirts, for example. This will allow you to save time by taking fewer photos of your items, writing fewer descriptions, and handling fewer sales transactions.
Selling on Facebook – the pros and cons.
You may be wondering why Facebook as opposed to Craigslist or eBay. Basically, the way that selling on Facebook works is that you join a local “swap and sell” or “resale” group. The nice thing about this, over Craigslist or eBay, is that you’re dealing with people in your own community, people who you already know or people who know people in common with you. This has a much different feeling than selling on Craigslist to a total stranger. Also, unlike eBay, when you sell via Facebook there are no fees and no shipping expenses. If you’re uncomfortable having people come to your home to pick up your items, it is perfectly acceptable to set up a public meeting spot to hand off your items.
In all fairness, there are downsides to this approach, too. As with regular Facebook updates, your items for sale only stay at the top of the page for a short period of time. And you may find yourself very interested in what others are selling, which can make it harder to stay focused on selling your stuff. So simply exercise caution and make sure you get rid of more than you buy.
Finding a group.
I found out about our local group from my co-worker Jennifer. To find a group, do a search on Facebook for “resale” or “swap and sell” in your area. Or ask your local Facebook friends if they know of and participate in any selling groups.
Posting your items.
Once you’ve found a group, the next step is to post your items for sale. This is really as simple as writing a short description including key information such as size (if selling clothes) or measurements if selling furniture or other items. It’s helpful to mention an item’s condition such as new with tags (NWT), or excellent used condition (EUC). Also include a price and your pick up location (your home or public meeting spot). Take a photo of your item, making sure to zoom in as much as possible and eliminate anything distracting from the background. Finally, upload your photo and description and wait to see who is interested.
Selling on Facebook can be a fun and simple way to convert your clutter into cash. As with everything else when it comes to getting organized, it isn’t for everyone or every situation. But, if you’re comfortable using Facebook, and if selling stuff will speed up the process of letting go, why not give it a try?
Have you sold items via Facebook before? I’d love to hear about your experiences with it — the good and the bad. Or if you decide to give it a try after reading this article, let me know how it goes. Thanks for joining the conversation!