Get Rid of It!

Here is a screenshot of what cleaning out some junk got me on eBay in the last two months. 

This is some stuff that was doing nothing for me. It added nothing to my life. 

Here is a shot of some recent Craigslist action. 

You are sitting on a gold mine, I’m tellin’ ya!  There is currently $250 worth of stuff sitting on there right now waiting for someone to snatch up. What would have done with these things?  What do you do with things you don’t use anymore?

I love these win-wins, when you get rid of junk and make money doing it. 

The apps make it so easy to list items too. You just take a picture of what you are selling and it walks you through the posting process. Setting up an account is easy too. 

Craigslist buyers can be easy to deal with or awful. There are a lot of scams out there and they list some of the signs in their site. 

Start to price your items by searching to see what other people are trying to get for theirs. I have a rule where I won’t meet up with anyone for under $20. It’s just not worth the hassle. I usually bring the sub-$20 items to work and give them away. 

Just meet up with the buyers or sellers somewhere public and only deal with cash. Don’t feel pressured to sell something just because they are offering you “$100 cash.” I hate when people say that as a part of their low ball offers. What the hell did they think you would accept other than cash?  It doesn’t sweeten the deal in any way. Also be prepared to be peppered with these lowball offers by throngs of idiots. 

eBay on the other hand is much easier to deal with when it comes to the buyers and sellers.  The only downside is that you have to package and ship the items when they sell and you have a feedback rating. If you sell busted stuff, you’ll get negative feedback and you’ll have a hard time selling anything else. Timeliness and service are important as well. It’s sort of like your own little business, and it actually is for many people. I’m proud to have 102 eBay sales with 100% positive reviews. Oh, you’ll also want to set up a PayPal account if you’re going to be using eBay. That’s easy to do too when you get to their site. 

Homework: Get eBay, PayPal, and Craigslist accounts then find one $20 item you can sell. It’ll be like the first time you smoked crack all over again. Cripes, I hope you weren’t able to make a strong connection there. 


The Easiest Way to Earn More Money

Really, the easiest way is to give yourself a raise by saving instead of spending.  Again, you knew this, but you might not be taking advantage of it.  I’ll get to actual ways to increase earnings shortly, but look at how much you could gain by reading the posts on Your Cell Phone, Shaving, Your Cable/Satellite Service, and if you do the simple math, it’s potentially hundreds per month on your basic human needs spending.  That’s one way to give yourself a raise.

The other is to actually make more money.  You can try asking for more from your employer, but that’s only worked for me once, and it was like 15 years ago.  You could always get another job that pays more too, but that’s not the focus here.  Something that I guarantee will make you extra money right now is to take a look around at your junk and sell what you don’t need.  You’re going to have to go back and read about Your Needs to help you determine what you really need to have.  The Minimalists have a fantastic movie and podcast that addresses this topic perfectly.  They even have games you can play to help you get rid of your clutter. This is a win-win because you clean house and make money.

Craiglist is free and is where I put most items.  I don’t try to get top dollar on my sales since I don’t want to wait long to get rid of it.  I’ll price it lower than most others for that quick sale and move on to the next one.  If you have a smart phone, the app lets you take pictures and post the ad right from your phone.

eBay does the same thing but has a larger audience.  I’m not going to get into the details of how to sell your crap; the take away here is that you are sitting on a gold mine, you just have to start listing things to start earning.

Do not underestimate the power of this technique.  It is crippling to debt.  Debt is defenseless against it!  Throw that extra cash right down on the principle of your payments.

Consider downgrading on bigger ticket items too.  Maybe you made a large purchase a few years ago and it turns out you don’t really use that thing as much as you thought.  Either sell it and don’t replace it, or replace it with a cheaper model and pocket the difference.  I did this when I was into photography, a few times actually.  I went from having a few thousand dollars worth of gear down to a couple hundred and I don’t regret it at all.  I did the same thing with some guitars I had.  I had four of them, but why did I need four?

Parting with your belongings can be tough.  Just remember that they aren’t what makes you happy and they are replaceable.  One thing The Minimalists say, that I love, is if you can replace it for less than $20, in less than 20 minutes, and you haven’t used it in a while, get rid of it.  They call it the 20/20 rule.  Don’t hang on to things because you might use it someday.  This is how you become a packrat and waste your hard earned money.  “Oh, this would be nice to have when we have a party.”  That is the WRONG mentality if you are trying to escape the grips of consumerism.  Wait until you have the party, then decide if you need it.  I’m sure the party would have been just as fun without that gizmo anyway.

Remind yourself that you care about your freedom more than your things and you’d rather have the luxury of doing whatever the hell you want in life than the luxury items.