Have you ever looked in your closet and seen that old pair of booties you no longer wear as a tiny pile of cash? Yeah me either. Until it happened - they became cash. No seriously, they did! But not in the magical hocus pocus kind of way, although it was almost that easy. After my first few sales, I was hooked. It became a no brainer! Make money on the things I no longer wear or need, to buy things and do things that are relevant to me and my life now. And hey, if next year you think, "Man I miss those booties. Why didn't I wear them?" You have cash to buy a new pair you WILL wear and love. I don't want items that don't bring me joy to take precious space in my life, and to be honest, I don't think you do either, which is why I want to help.
So how's it done? Well, there are many ways to do it, but it will all depend on what you want to sell, how fast you want to sell it, and how much you want to make. I happen to have a wealth of knowledge on the subject, and to be frank, there are a lot of tools I want to give you!
My hopes are that by the end of this you will have all the tools you need, so that within a few weeks you can message me saying, "I made my first sale!" and I can celebrate with you. Much like I celebrated with a client who was able to make her first few sales shortly after our final session!
Although let me tell you, before all of this started, she felt overwhelmed. Weighted down by "stuff" that seemed to be taking over her home and her life. At some point, without consistent decluttering, the things we once needed or enjoyed become a burden. Sometimes hidden throughout our homes, hidden from ourselves and from guests. We can become so used to these things that we don't even realize how free we could be if we let them go.
During our initial consultation it became clear that her once beloved stuff had become an underlying source of anxiety and guilt. Now to be clear, my client did have a lot of stuff. And some of it was just that! Stuff. But a LOT of it was really awesome! Here's how we worked together to turn this ship around in a BIG way. And by BIG, I mean upwards of $3,900 big in earning potential on the items she is now able to sell. Who wouldn't choose that kind of cash over a cluttered space?! If you're like me, and love to see a good before and after, feel free to scroll on down to the end of this post before you continue reading.
PULL - SORT - PURGE - REPEAT.
Although my clients situation was on a much larger scale than your average closet, the concepts are still the same and can be applied to any part of your home!
I. PULL your stuff.
It's as easy as it sounds, I promise. Don't overthink it. Take 5 minutes to skim through your closet. Pull all the items you are iffy on, or that you flat out know you will never wear again. Old prom and bridesmaids dresses, anyone? You heard me, PULL 'EM! You definitely don't need those hanging around taking up valuable closet space, especially when it could mean ca$h in your pocket! Once you've got your pile, you are ready to sort!
II. SORT it.
When it comes to selling your stuff, items will fall into one of 3 categories: donation, consignment, or online sales (whether it be Poshmark, Mercari, Offer Up, Let Go or another site). The key here is to be HONEST with yourself. We all fall prey to seeing our items as better than they are, especially when we know that cash is on the line! Trust me when I say, it will pay to be honest with yourself here. In the end, that honesty will bring you more cash and much quicker. Depending on how many items you are working with, this shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes! If it does, you may be overthinking it or letting emotional attachment to items cloud your mind. And hey, that's okay and totally normal! Take a second, step away, and come back with a refreshed mind. Don't think too far into it, just go with your initial instincts.
I. DONATIONS = Dated or well worn items that will be hard (if not impossible) to sell for more than a few bucks. Your time = money, and I truly believe that its worth more than that!
II. CONSIGNMENT = Items in good condition that are still relatively in style (within the last 1-6 years). These items can be name brand if you have them (think Nordstrom, Joes Jeans, Toms, North Face, etc.) although I don't typically suggest selling designer items through consignment as they yield a MUCH higher profit margin when sold through outlets like Poshmark! Consignment is a GREAT option when you want to make quick cash on a handful of your items, but don't want to invest extra time into maxing out your profit through another outlet. Keep in mind here that consignment shops do all the work for you. They market your items, they find the customers, they make the sale. And remember! Your time = money. Sometimes this is the best option!
Most consignment stores (and I'm not talking about your Plato's Closets or Buffalo Exchanges here - I personally haven't found that places like these give a great rate of return for your items, although they are fun to shop at!) work on a 60/40 model. They keep a 60% commission of the final sale price of your item, and you get the remaining 40%. Typically they will keep your items for a span of 3 months, and at the end of that period you have the option to either pick up any items that may not have sold, or they will donate it for you. My motto is, if their customers weren't interested, the item likely won't sell on another platform. So I usually don't take the time to pick up unsold items, but I will definitely stop in to pick up my final earnings!
III. POSHMARK = I have sold quite a range of items on Poshmark, although I have found the items that sell the quickest with the highest return are the current, name brand and designer items. Simply take photos of your item, enter item details, and post! The app gives you a lot of ownership to sell your items at a price you feel comfortable.
Keep in mind that Poshmark does take a small commission from the sale of your item. For items under $15 the app takes a flat rate fee of $2.95, and for items over $15 they take a 20% commission. With that said, I typically won't sell anything on Poshmark that is worth $15 or less. Those items I take to consignment where I can usually make more with less effort.
Once an item sells, Poshmark emails you a shipping label which you print and tape to one of the free boxes at the post office. And voila! You are done. Once the customer receives their item, the money will be transferred to your account.
Pro Tip: The better the photo of your item, the quicker it will sell. Try to keep to a theme so that your Poshmark closet looks cohesive. I made the mistake of not doing this for years, and although my items sold, it definitely took longer! When you take a couple extra minutes to stage your item in good lighting with a consistent background (whether that be the floor, a wall, or a blanket) people will not only get a better idea of the true detail and color of your item, but they will see the care you put into selling it. People are much more apt to trust the quality and cleanliness of your item when you do this.
IV. OFFER UP/ LET GO/ MERCARI/ ETC. = Although you can sell clothing on these as well, I have found a lot more success selling household items on sites like this. The only exception I have found to this rule is with prom/homecoming dresses, bridesmaids dresses, and wedding dresses. I have had great success selling all of these on Offer Up!
Okay I'm sure you thought you could make it through this without having to make me a promise... But this step is a big deal, and sometimes it can be the hardest! Once you have finished sorting your items, I need you to promise me that you seal the deal. Make an appointment at your local consignment shop, or find out if they have drop in times and go. Load up your car with your donation items and drop them at a local thrift shop or charity. Take pictures of your items and post them to Poshmark, or whichever online outlet feels like the best fit for you and your items.
Once you've done this, you have officially moved onto the best part of this whole process! The pumpkin spice to your fall, the filter to your Instagram. It's THE SALE to your sorting and purging!
Whether you sell your items through consignment, online, or a mix of the two, you will soon be replacing that item with your tiny pile of cash. And no, maybe it wasn't magic that turned those old booties of yours into a tiny pile of cash. But I bet you after all is said and done you will realize it really was almost that easy! And I promise you will be so happy you did.
Now the key here is, we all need consistent decluttering (both physically and mentally). Have you seen what happens without it? We all know it's not pretty. In order to stay out of the clutter trap, decluttering is vital. And why not make some cash while you're at it! You don't have to do it monthly, or even seasonally, but every once in awhile, just do it. Go through your home, pull things you no longer use, and sell them! It's a freeing feeling when you no longer let your "stuff" weigh you down.