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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Decluttering and Moneymaking: NOT on Yard Sales

I will never have a yard sale, ever ever. Maybe one day I'll write about the last one: most of my stuff was stolen from a friend's garage and a ten dollar bill was left on her front steps. Since she had things stolen too, we split the ten.

So, can you get anything back for your over-acquisitions? I don't itemize deductions, so I can't take advantage of the oft-cited tax write off. I donate lots of stuff, but still like some cash on occasion.

The end of school is the declutter season at the frugal household. So far, we have gotten about $120.00 in Amazon credit for books. These are not textbooks, but regular old books we have lying around. We've gotten more than $100.00 in cash from Barnes and Noble for similar books. Generally, these are books that are recent big sellers or books USED as textbooks. At the moment, The Great Gatsby is not wanted, but one of my three copies of The Iliad got me $4.00. In the Amazon example, a copy of Water for Elephants will give you $2.01 in credit.

I find typing in isbn numbers very soothing and I'm sure it staves off dementia. Most books are worthless and the ones that I send are worth only a dollar or two or three. It is easy to pack up a box. Amazon and Barnes and Noble pay shipping too!

Miss Em and I also had a fun day bring stuff to the Buffalo Exchange. We get clothes one year and then cycle them through the Buf. In fact, we have created a verb: Do you think we can Buf it?

We COULD buf it as it happened. We opted for $200.00 in cash (we did have a lot of stuff), since we still have credit from our last trip.

Ahhhhh. So far over $400.00, which is more than I ever made at a yard sale. MUCH less messy too.

How do you declutter?


Duchesse said...

Most people end up hauling stuff to Goodwill or dump at end of the day anyway. And how about the guy who cursed when I did not have the box my fake pearls came in, when the price was $3?

We decluttered 50% of all possessions:
1. Hosted block party and invited people to take what they could use
2. Sold good furniture to people who came to #1, after a few glasses of wine, and
3. Donated the rest to charities.

One should think about what one's time is worth. If willing to spend a weekend hawking your stuff, fine, it's fun to make the cash, but at a few bucks an item, usually not much. If that's no fun, donate.

The Frugal Shrink said...

Ugh, periodically I do try to have a yard sale. I did earlier this year and it ended up being 40 degrees (in April), overcast, and rainy. NEVER again. Hopefully. ;) More successful routes of decluttering for me are a consignment store for some clothing, Paperbackswap for books that aren't worth selling, Amazon and for books that are worth selling, and recently I got back into eBay for other clothes. I prefer to not think about what my time is worth b/c I know I'm on the losing end...

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--Your process is very impressive. Happy to hear it went smoothly for you.

@FrugalShrink--I do some of that, but I find selling on ebay to be a gruesome process. Glad to hear it has worked for you. Haha--so true about time.