Craigslist is a godsend for downsizing and selling off some things. I’m trying to be optimistic and post things every week. My husband calls it pairing down, and in my head I’ve come to think of the process as Operation Pairing Down.
The key to the process is taking pictures every weekend of things you might like to sell. Pick 3 to 5 items and then take good pictures. The pictures are the most important part. They get the ball rolling. It’s easy to create a post if the picture is sitting on your desktop in a folder called “CL.” And MUST I remind you that staging is everything?! Dust the thing off, move it so that it’s the only thing in the picture and where there is good lighting. Take a couple of pictures from different angles. Then create the posts as you have time. Make sure to post ‘cash and local pick up only’ in the ad. If you don’t want to be haggled to death don’t post OBO. That can work against you. What I do is post at our ideal price. Then I drop it once. Then I add the OBO. It’s best when you don’t have to sell anything quickly, and you and can wait for the right buyer. Arranging the pickup can be a total hassle. We’ve learned to schedule it at times we are sure to be home anyway so it really doesn’t change anything if they are late or a no show. My daughter naps at 4pm. We do the pickups then or in the town where I work during business hours. I can toss the thing in the car and do the deal in right there in the parking lot at work. I’ve even done a deal in the parking lot of a McDonald’s during my nephews birthday party! Make sure terms are clear. Often they’ll try to low ball you once they see the item for a multitude of reasons. Stick to your guns. They have the cash in hand and made the drive. Odds are they will take it unless you totally over sold it. Maybe not vehicles though, and some people come from cultures are hagglers and really mean it. If they walk away you can call them back or say good riddance.
What sells? Weird shit. What doesn’t sell? Weird shit. I’m sorry but that is the only advice I have for you there. I see some crap on there that makes me say “Really?!” Is someone, somewhere, really looking at this trash and saying “Ooooo I need to go get that?!” Maybe. Nice things don’t always sell either. I had to post our aluminum chairs 4 times over 6 months before they sold. Sometimes there is just no one shopping for what you have. Wait and try again. Or say screw it and donate it. Don’t forget that donations are tax deductible. It’s still a win. And finally, gifting things to people you love can be a nice way to feel good about pairing down. We have some art pieces that are awesome but likely not to sell for anything near what we paid. If that is too heart breaking we will give it to family. The warm-fuzzies can make you feel richer than money, but make sure its something they would want. Asking them is the most direct way to find out. Finally there is also Ebay. Beware the TOTAL hassle of shipping though, and the fact that there is a paper trail for the money.
Me? I’ve got a week before I need to own only enough that will fit in a 39 foot sailboat. We’ve had the garage sale and the “Free-for-all” where family came and took what we didn’t want. Now it’s all about deciding exactly what is going with us, and then we’ll figure out what to do with the remaining stuff. Basically I hope that everything we own will fit into the smallest trailer available when the time comes. Lofty? Yes. Impossible? No. Just got to keep on craigslist’in.