Today’s blog was inspired by my recent plunge into selling stuff on our local Beg Barter Site. I will admit that I am a Goodwill, Flea Market, Garage Sale, Target, Home Goods kind of gal. Growing up we would go to garage sales and flea markets with our mom and hunt for treasures. I am proud to admit that my mom was smart (and possibly cool) enough to realize the treasures that could be found. It wasn’t uncommon for my mom to pull to the side of the road and pick up a treasure that was left out for trash.Of course when you are young you don’t appreciate these treasures and are often humiliated that your mom is putting a piece of furniture into the back of your car that was left on the side of the road. I am proud that she raised us with the mentality, “just because we are hunting for treasures doesn’t mean we can’t afford to buy new stuff”. They of course bought new stuff, but she was fast forward enough to recognize that vintage was much more valuable compared to cheap China knock offs.
To this day you will not be surprised when someone compliments Christa or myself on an outfit or piece of furniture and and when asked where we bought it, we say “Goodwill”. We are so proud of our finds and the fact that we are saving money. The more money we save, the more things we can use the savings for!
Back to Beg Barter. I have been a member of several Beg Barter sites for years. I very rarely buy stuff because frankly, I just don’t have anymore room in my house to add additional stuff. Yes, I will buy kids shoes or a random something, but for the most part, I don’t buy. I do however see what my friends are buying and selling. I have noticed what items tend to go fast and what items never get an “int”.
Recently I hired someone to come help me redecorate my house. I can’t even tell you how happy I am with the results (of course that is another blog). While we were in the process, I had to declutter and change lots of stuff out (even stuff that I had purchased in the last year at Pier 1, Home Goods, etc). I stuck everything in my guest room and in my garage with the intent on using some of it in other rooms, selling stuff on beg, barter, and then finally donating the rest. I just want the stuff GONE!
Step 1: Be Realistic About My (Your) Stuff:
We love our stuff and often get attached to it. We can remember picking it out, getting it as a gift, or even finding it as a true gem. The fact remains that no matter how much you love your stuff, you may not have a place for it. There is also stuff that you have attachment too, but truthfully is just outdated. If you don’t want it in your house, do you think your trendy neighbor wants it in theirs?
I was in both categories- there were nice items that I knew lots of people would want and then there were lots of dated stuff that might not be as appealing. I had Christa help me find alternate places for some stuff, let her have whatever she wanted, and the rest would be regulated to beg barter and donation. Ironically there was a picture i had for a few years that I liked, but did not love. I decided to sell it for $10.00 on beg barter, but then noticed the plastic bag attached to the back. Apparently it was a signed copy and when I googled it I realized that it was worth a minimum of a few hundred dollars. I decided to take it out of the beg barter pile and use it in my media room above the bar.
Step 2: Take Decent Pictures:
If you have clothes, take 2 seconds and iron them and make them look desirable. My friend Tracy dresses her girls in cute, boutique clothing. When she would post lots for barely used Ralph Lauren, Peaches and Creme type of clothes, she wasn’t getting any bites. Once she spent a few more minutes in her presentation, people started realizing how good the clothes/prices were.
Step 3: Price It Right!
I would say this is the most important part to being successful. Yes, we know that said item cost $200.00. However, things are only worth what people are willing to pay for them. Do not try to sell a $50.00 baby item (new) for $40.00 (even if it is pristine condition). Beg barter is basically an online garage sale. We know our stuff is worth so much more, but be realistic and set garage sale prices. I have studied what people price things at and to often when you price high, you don’t get one “int”. I strategically decided that my motto was going to be “price low and get it out of my house”. I was estatic to get a few dollars for something, and the person would actually come pick it up on my porch and leave me the money under my mat.
*** Corrin’s rule of thumb…whatever price you think you deserve for a particular item, cut it in half!
Step 4: Just Know When To Let It Go
I have lots of things I want to get rid of, some good, some not so good. Our local beg barter has a rule that you can have 3 items at a time on the site. I decided to put things up and if they didn’t move in a reasonable amount of time ( 6 hours), I would remove them and replace it with something else. I also moved some of the items to a larger beg barter site where I would have 2 or 3 times the interest.
***My friend Amy gave me a tip that when she has not been lucky on a beg barter site, she has often had luck on varagesale.com.
So, how did I do? How did my strategy work?
I would say overall, it was a success! My first day I sold many items. It was hard to not get greedy and price it high because you never knew how popular an item would be. However, I decided to price everything on the lower side and go for volume. That way I will make some money and more than that, I will have a decluttered house (priceless). And of course I don’t want people to think I am greedy…For months I have purged my house and donated so many bags of clothes, household items, etc. to the Goodwill.
My question for you…what is the best thing you have scored on a Beg Barter Site?