I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been selling almost everything I own; now that I’ve had 7 different people traipse in and out of my house, I think I’m qualified as an expert to offer advice on how to meet two conflicting objectives: making as much money as possible while getting rid of as much stuff as possible. Here’s what’s worked for me:
1. Group like with like: If you come into my living room right now, it might initially look like chaos. But there’s a strategy. The yoga mats are in the corner– with the blocks, blanket, strap, and Lululemon bag nearby. Someone might think they just want a mat, but they’re walking out with all that stuff.
2. Buy more, pay less: I have great storage boxes that I’ve filled up with little junk: candles and magnets and a Koosh ball (remember those?) that I couldn’t sell for more than a quarter. Here’s my policy; I’ll empty out the box and you can have it for $10, or take everything in it and get it for $8. I managed to offload a half dozen extension cords and a box full of screws and nails this way.
3. Get to know your customer. I put my dresser on Craigslist, and the first person to contact me mentioned she was a teacher. I put the box of random office supplies on top of the dresser (teachers always need pencils!) and she couldn’t resist. Someone told me she liked to bake, and I dug up some cupcake tins that were languishing at the bottom of a pile– to her delight.
4. …and let them get to know you! In my Craigslist ads and emails to acquaintances, I mentioned that “I’m selling everything that won’t fit in my backpack!” People are excited to hear about my trip and I think it makes them less likely to haggle when they know there’s a reason I’m trying to make an extra 5 bucks.
5. Free booze with purchase. And finally, this. Every $10 purchase got a free bottle of wine– who can say no to that? One group of girls even opened it while they were still “shopping” in my living room. Thank you, New Orleans, for making that socially acceptable.