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Getting Rid Of Your “Stuff”

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Posted May 9, 2011 by jim young in Lifestyle

– jim young

So you’ve got some “stuff” you want to get rid of.

Just how bad do you want to get rid of it?

There are places like Value Village, The Salvation Army, Goodwill and many others that are always happy to take your donations.

But if your “stuff” is too valuable to give away or you have a sentimental attachment to it that just won’t let you part with it without some remuneration, here are my top 3 favourite ways of selling my “stuff”.

Garage Sale Logo
The Garage Sale

Garage Sales are a lot of fun and a great way to spend a day interacting with your neighbours, as well as strangers who stop by. Whether you’ve got just a few things to sell or a whole basement full of “stuff” you’re almost guaranteed to get rid of at least some of it.

To have a Garage Sale all you have to do is pick a day, pre-price your items and set up a table on your front lawn. If you’re in a high traffic area, a few signs out front and at the corner are all the advertising you really need to do. But if you live off the beaten path, you may want to advertise in your local paper ahead of time.

  • Advantages to Selling Your “Stuff” at a Garage Sale
    – Lots of fun
    – Great way to meet people
    – You can negotiate your best price
    – Get rid of lots of “stuff”
    – Your buyer has the option to check out your “stuff” in person before buying so you are less likely to have an unhappy customer.
    – Minimal costs involved in the form of advertising, signage, price stickers etc only.
  • Disadvantages to Selling Your “Stuff” at a Garage Sale
    – Your Garage Sale is weather dependent
    – If you advertise you might be subjected to annoying “early birds”
    – Generally your “stuff” will less for less
    – You have to have lots of change available
    – You should have enough items to make a Garage Sale attractive so it is not conducive to selling only one or 2 items.

ebay logo

Like a Garage Sale, ebay can be a lot of fun. Ebay is an online auction and like any other auction the bidding can be an exhilarating experience for both the buyer and the seller.

If you’ve never checked ebay out before, here’s what you need to know.

While you don’t have to be a computer geek to buy or sell on ebay, you do need to know your way around the internet on a basic level.

Since most buyers prefer to pay with PayPal, you’ll likely want check them out too. A separate entity, Paypal works closely with ebay. It’s a convenient and secure method to collect payment from the buyer so you won’t have the hassle of dealing with money orders, cheques or cash being sent in the mail. And since payment can be made immediately, delays in completing an ebay transaction are reduced dramatically.

PayPal will also allow the buyer to pay by credit card even if the seller doesn’t have the facilities to accept credit card payment. There is no charge to the buyer to use PayPal, but the seller will pay a small percentage of the selling price for this privilege.

There’s also a cost to selling on ebay, which is in part, based on the final selling price of your item.

First there’s a small fee to list an auction. If your item doesn’t sell, that’s all you pay. But if you item does sell, you will be required to pay the listing fee, plus a percentage of the final sale price of your item. (Other optional fees may be charged if you wish to highlight your auction, list in multiple categories, post extra pictures etc.)

Here’s what you need to do to sell your “stuff” on ebay.

1) Register with ebay and set up an account.
2) Register with Paypal and set an account.
3) Familiarise yourself with both websites to learn their rules, conditions and basic operation.
4) List your item and sit back and wait for the bidders to drive the price up.

For the beginner your auction will likely be very simple.
– Title – select a title that will grab the attention of your intended buyer
– Category – select the appropriate category in which to list your item so buyers can easily find it.
– Description – try to accurately describe your item. While you’ll want to point out its features, don’t try to hide flaws. If you misrepresent your item, your buyer may demand a refund and/or give you a negative rating. Ratings posted by buyers measure how well a seller is doing. Too many negative ratings may result in ebay terminating your account.

  • Advantages to Selling Your “Stuff” on ebay.
    – Reach millions of potential buyers all over the world at a very low cost.
    – Potential to get top price for your item through the bidding process.
    – Fun, Fun, Fun. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing the bids rise on an item you didn’t think was worth more than a couple of bucks.
  • Disadvantages to Selling Your “Stuff” on ebay.
    – Extra work and costs involved in shipping and handling to deliver your item once it’s sold. Particular care must be taken with fragile items.
    – Disgruntled customers. You can’t please everyone and some buyers can become unreasonable once they receive an item they feel that might have been misrepresented. These days it seems ebay tends to side with the buyer.
    – Only 1 item can be listed per auction (unless it’s multiples of the same item)
    – Unless you protect yourself with a “Reserved Bid” or a higher starting bid (both have additional costs) you are required by law to sell your item to the highest bidder even if it doesn’t reach your expectations.

kijiji logo

The word “kijiji” (pronounced like key-gee-gee) means “village” in Swahili. This name was chosen because it captures the essence of what we are creating – a site where people can connect with others in their community.
                                                        – quote from kijiji.com

Kijiji is another option for selling your “stuff”online. Kijiji differs from ebay as it is an online classified ads site as opposed to an online auction.

As with ebay, while you don’t have to be a computer geek to buy or sell on kijiji, you do need to know your way around the internet on a basic level.

You won’t need to sign up with PayPal as your transactions will be handled locally and your buyers can pay you in person.

Best of all there’s no cost to advertising on kijiji.

  • Advantages to Selling Your “Stuff” on kijiji.
    – Free to list and free to sell. No costs ever. (Unless you want to take advantage of some of kijiji’s premium features.)
    – You can list as many items as you like. (And did I mention it’s free?)
    – You don’t even need to register to use kijiji. But it’s free to register and there are some advantages, so you might want to think about it.
    – Your buyers have the opportunity to see what they are buying before they actually complete the transaction so there’s less chance of having an unhappy customer.
    – When you list on kijiji, you can choose whether or not you want to correspond with buyers by email, phone or even in person (by providing your address.)
    – In most cases your transactions are handled in person so there’s no delays or complications in making the exchange. They show up with the cash and you give them the “stuff”.
  • Disdvantages to Selling Your “Stuff” on kijiji.
    – As with most classified ads, kijiji serves a local market so you don’t have the opportunity to reach millions of people world-wide. (kijiji now allows you to list anywhere in your province but when doing so, you may have to offer shipping & handling and may need to look at payment options such as PayPal.)
    – less commitment from your buyers. Unlike ebay, an offer to purchase is not a legal transaction. You may find some people offer to purchase your item and when they show up to get it, change their minds or want to offer you less. Equally frustrating are those that don’t even show.
    – Less protection. Except in extreme cases involving out right fraud, you have little protection from kijiji. Where ebay has ratings for buyers and sellers, no such system exists with kijiji and there is little recourse for resolving disputes.

Deciding which option to use to sell your “stuff” may come down to what kind of “stuff” and how much “stuff” you have to get rid of.

If you have a large quantity of “stuff” you just want to get rid of, a Garage Sale might be your best option.

But if your “stuff “is something that may have a higher dollar value such as an antique or collectible (ideally small enough to make shipping a reasonable option) perhaps ebay would be better for you. Your “stuff” can be seen by millions of people and the bidding process can help you fetch your best price.

On the other hand if you know exactly how much you want for your “stuff” and your local area is likely to have an interested buyer, listing on kijiji will let you advertise it for as long as it takes to find the right buyer for the right price.

Whichever option you choose, play nice, be fair and have fun.

– 30 –


One Comment


  1.  
    Steve

    Growing up in eastern Canada I always thought, we, as Canadians valued the same “stuff”. After all , who never heard of collecting Jello coins or Hostess coins with eveything from airplanes to hockey players on them? Who?, the people on the west coast, that`s who. They never heard of a collectable that to us kids in the east who were in elementary school, was the most valuable “currency” we had. I could give plenty more examples. I am fortunate enough to have a partner in Ontario I can send items like these I have collected and he will sell for me.

    I guess a good example of most collectable “smalls” being in the east is the new reality show, ” Canadian Pickers”. Why they picked two guys from Alberta I`ll never guess. There`s nothing much to pick the farther west one goes and you will notice these guys driving Quebec,Ontario,and Atlantic provinces picking stuff to drag all the way back to Alberta.

    I think Garage Sales are great for real low end stuff and some middle of the road stuff as long as it`s priced accordingly. People still race others to look at your stuff and therein starts the competition. The drawback for me is the neighbours. If an immediate neighbour shows intrest in something I just end up giving to him/her. Not much profit in that.

    I was going to advise extreme caution using ebay but it doesn`t matter , the seller is ALWAYS wrong anyway. If there is a dispute between buyer and seller and you are the seller who is fortunate enough to get to talk to a real, live ebay rep. they actually show some sympathy but never give in. The buyer is ALWAYS right. For example: Any multiples of one item is bad. You sell ten bowling balls in one lot. Two of the bowling balls are expensive and nice. The buyer can complain to ebay they were not as described and want their money back. Ebay/Paypal holds your money and tells the buyer to send the items back. The buyer then can pick out the two expensive bowling balls, send the other eight back to you plus he gets a full refund. Don`t think you`re going to fight this because you`re not. The seller, once again, is ALWAYS wrong.
    As ebay owns Paypal and made the rule you can ONLY pay through Paypal ( it`s now a monopoly), you are screwed.

    Kijiji is great if you live in well populated areas but if you don`t, the market is small. In saying that, and item advertized in our local Buy,Trade,Sell mag. will draw buyers that will drive 2 – 3 hours just to look at an item . I try very hard to describe an item perfectly when using this selling method as I know how pissed I`d be looking at a piece of junk after a drive like that.





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