Before you click away super quickly – let me just put a big disclaimer at the start of this article. I’m not selling you anything. This isn’t an MLM company, this isn’t me telling you to buy into anything, sign up to anything or take surveys. I set myself a challenge at the start of this year to add more diversity to my income streams. I’m a little obsessed with personal finance and I wanted to work out extra ways I could earn money, and then share those ways with others. This is one of those experiments.
What would you do with an extra $2000? That’s a fair chunk of cash for most people. For some, that’s their house payment for the month. For other’s it could be a great getaway, a big payment off their debt, or money for birthday and Christmas gifts.
For me, that’s 6 weeks worth of rent, or 30 weeks worth of groceries, or 60 weeks worth of diesel, or clothes for my family for the whole year…
It’s a lot of money. And I earned $2000 without leaving my house, signing up for anything and without taking any surveys. And you can do it too.
As I mentioned, I’m a bit obsessed with personal finance. I’m also super obsessed with decluttering and I’m moving towards living a more simple and minimalist lifestyle. So, when I was setting my goals for the year, I wanted to work out how I could combine my two obsessions to earn me extra money.
And it worked.
I realised that I could declutter even more ruthlessly if I had a financial motivation. So I decided to try selling these items on Facebook!
And it worked. I made an extra $2000 (in one month) selling items on Facebook. And you can do it too!
Here’s what I did:
(If you’re interested in Personal Finance too, check out our Free Mini Personal Finance Planner below:)
Join Local Buy, Swap and Sell Groups
The first thing you need to do is jump on Facebook and join some local buy, swap and sell groups. These may be called different things in your area but they will all have the same ability – to list products for sale and sell them.
Also, keep an eye out for more ‘niche’ groups. There are groups specifically for mothers, teachers, students, etc as well as more generalised groups.
Choose Appropriate Things To Sell
This is the fun part! Start moving through your house room by room and declutter items. I tend to have 3 piles for this: Throw, Donate and Sell.
It can be difficult to work out what you should be decluttering but my general rule of thumb is if an item doesn’t serve a purpose or if it doesn’t make you happy, then you need to question whether or not you really need it.
Gather all of the things you want to sell together. Keep in mind, you need to sell things in good order. Toys that are broken and clothes that are torn aren’t going to sell and will most likely end up being a waste of your time.
If you’re not sure what will sell and what won’t, spend some time going through the Facebook groups to see what kinds of items are listed. It always amazes me at what actually does sell!
You can also use this decluttering list to keep track of all the ideas of things you can declutter – it can be found in our Free Mini Life Planner:
Make Your Items Stand Out
These groups tend to attract a lot of people which is good because your items are shown to more people, but it also means they can get lost in the number of posts listed. Which means you need to make sure your items stand out.
Your photos are what is going to be seen first so take the time to take great photos. Your phone should be more than adequate to take great photos, as long as you use decent lighting.
Place your items near a big window with natural light and play around with how you take the images until you work out what works best. You can also use things like white cardboard as a backdrop to really make your items stand out.
Also be sure to take a number of photos. If your items have any defects, be sure to say so and take photos to illustrate. Take photos from different angles, open things up, show how they are used. Your photos are what will attract your buyers.
When it comes to your headline for your item, keep it simple and straightforward. Describe your item, use brand names if appropriate and don’t make your headline too long.
Sell Like a Pro
The one thing that took me from selling just a few items to selling almost everything I listed really quickly was all in my descriptions.
The words you use to sell your item matter. It’s not enough to simply throw up and item and say ‘outdoor table for sale, 6 chairs, good condition’ in the description. How boring is that? Unlike the headline for your article, your description needs to really dig deep.
Take the time to really sell not only your items, but what those items will mean for the person buying them.
Using the example above of the outdoor table, here’s what I would write:
‘Selling in great condition outdoor table complete with 6 chairs. Perfect for the warm summer nights to entertain outdoors and enough space for all the family for your family barbeques. Has been used with love and hoping to pass on to someone else who will create even more amazing memories chatting, drinking and eating around this table.’
Do you see the difference? The second description sells the idea of owning it. So, even if you weren’t really in the market for an outdoor table, you now realise you absolutely must have one because you want those memories, you want to entertain around that table, you want the idea I’m selling.
Believe me, it works.
You can’t expect to get the same price for an item that you purchased it for… it’s just not realistic. If if it’s brand new, with tags and never been used. That’s not what these groups are about.
Set your prices at a realistic price, but don’t undersell yourself either.
Group items together to increase the perceived value, or break up big bundles into smaller ones to make them easier to sell. Items like homewares often sell well in big bundles, but things like clothes may sell better as single items.
When you have a few items on the go, it can be difficult to remember who is buying what and when they are picking it up. Keep track of what you’ve listed, for how much, who is selling it and when it’s being collected or posted.
This is also a good way of keeping track of how much extra income you’ve earned!
You can also keep track of how long an item has been listed for and take it down if it hasn’t sold. I generally don’t keep items up for any longer than 5 days. If they haven’t sold in that time I’ll take it down, maybe take some new photos of the item and create a new headline and description and list it again.
If it hasn’t sold after 3 attempts at listing it, then it goes to charity.
The best thing about this is that it’s entirely up to you what you sell, and it can be an ongoing income stream for you! My initial challenge to myself was to sell $500 worth of items in one month. I hit that within a week and pushed out my goal to $2000 and I made that within the month.
It’s totally possible, it doesn’t take a ton of time, and every little bit counts.