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'I spent the weekend decluttering my house. Here's how much money I made selling my pre-loved stuff.'

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Thanks to our brand partner, eBay

Ever since watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix I’ve vowed to myself that I really must declutter my wardrobe.     

If feels satisfying to me to get rid of all my unused or pre-loved items lying around that deserve to find a loving home. And make me a little extra cash on the side.

I’m a relatively tidy person, but do regularly fall into the hole of just accumulating ‘stuff’ every year. Even when I'm conscious not to.

I feel like many of us do without realising it. I can’t imagine the next level of accumulating stuff that surely unlocks if you live with tiny humans.

In my case, I feel the guilts when I think: “I still have that dress that I’m never actually going to wear with the tags on it. It doesn’t fit the way I want it to. It’s too good to give away, and it’s too late to return. I really need to eBay it.”

But I end up in a stalemate with myself, tortured by the 0.2 per cent likelihood that I still might use it. So I do precisely nothing about it.

If you’re also like me: do you always find yourself opting to wear your only favourite pair of jeans (of the forgotten seven you also own)? And just keep wearing the same jumper you love for literal MONTHS?

Or if you're sentimental, you're likely holding on to one of your favourite outfits that brings back the best of memories but literally doesn’t fit anymore? Formal dresses, I see you. 

Or that stale pile of fancy dress costumes that you haven’t used in three years and don't really plan on using ever again? (no... just me?)

If any of these are sounding eerily familiar, it's probably time you did a deep clean and give these items a new life. As in, outside of yours.

On average, only 20 per cent of the clothes in people's wardrobes are worn on a regular basis. It’s certainly hard to avoid buying clothes for the sake of it now with trends turning over and over, and algorithms (those CHEEKY algorithms) targeting us down to our every last thought. 

With clothes, my motto now is quality over quantity. I would much rather save my precious pennies and buy longevity in my clothing: timeless pieces that I know will last me a solid number of wears, as opposed to churning and burning through fast fashion trends.

Australia is the second highest consumer of textiles per person in the world, which is madness.

Each Aussie consumes an average of 27kgs of new clothing every year and chucks out an average 23kgs of clothing into landfill annually. 

Oh boy. This contributes to 93 per cent of the textile waste we generate as a whole country. That's... scary.

Selling your unused or pre-loved items online is not only a deeply satisfying process – as it frees up your space and reduces your waste – it’s also a fantastic way to make some easy dollars.

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And I LOVE easy dollars. 

Read any personal finance blog on how to make some extra money or pay off your debts quicker, and one of the first things they will recommend is going through your belongings and selling what you don't use or ever really think about. 

When you really sit down and think about the stuff you own that you ACTUALLY use (be honest with yourself, no cheating) there’s probably a lot of money sitting around you, just ready to be made. 

You’d be surprised. 

Having procrastinated on my decluttering goals for quite some time, this lockdown has finally given me the time (and no excuses) to start. 

So last weekend, I went through my wardrobe and separated my clothes into two piles: stuff I know I wear regularly and stuff I don’t. I also had a few items lying around the house that have needed to be moved on for months now. 

Once I’d done the hard work sorting, I wanted the next step to be as easy and seamless as possible. Having tried a few platforms to rehome my pre-loved items, eBay really seemed like the best option for me, especially in lockdown. 

The number of shipping options eBay offers up makes it extremely easy to sell your goodies, especially as you can send your items to their new owners without leaving home. 

That's right. They have a printer-free option which is super hassle-free. No need to worry about printing out a pesky label, all you need to do is package up your items (there's even eBay packaging here) and get a courier to come and collect it. No need to go to the post office (love this). 

And the courier option isn't as expensive as I would have thought: it starts from $6.20, same city to city (where Australia Post charges $9.80 nationwide).

A little hint on this too: I can definitely say from experience that offering free postage can make a big difference to your sales, so be sure to factor in your packaging, weight and measurements, and the rates your carrier charges. Then simply work this into your item price so you’re not out of pocket. It was a light bulb moment for me.

Also eBay is the only online marketplace platform that gives shoppers the option to use Afterpay, which is nifty, so it actually makes your items even that little more attractive for someone who wants payment flexibility. 

Using eBay also significantly ups your item’s reach, as your pre-loved goodies aren't just available to your radius, or just nationally: your items are actually launched out there on the international marketplace. You're getting access to 12 million unique visitors just within Australia, so the number of eyeballs potentially on your stuff globally would be... insane. 

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So it's quite exciting having your chances boosted so much to getting your bits and pieces sold quickly to their next home. 

As one of the big ecommerce players out there, your listings will also come up in Google search which I quite like as a digital native, so if you’ve posted your items at a competitive price and someone online is on the hunt for it, it gives them more chances to come across your item. Score.

You basically just need to jump in, and start really. Here's the four items I just sold on eBay (so far):

1. Bec & Bridge dress

Image: Supplied.

Look, it's a beautiful dress and super great quality (and was expensive by my standards). I hate to admit it, but I’ve only worn this dress twice and I’ve had it for at least 3 years. So I figured it'd be nice to move it on, and recoup some dollars. 

It's still in optimal condition too, which is a big plus for me in my asking price. I originally bought it for $110 and just sold it on eBay on the weekend for $90. VERY happy with that.

2. Zu heels

Image: Supplied.

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Similar story really as my B&B dress: worn twice in near perfect condition, but I'm not quite into this style anymore, and have run out of occasions to even use them. Bought them for $115 originally, and sold for $80. Quite a great return in comparison!

3. iPhone case

Image: Supplied.

Now, I know it's just a phone case. But it's an Otter iPhone 7 plus Defender Series Case. They're sturdy, durable and worth rehoming if in a great condition like this one was (so an easy way to make a sweet bit of savings). I knew eBay would deliver for me here. Bought it for $100, and sold on the weekend for $60. Stoked.

4. Chest of drawers

Image: Supplied.

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My biggest item sold on eBay yet. This chest of drawers was a gift to me from a previous work colleague (who owned it before me), so it was free to me, but my housemates and I thought we’d put them up for $50 and see how we go. After all, it was moving onto its third home, so we thought that was an appropriate asking price. 

Success! It sold for $40.

So over one weekend I made $270… and I’m only just getting started. 

If I could give you any tips to help you really increase the likelihood of your items getting a bite (and quickly, too), it would be to make sure you put heaps of photos up. EVen if it feels a bit like overkill.

People. Want. Pics. 

I'm talking front, back, sides, labels: they'll take it all, as they generally want to analyse as much of the item they can (and do all the zooming in) to inspect your goodies before taking them off your hands. Also make sure your photos have good lighting, it makes them look so much more appealing.

If you’re anything like I was, and had been putting it off for... well, YEARS, this is your sign. 

Bite the bullet and dedicate a weekend to it. Just one weekend, and see how much you make on eBay. It does take a little time sorting through your home (only Marie Kondo's house looks as tidy as Marie Kondo's house) but I'm telling you, it's SO worth it. 

I've even found it kind of addictive once you see your first eBay sale come through.

You’re making money, you're reducing your waste and your items are given a new lease on life in their new homes.

Feature Image: Supplied.

eBay
Don't need it? Time to list it. Turn your things into sweet, sweet cash money by selling them on eBay. It’s super simple to sell and ship - you don’t need a printer, or even need to go to the post office. Turn your designer fashion & handbags, kitchen appliances, and tech into profits. Everyone’s a winner, when you sell on eBay.