Guest post from Tiffany of Don’t Waste the Crumbs
Since climbing out of debt seven years ago, my husband and I have made purchases based on a motto: “In order for something new to come in, something else must go out.”
While our motto has helped us keep house clutter down, it’s also helped us to afford items we ordinarily wouldn’t be able to. Essentially since what we own is given monetary value, which means we have money in places we never thought to look!
If you’re wondering how you might fund your next purchase without breaking the bank or dipping into your savings account, try looking around your house. You might be surprised how much “cash” you find!
Here’s how to get started:
1. Inventory what you have.
Make a list of items that you have that you don’t use, hardly use, and/or that you’re willing to part with. Write these items down on a sheet of paper, whiteboard, or track them in a spreadsheet.
Keep these items out in the open, not in a closet or storage, so that you see them everyday. This will make you want to get rid of them that much faster.
2. Determine the market value.
Find out how much your items are worth by checking sites like Craigslist, Ebay, and other online auction type sites with buyer/seller relationships.
Be realistic. What you paid $500 for two years ago, may only be worth $75 now. Don’t hold on to items just because you think you paid a lot for it. It’s a fact that items depreciate over time. Sell it now and recoup what you can.
Tip: When selling locally, consider asking a little bit more than the going price. This leaves you room to negotiate down, but always have a lowest price in mind.
3. Sell it.
When marketing your item, clean them up, take good photos, and write a very descriptive ad. These extra steps add “curb appeal” to your items and help them sell faster.
Four places to sell your stuff:
1. Craigslist. Our preferred method since it’s free, local, and easy.
2. Ebay. The final price is not set in stone, but you have a wider audience. Be sure to consider shipping and packaging costs into your asking price.
3. Garage Sale. Advertise your sale in the local paper and online. Be willing to negotiate.
4. Newspaper. Although the internet is more popular, this is still an avenue that may work well in your area!
4. Barter if necessary.
Bartering is viable alternative to selling when cash to buy is unavailable.
5. Use funds to buy new item.
Before you spend anything, check Freecycle to see if anyone is giving what you’re looking for away.
In the same way you used Craigslist, Ebay, garage sales, and the newspaper to sell, check those same places when you buy!
Over the years, we’ve used these methods to buy lots of higher-end purchases — including a laptop, bicycle, dining room set, and iPods.
There is always a market to buy and sell, and remember that one man’s “trash” is another man’s treasure!!
Tiffany is a frugal foodie – passionate about feeding her family healthy food while being a good steward of her family’s finances. She shares her enthusiasm for affording real food without going broke at Don’t Waste the Crumbs.