Is There A Such Thing As A Free Christmas?
Christmas is coming on fast and if you are low on funds you may need to get creative to ensure that Santa makes his annual stop. Below, you will see how I used a crowded closet, a laptop, and a little hard work to complete my Christmas shopping early.
I decided to help ease the cost of Christmas by cleaning out my garage and closet for things of value that were rarely used, and sell them on eBay and Craigslist. Any profits would then go to buying Christmas presents for family and friends.
An entire Saturday was spent going through the garage and bedroom closet looking for items I rarely used. When the day was over, I had a pile of shirts, jackets, tools, wine glasses, a bicycle and more. Many of which had been forgotten and were just causing clutter. The following day, I spent most afternoon listing the items on eBay and Craigslist. It is important to note that when you are selling items online, you absolutely cannot rush the process. You need to take the time to write positive, precise descriptions of your products and be honest with your clients. If an item has a blemish, tell them! It is better to know upfront than to be disappointed when the item arrives. It is also important to take quality photos of each product and edit your photos so they will spark the buyer’s interest.
Below is a list of the items I sold along with the price:
- Men’s Columbia Fleece – Sold for $32
- Men’s J Crew Long Sleeve Button-Front Shirt – Sold for $24
- Men’s Patagonia Shorts – Sold for $26
- Men’s NorthFace Jacket – Sold for $40
- Souvenir Chevrolet All-Sport Jacket – Sold for $78
- Globe – Sold for $6
- Sailboat Lamp – Sold for $12
- Craftsman Band Saw (missing belt) – Sold for $22
- Mountain Bike (Sold on Craigslist) – Sold for $285
- Solar Powered Water Pump – Sold for $15
- Talisker Rocking Glasses (Set of 4 bought at Goodwill for $1.25) – Sold for $60
- 15 Tom Clancy Books – Sold for $14
- A 3-Hole Punch – Sold for $3 ($1 for each hole I guess…)
Not all of these items sold the first time they were listed. In fact, some were listed 2 or 3 times before the right buyer came along. Regardless, selling products on eBay or similar sites requires effort and persistence. In my opinion, here is a list of the most important factors for a successful listing:
- Make sure you list in the right category or categories!
- Take great photos!
- Write simple, brief, accurate and honest descriptions.
- Offer to ship everywhere
- Accept PayPal
- Duration of auction – Run them for 10 days!
- When should they start? I have always found starting on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights work the best.
- Do not set a reserve and start with low opening bids.
When all was done I sold 13 products for a total of $617. With just two solid days of work and a little determination, I was able to relieve the financial stress of Christmas without leaving the house. My family and friends will receive the quality gifts they deserve and I don’t have to join the rest of America in the pits of debt. Even better, I was left with an uncluttered garage and a clean closet (which I consider the greatest achievement).
So what about you? Do you have a cluttered garage or closet? You may be missing out on a great opportunity to relieve the financial stress of Christmas this year.