Most people will take a good six months or so to thoroughly go through their belongings and sort their old life out before beginning a new one. I however, struggle to live that way with a boyfriend who’s constantly working abroad on really short notice.
Because of this, when I thought I’d have months to sort through my stuff in our flat, it soon got cut down to a few weeks. Luckily I’d already begun making lists and piles of things to sell off, and this is where I help you make the most out of your unnecessary belongings.
Right now, in the early stages of taking the big step, maybe still just contemplation, you’re probably thinking that all your belongings are necessary. For many years I’ve carted ‘my life’ from one home to another, thinking that every single item was needed. I have since learnt that most is unnecessary.
In these modern times we have a lot of gadgets, and one thing those gadgets are good for is consolidating media. Look around you; do you have stacks of CDs, DVDs and console games? I did, and I knew that I could copy them to a portable external hard drive, and then make money from them. Games of course don’t work the same way, but who needs a games console when you’re snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef?!
This is the part that takes some effort, and I can see people stalling at this block, but persevere. In selling these belongings, I’ve paid for my travel insurance!
Listed below are the companies I used to sell my DVDs, CDs, books, and Games:
Music Magpie – Takes almost anything, but doesn’t offer much money. Standard DVD offers will be 30p, CDs at around 15p, and you need a minimum total of £5. They give you the option of freepost or Collect Plus.
Zapper – This and We Buy can surprise you every now and then with a good offer on a random CD or obscure DVD so they’re good to compare against Magpie. Average CD offer = 25p. Minimum total of 10 items. Thankfully they let you send via Collect Plus.
We Buy Books – Going against their name, this company actually accepts CDs, DVDs and books. They offer ok amounts on some books – depending on their worth of course, but I did find a few well priced beauties in the DVD and CD area. Minimum total of £15. Free Postage.
Fat Brain – Accept books only. A good place to sell your old textbooks, and depending on the day you could get offered over £5 for an item! I got scuppered by waiting too long selling my Jay-Z Decoded book. One week they offered me over £6, the next, just £4. Minimum total of £15. Collect Plus
Momox – This site’s pretty good for offers, but it doesn’t have an app. Where the above companies give you an option of online input or using their apps with inbuilt scanner this is site only, meaning you will spend a long time typing in ISBNs. Once again, if you persevere, you will get good offers! Momox offered me above average amounts across most items but it’s average CD offer will be around 12p. Minimum of 10 items, total of £10. Free postage
Games Xchange – Apparently they also take in DVDs, but I could only ever get the ISBNs to work on my games. Yes, this is another site only company, but these guys offer big bucks on games – old and new. Games Xchange want your ‘vintage’ games, and compared with CEX who often only want 20p for my old items, these guys would give me £1.35 for Abe’s Exoddus. A Playstation One game I’ve had since the ‘90s. Minimum of 4 items worth £10.
Postage and packaging
When it came to packaging these items up I used some old shoe boxes for the smaller sales, and bought the cheapest archive boxes I could find (mine came from Rymans), and cut the height of them down so that the items couldn’t move around. Lots of tape is key! To ensure you definitely get your money from these companies, it’s best that you make sure there’s little that could go wrong in the whole process. So I taped up the boxes from every angle, creating a nightmare situation for those poor people at the other end unboxing, but ensuring that these boxes reached their final destination in the same state as packaged.
You may not realise how many items you have in your cupboard until you really go through it and see what you’ll need in your new destination. Knowing that Australia would be my first destination, I knew that I would no longer need warm clothing. I also didn’t need so many smart items or expensive dresses that I could make some money from. I was brutal. I pulled all my clothes out and made three piles – Current/Necessary, Rubbish, Sell-able.
Rubbish goes straight out, either as material for crafties, or the local clothes bank. I kept the ‘current’ pile for work but knew that closer to the time I’d once again be whittling these down for travel only. The sell-able items pile was then washed. I took a well-lit photo of each item from a few angles – close up on any designer logos and labels to prove it was real, and then made the decision if it was worth an ebay auction or gumtree.
There are other websites like ebay that will offer to sell your clothes for you such as Vestiaire Collective, but after looking through their sale details they actually keep a large percentage of the sale cost, and you might not even sell the item before you plan to leave!
Ebay is pretty good these days at finding a similar posting to your item and then automating the listing leaving you to write your description and upload photos. Do check all other details, as they might have different postage options than what you want and listing durations.
I learnt through my ebay listings, that the best time to set off your auction was mid-afternoon on a Sunday, and leave it to run for 7 days. Bidders have a tendency to pop on and off ebay during the week, maybe searching one weekday evening and then end up ‘watching’ and item until nearer the time. It’s at the weekend that they find the time to surf the web whilst relaxing at home and are ready for the bidding war mid-afternoon on the Sunday. Giving the posting the longest time possible opens up the opportunity for bidders to place small bids during the week, thus upping the total amount by the time the auction comes to an end.
From doing this I managed to make approx. £200. I even managed to sell this Karl Lagerfeld Limited Edition Coke bottle from 2011 for £5.40 – ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’!
Gumtree is very good for items that you have no real time limit on. The posting is free, and mostly people ask for collection only. I tried to sell some boots on gumtree and received one enquiry within a few hours, but after a few days the listing became so far down the list that I needed to cancel the old one and create a new posting for free.
After getting through all these belongings, I was onto my last few things…