Sunday, July 31, 2011

Get pregnant > ??? > Profit!

So one thing I have to thank the kid for is that the pregnancy finally got me off my butt to start selling unused stuff we've had sitting around the house for a while. I mean a long while.

It started when we moved my office out of the room that became the nursery and into the upstairs room. My workspace was cut in half and that meant going through a lot of stuff I have to see what I could get rid of. No shock here, but I've accumulated a bunch of tech items over the years that I used less as they got replaced - for example, a microphone for my old PC that was useless when laptops started coming with them built in.

Other stuff from a long list:
  • I had not one but two old iPods (one of which I had won in a drawing). Both nice, but less useful when I switched to my iPhone in 2009.
  • We had an old fridge in the garage, the one that came with the house before we replaced it.
  • I had an old easy chair that was great during bachelor living and even in my mancave/home office days, not so useful in the baby era.
  • Old office stuff like a low-rent desk and organizer items that wouldn't fit on my new spartan desk upstairs.
  • An old CD-DVD RW drive back when I had to use an external version when my computer busted
And so forth. Some of the items were big or techy, but some were small (such as two old flip phones from 2006, I kid you not).

So anyhow I started The Great Craigslist Sale Of 2011 back in June. I'm actually pretty good at selling on CL after six years of doing this stuff. I've learned how to frame ads that make items, even old stuff like the flip phones, seem more attractive. And I've learned how to negotiate well.

The sales aren't over, but I've done well. I'm a little surprised how much I've gotten for some of this stuff given that I wouldn't pay $1 for some of it, but in a month I've brought in enough to pay for a bunch of baby items we actually need. My outside goal was to make $500 in sales, and while I'm not there yet I now think I can optimistically make it more like $800 given all the basement stuff I found. If I can get there, we might be able to pay for most of our baby startup costs.

Wave II is coming next now that the basement project is done. I found a bunch more things we can sell. I may not be able to list it all before the baby comes but it'll be a good side project.

At the same time, it's helping us get rid of things we don't need. Sure, we're adding a bunch of things to replace it in the nursery, but that's pretty understandable given that we're adding another body to the house. We've been good about not overdoing the buying and sticking to basics for the most part.

Anyhow, I'd highly recommend a Craigslist purge to anyone. You'd be surprised how much your unused junk sells for. Basic things I've learned: Always link to what the item costs new so they see what a deal it is, and always include pictures.

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Post #46 in my 90-in-90 blog challenge. Blog with us and join the fun. I'll be blogging both here and on my professional blog for the challenge. For more about the 90/90 challenge, read about my call for participants. The blogs participating are on the list at the right, or follow us on the #LUBlogTribe hashtag on Twitter

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